Have You Heard Of The “Mad Honey” From Nepal? - The Urban Menu
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Have You Heard Of The “Mad Honey” From Nepal?
Source: https://athensscienceobserver.com/2021/06/24/mad-honey-the-secrets-and-adventures-of-psychedelic-nectar/

Have You Heard Of The “Mad Honey” From Nepal? 

Its red color and its bitter taste aren’t the only characteristics that differentiate Mad Honey from other types of honey. What really makes it stand out is its physiological and psychedelic effects.

How Its Made

Mad Honey, which is produced by the largest honey bee in the world, Apis dorsata laboriosa, gets its psychedelic effects from the pollen of specific rhododendron plants, which usually grow in high places such as the mountains of Nepal. 

Effects Of The Honey

This honey, which was traditionally used and cultivated as medicine in Turkey and Nepal, has various effects depending on the dosage intake. In lower doses, it can emphasize the feeling of euphoria, and relieve tension but also cause lightheadedness and dizziness. The intake of this honey can also act as an aphrodisiac! 

When consumed in higher doses, it can act like a psychedelic- cause hallucinations, and many more unpleasant effects such as vomiting and loss of consciousness. 


But the effects of this honey aren’t the most dangerous thing about it- as the flowers whose pollen carries grayanotoxin (the substance in this honey that gives its various effects on both humans and animals when consumed) grow in high-altitude places, its cultivation can be dangerous. The honey hunters not only risk getting stung by the bees but also falling from the cliff of the mountains, as these bees usually build their nests steeply. 

High Risk High Reward

However, the cultivators know that their high risk and hard work are going to pay off- the price of Mad Honey is much higher than the prices of other “regular” honey types. The prices in the Asian black market go around $60-$80 for a pound of this honey, and a kilogram in Turkey can cost up to $360. 


Nevertheless, this honey is not to be taken for granted. Consuming it can lead to poisoning and in very rare cases even death, but its effects can be very unpleasant and even seem life-threatening.  


However, Mad Honey is nothing new- one of the earliest mentions of this peculiar honey comes from the Greek soldier and philosopher Xenophon, as he described the effects this honey left on the whole Greek army in his book “Anabasis” in the year 401 BCE. 

In 67BCE, Roman soldiers fell into a honeytrap- as the Persian army left lots of pots filled with this honey along the marching road, and after the Romans ate it and were disoriented by the effects of the honey, the Persian army had a great advantage in winning the battle.

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