The best Honey in the world is from Bhutan
Is there anything healthier or more delicious than honey?
Honey is a healthier sugar that will neither cause diabetes nor kill you. Instead, it will change your life for the better like it did for the farmers of Bumthang and other villages in Bhutan. Unlike processed sugars, honey in its raw form contains multiple rich nutrients such as amino acids, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and enzymes that makes it a healthier staple. Since honey is sweeter than processed sugar, a little is enough to sweeten your morning cup of tea or your favorite dessert or your meals.
The latest study from the Republic of Korea proved that honey from Bumthang and Tsirang are of premium quality. A total of 12 samples of bee Apis mellifera were sent to the National Institute of Agriculture Sciences in Korea to test for moisture content, sugar (Sucrose), Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), C3 or C4 rate, and fructose or glucose ratio. The test results also revealed that there were no antibiotics or chemical residuals in them. Feel assured when your honey comes from a reliable source in Bhutan.
Honey in Bhutan is produced by local farmers and cooperatives in their farms and backyards. Today, more than 104 farmers from Bumthang, Tsirang, Samtse, Dagana, Sarpang and Haa engage in beekeeping and benefit from it. The largest Bee Cooperative is in Bumthang with 83 members.
How did beekeeping start in Bhutan?
Modern Beekeeping first started in Bumthang, Bhutan in 1986 with the support from Helvetas project. Back then, strong religious sentiments resisted both beekeeping and consumption of honey as it was seen as sinful. So, introducing beekeeping for honey production in Bhutan was near impossible. The religious belief that came from the earliest practices of crude honey extraction led to the death of bees and damage of the honeycombs and wax. So, the modern way of beekeeping debunked this misconception.
The honey is harvested without causing any harm or death to the bees. Bee farming for honey, today is widely accepted as it can be managed easily with low investment. Farmers manage and support bees to flourish well and bees, in turn, produce abundant honey for our farmers.
Types of honey and byproducts
There are various types of honey and their byproducts. You may ask how are they different if bees have produced them?
Depending on the flowers bees feed on, the color, texture, taste and nutritional values differ.
- Clover Honey
Clover honey is produced by bees feeding on clover flowers and is harvested in the month of July. Its color is white to light amber, and the taste is mild and sweet. From a regular sweetner to a salad dressing, clover honey can complement other flavors making your meals more delicious. Best for you if you prefer a milder taste in honey.
- Buckwheat Honey
Buckwheat honey is produced in September by bees feeding on bright pink buckwheat flowers in Bumthang. It is amber-colored honey with a slight reddish tint. Unlike the traditional honey, buckwheat honey isn’t as sweet but has higher antioxidants. It is a prized delicacy and usually costs you more than clover honey owing to its demand and higher nutritional values.
- Cream Honey
Cream honey is made by blending crystallized honey and liquid honey. The mixture is spun until the consistency becomes creamier. It is paler in color as compared to honey. The mixture is then stored at a low temperature to produce a firm and creamy texture. Cream honey can be a new addition to your breakfast table. It is an easy spread on bread and may be your children’s new favorite.
- Putka Honey
Putka honey is a sour honey harvested by the stingless bees called Melipona. These bees forage in the deep, protected regions of Bhutan especially at Lokchina Gewog, Chukha and Samtse District. Putka honey has higher medicinal value and in some parts of the world, they call it miracle liquid.
- Honey Cordyceps
Honey from Bhutan is known for its natural benefits and higher nutritional value. It’s in the most natural form and when infused with rare, valuable high altitude mushrooms, cordyceps the healing properties of two superfoods are married into Honey Cordyceps.
Why should honey be your new staple?
Honey has numerous health benefits and plays a vital role in many home remedies.
Here are 5 unique health benefits of honey
1. Best alternative to control blood sugar level
Consuming a tablespoon of honey mixed in warm water everyday may help you better manage your blood sugar levels. It can be a good substitute to your regular sugar since it contains antioxidants that may help you protect against metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Researchers have found that honey may increase levels of a hormone that particularly reduces inflammation and improves blood sugar regulation.
2. A good source of antioxidants
Honey is rich in antioxidants, the compounds that can protect your body from damaging free radicals.
Free radicals cause many health issues, such as certain heart diseases, inflammatory diseases, and even cancer.
3. Help improve body immunity
Honey can help improve the digestive system and boost immunity owing to its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It also nourishes the good bacteria that live in your gut, which are essential for digestion as well as for your overall health.
4. Soothe a sore throat and cough
Honey is an old home remedy for sore throat and persistent coughs. You can add it to hot tea with lemon to soothe the cold flu. According to some published studies, just two teaspoons of honey can help cure a persistent cough. Also, honey’s antimicrobial properties can kill certain bacteria which cause the infection.
5. Help lose weight
Drinking warm water with honey and a squeeze of lemon in the morning is considered an effective weight loss method. It helps to increase body metabolism. As per a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2010, honey helps to control your appetite. If you eat honey before bed, the body begins to burn more fat during those early hours of sleep. So, is there any better way to burn fats when you sleep than this?
Honey is not for you if:
- You are allergic to pollen
- You are pregnant or
- Breastfeeding mother
- Children under the age of one
People allergic to bee pollen may encounter anaphylaxis, breathlessness, hives, and swelling in serious cases.
How to choose the right raw honey
You may want to look for labels that say “raw” instead of natural/organic/pure because none of these indicate that it’s raw. If it says pasteurized honey, it’s definitely not raw. Beware of any added ingredients like artificial sweeteners.
Honey has amazing health benefits if consumed right. So, choose your honey, choose your health.
To purchase authentic and high quality honey from Bhutan, you can visit Druksell or CSI Market at Changzamtog, Thimphu.