Eucalyptus, specifically rainbow eucalyptus, is found in frost-free regions of the US, like areas of Hawaii, Texas, Florida, and southern California and can be used by bees to produce a beautiful Eucalyptus honey.
The beauty of eucalyptus is its ability to thrive and grow in land that has been stripped or ruined through mining and farming. Planting eucalyptus is an eco-friendly move that makes the most of land that would otherwise sit barren.
Have you tried Eucalyptus honey yet? Here is all that you need to know:
Eucalyptus honey is a type of monofloral– foraged from a single type of flower- honey that comes from harvesting and collecting the nectar from eucalyptus plants.
Just as the eucalyptus plant has a very distinct smell, taste, and color- honey does, too. If you have ever smelled dried eucalyptus, either in a wreath or an arrangement, you will agree that it has a very unique and pleasant aroma. Eucalyptus is highly lauded, used, and loved for its homoeopathic benefits, including the fact that it is:
- Antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral
- Respiratory expectorant, cough suppressant, and nasal decongestant
- Immune-system booster
So, what exactly is a Eucalyptus plant? This is a type of flowering tree closely related to the myrtle family. Many believe that eucalyptus is only found in Australia, as it is the main food source of the koala bear, native to the Aussies.
The truth is that various types of eucalyptus are found in other regions- including right here in the US. The southern US has crepe myrtles, related to the eucalyptus- and this is one region of the country where eucalyptus trees will grow.
While Australia is home to several different kinds of eucalyptus plants, there are at least nine kinds of eucalyptus that you cannot find in Australia at all.
Eucalyptus does best when grown near saltwater or along the ocean which is why it is commonly found throughout the Mediterranean islands, too. All of these factors contribute to the distinctive taste, color, and smell of raw eucalyptus honey.
Foraging for Eucalyptus Honey
Eucalyptus honey is produced the same way that other honey is produced, only since it is a monofloral type of honey, the only nectar being foraged is from the blossoms of the eucalyptus tree.
The resulting honey is rich and dark with a reddish hue. It is sweet, though it has a tart flavor, different from wildflower or clover honey, for instance. For optimal medicinal effects, choose raw eucalyptus honey that is unfiltered and that has not been heated in processing. Raw eucalyptus honey should have a lengthy shelf life and won’t spoil when stored properly.
As the bees forage for nectar from eucalyptus trees to make their honey, they may also forage honeydew from the bark of the same tree.
Eucalyptus trees are known to be pollen-rich, that is, they are full of nectar and pollen for bees to forage. These trees are mainly in tropical climates and most of the commercial eucalyptus honey on the market comes from South Africa and parts of Australia.
There are so many different varieties of eucalyptus trees that there are always some that are in bloom and ripe for the picking, in terms of nectar for honey.
With this availability, consumers can usually find raw eucalyptus honey on the market throughout the year, but since the nectar is most prevalent in eucalyptus trees during winter and spring, this may be when buyers find it most widely and at the lowest cost.
Producing Eucalyptus Honey
As for the actual honey production process, making eucalyptus honey is no different than when bees forage and make other kinds of honey. Instinctively, the bees know to forage for eucalyptus blossoms and are adept at gathering and transporting this precious commodity.
When bees get back to their hive with their foraged nectar, they pass it around in customary honeybee fashion, so that it mixes with the bee enzyme that turns the nectar into sugary honey.
Once the nectar has been changed and turned into eucalyptus honey, it is moved and stored in the cells of the honeycomb. This is comprised of octagonal beeswax cells that hold the honey for the bees.
The reason why honey is shelf-stable and does not spoil is due to its very, very low moisture content. When the bees make eucalyptus honey and deposit it into the honeycomb, it still contains water- in other words, the eucalyptus honey is not yet ready.
Bees are smart; to lower the water content, the bees will join and flap their wings to fan and aerate the honey, thus lowering the moisture content to 20% or less.
After the honey has been fanned by the bees, the cells of the comb are capped with more beeswax made by the bees- and the process starts over.
The waxy caps help to protect and preserve the honey for later- either when it is harvested by the beekeeper or when the bees need to dip into their reservoirs for food to survive the long winter ahead.
There are many things that can influence and impact how much honey is produced by a hive, including the condition and age of the eucalyptus trees. Older eucalyptus trees are better for honey making than younger trees.
Benefits of Eucalyptus Honey
So, what about all the amazing benefits that are reportedly associated with eucalyptus honey?
Ask any homoeopathic provider or industry insider and they will concur that raw eucalyptus honey has many therapeutic properties, but it tastes good, too. Raw eucalyptus honey belongs in every home’s medicine chest or kitchen pantry, and here is why:
The Three A’s: Antimicrobial, Antiviral, and Antibacterial
Did you know that raw eucalyptus honey is an antimicrobial and antiviral agent that is also antibacterial? Most honey types offer these properties due to the enzymes and acidity which contribute to the chemistry and overall composition of honey.
Eucalyptus honey is effective at killing harmful bacteria, fungus, and viruses, too, which makes it a worthwhile agent to have on hand.
In addition to contributing to respiratory health, raw eucalyptus honey is an expectorant, cough suppressant, and nasal decongestant- perfect for colds, allergies, or flu season.
Eucalyptus honey contains eucalyptol which is an active ingredient in mentholated cough and cold products. Get them naturally with raw eucalyptus honey, instead!
This honey is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, so it helps heal respiratory infections and afflictions fast. If you have asthma or other breathing issues, eucalyptus honey can be a help. Clear out congestion and soothe a cough with a bit of honey.
Healthy Immune System
For an immune-system booster, enjoy eucalyptus honey daily. This particular type of honey is higher in Vitamin C as well as folic acid, too- which enhances immunities.
Eucalyptus honey is rated higher in immune-boosting nutrients than even medicinal manuka or strawberry tea honey! Plus, many consumers report that it tastes better. Use eucalyptus honey in a cup of tea or a hot toddy to battle nasty colds, seasonal sicknesses, or a sore throat.
You should know that raw eucalyptus honey is dark in color- like maple syrup. It has a strong flavor, but is not bitter and medicinal like manuka honey is.
When asked to describe the flavor and taste of eucalyptus honey, industry insiders claim that it is smooth and caramel flavored with minty notes. Delicious, and far tastier than over-the-counter medicines for your ailments.
As you can see, there are many pragmatic benefits of raw Eucalyptus honey- have you tried it yet? Use these tips and consider adding Eucalyptus honey to your home- and if you have Eucalyptus trees- and perhaps your apiary, too.
With the many powerful properties of this amazing honey, it makes sense to keep some available for therapeutic purposes in addition to its sweet and distinctive flavor. Give it a try!