Turkey Mad Honey vs. Nepali Mad Honey? Similarity and What Is the Difference?
Just beneath the mountain line lies a pure, powerful, and potent product that has helped people win wars, have solved various diseases, and boost individuals' immunity over centuries. With the mystery of its own, Mad Honey, also known as "Deli Bal" in Turkey and "Bhir Maha" in Nepal, has been a treasure to the people with its ability to treat hypertension, anxiety, stomach ailments, and migraines.
It is also believed to increase sexual performances. Its psychedelic effects can make you feel light-headed, numb, and relaxed when consumed in more than the recommended quantity. Mad honey is advised to be consumed only a teaspoon before breakfast in 24 hours; more than that will make you trippy and hallucinating. This sensation is due to a neurotoxin compound called Grayanotoxin, which is found in rhododendron nectar that bees feed. Not all rhododendron contains Grayanotoxin in nectar.
Only two to three species out of 700 species of rhododendron found worldwide contain Grayanotoxin in nectar and are found in countries like Turkey, China, Nepal, Myanmar, New Guinea, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines & North America. However, the most famous source of Mad Honey is found to be in various mountain ranges of Nepal and the Black Sea region of Turkey.
Harvesting Turkish and Nepali Mad Honey
In Turkey and Nepal, Mad Honey has been traditionally harvested by local people believing this honey to be a medicine. Over centuries people have been using it to treat hypertension, anxiety and improve sexual performance.
Due to the high density of rhododendron in the Black Sea and foothills of the Himalayas region, flowers grow in these regions in monocrop like swarth, thus keeping bees away from the nectar of any other flower avoiding contamination.
This, in turn, results in pure and potent honey different from other countries where the rhododendron density is low and may not be of pure quality.
History of Turkish and Nepali Mad Honey
Mad Honey in Turkey has a long history. It was explored and used as early as 401 B.C.E. by great emperors and soldiers as weapons in war and by queens as a medium to nourish their skin to bring shine to their face.
Mad honey's trade started in the 17th century and spread all over Europe with the name "Miel Fou" or crazy honey. Mad honey is now produced by local beekeepers in Turkey's black sea regions and is famous worldwide and in many European countries. However, In Nepal, the actual time of its exploration is not known.
Mad honey is being harvested by an indigenous tribe called "Gurungs." The knowledge and benefits of honey harvesting are being passed from generation to generation among these Gurung people. It is still unknown to many people in the country that this honey exists.
They harvest honey without any honey harvesting shield and proper safety. They usually hang themselves down the cliff with just a heat shield made of old ragged mosquito nets and locally made ropes. The youth leaves for the biggest cities in search of jobs. The Honey Hunting culture is in serious trouble because of the lack of human resources and the market.
While in Turkey, local people are well known for its potent and market demand and have been producing honey for decades now using self-made Lindenwood beehives and installing them in trees' branches.
Many farmers have been practicing mad honeybee farming in the black sea regions now. Hence, the quality cannot be guaranteed compared to wild bee hunting in Nepal, where the honey is collected directly from the cliffs where the giant bees naturally like to build their hives.
Mad Honey, both in Nepal and Turkey, is famous for a neurotoxin substance that makes people hallucinate -- The Grayanotoxin. Mad Honey from Nepal contains more Grayanotoxin as compared to the Turkish Mad Honey. If someone wants to buy Nepal Mad honey online, the price of Nepal Mad Honey is ten times more expensive than Turkish mad honey. However, few websites have mad honey for sale at certain times of the year.
The Formation of Honey
Apart from rhododendron with Grayanotoxin in its nectar, Turkey's Black Sea region was also the center of hemp production for a long time, which had helped increase the complexity and potentiality of mad honey, thus strengthening its psychedelic nature. However, with a high density of rhododendron trees and no center for other crops, in particular, Mad Honey in Nepal is in as purest and wildest form as possible for centuries.
While Turkey has already escalated in honey's trade and marketing worldwide, Nepal's mad honey market seems to start as people are unaware of its medicinal potent. It creates a high market opportunity in Nepal and where demand for Mad Honey is only increasing as people become aware of the health benefits.
Mad honey collection in Nepal is on the verge of extinction. The youngsters from indigenous tribes ( The Gurungs ) are leaving hills for better job opportunities to the plains and capital city. The honey collection from mountain cliffs is a risky job and seasonal as harvesting is only done twice a year in spring and fall.
Turkey being a trans-continental country connecting western Asia and Southeastern Europe, has a significant market potential for Mad Honey. Nepal, on the other hand, can utilize its tourism potential and thus promote local treasures like Mad Honey among different countries from where annually thousands of tourists enter the country to enjoy mountains and local foods and at the same time enhance trade with these countries.