Mad Honey, the Dangerous Honey That Causes Hallucinations

Mad Honey, The Dangerous Honey Contains Hallucinogen

Mad Honey, also referred to as “Red Honey” or “Delirium Honey,” is a rare kind of honey that causes side effects, unlike the honey sold in the market.

Mad Honey is produced from the nectar of certain Rhododendron flowers. Bees collect this nectar and turn it into honey.

During this process, they retain grayanotoxins from the flowers. Beekeepers then harvest this honey.

This honey is often called dangerous because low doses could result in various physiological effects. The grayanotoxin-rich honey could also lead to rare diseases or death if consumed in excess.

When consumed in significant quantities, these compounds interact with sodium ion channels in nerve cells, resulting in a range of mind-altering effects.

Mad Honey is found in only a few remote regions of the world, including parts of Nepal, Turkey, and certain areas in the United States.

Its production is dependent on the presence of specific Rhododendron species and the activities of local bee populations, contributing to its rarity and exclusivity.

Read also: Tsaatan, a Tribe of Reindeer Herders in the Taiga Forest

The Benefits of Mad Honey

Mad Honey has been used for traditional medicines, recreational drugs, and military purposes for centuries. It is known as a remedy to cure sore throat, diabetes, hypertension, and arthritis.

Traditional healers in regions where it is found prescribe it for various ailments, including respiratory conditions, gastrointestinal issues, and fatigue.

Besides its medicinal uses, it can be used as a substitute for Viagra to provide sweetness and a burst of energy.

In Nepal, it is incorporated into dishes such as “maalpuwa” (pancakes) and “chhang,” a traditional fermented beverage.

Similarly, in Turkey, it is enjoyed drizzled over desserts like baklava or consumed as a spread with bread and cheese.

Its distinct floral aroma and reddish hue add a special touch to recipes, making it a sought-after ingredient among adventurous chefs and food enthusiasts.

However, the effects depend on the purpose and dosage, as reactions can vary and lead to different results.

The Bees Produce Grayanotoxins, Causing Hallucinogenic Effects

The natural fluid of Mad Honey is dark red, thick, and tastes slightly bitter. It comes from Apis dorsata laboriosa, the world’s largest honey bee.

The bees feed on a genus of flowering plants named rhododendron, particularly Rhododendron ponticum and Rhododendron luteum.

Unlike synthetic drugs or artificial stimulants, Mad Honey’s psychoactive properties stem from compounds naturally present in these flowers, making it a unique product of nature.

Rhododendron contains grayanotoxins, a group of natural neurotoxins that the bees consume from the nectar and pollen, producing ‘Mad Honey.’

Consuming any products with grayanotoxins can cause rare poisoning effects, such as honey intoxication or rhododendron poisoning.

Lower effects can cause dizziness, euphoria, and lightheadedness, while higher effects can lead to seizures, vomiting, and even death.

Read also: Genhe, a City Known as the ‘Pole of Cold’ with Extreme Winters

Harvesting From the Dangerous Area

Mad Honey is predominantly harvested in specific regions, such as Nepal and Turkey. Certain species of Rhododendron flowers thrive in the mountainous terrain found in these areas.

In these areas, local beekeepers venture into remote locations to access hives situated amidst the natural landscapes abundant with the flowering plants.

Harvesting this honey can be difficult because the bees that produce pure Mad Honey live on mountainsides at higher altitudes.

The production of Mad Honey begins with the blooming of certain species of Rhododendron flowers, which are abundant in the mountainous regions of its native habitats.

Harvesters need to climb mountainsides, rely on a 240-meter rope, and contend with the ‘mad’ bees that consume more grayanotoxins.

Bees, drawn to the vibrant blooms, collect nectar laden with grayanotoxins, potent neurotoxic substances present in the flowers.

As the bees process the nectar into honey, these toxins are retained, resulting in a honey with unique properties. Beekeepers carefully harvest the Mad Honey, often risking their lives to access remote hives perched high in the mountains.

The honey, with its reddish hue and distinct floral aroma, is then collected and prepared for consumption or sale.

Although it causes dangerous effects, harvesting this honey is profitable since its value is much higher than that of regular honey. High-quality Mad Honey can sell for about $360 per kilogram in Turkey’s market and $60 on Asian black markets.