Gallberry honey is a southern favorite, made from the gallberry bush that is native to Florida and parts of Georgia.
If you enjoy trying different types of honey, gallberry is one you shouldn’t miss. What sets gallberry honey apart? It has a color, consistency, and flavor all its own.
What is Gallberry Honey?
Gallberry honey is honey made from the nectar of the gallberry bush. It is typically thicker than most kinds of honey, slower to crystalize, and has a high antioxidant content. It provides a wealth of health benefits and is also excellent for cooking.
What is the Gallberry Bush?
The gallberry is a type of holly bush. It’s also known as inkberry due to its distinctive berries. It is native to the Florida coastline and wetlands, as well as parts of Georgia.
The blooms are green or white. The leaves are glossy and dark green. It produces small black or purple berries. The leaves of the plant were traditionally used by Native Americans to make tea, which is known as Appalachian tea.
Is Gallberry Honey Monofloral?
With so many honey varieties available today, it’s natural to wonder how honey types are determined. It’s seemingly simplistic. Kinds of honey are defined by the plant the bees gather nectar from.
Manuka honey, for example, comes from nectar from the manuka tree. Gallberry honey comes from the gallberry plant. However, it’s often a bit more complicated than that.
Bees will gather nectar from the plants that are available. This means that even though honey is a particular type, it may contain nectar from other plants as well. Beekeepers can exercise some control by carefully placing their beehives and timing when adding and removing frames.
When there’s only one nectar source, the honey is known as monofloral. When there is more than one nectar source, the honey is multi floral.
Gallberry honey is generally known as monofloral. However, it’s rarely a true monofloral. In most cases, it is mixed with other nectars, with gallberry being the primary nectar. This can be a plus, because it means that each batch of gallberry honey will have a slight variation, while still meeting the expectations for flavor.
Gallberry Uses and Benefits
Gallberry is very versatile honey. It can be enjoyed alone, used in cooking, and provides significant health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at some of the uses and benefits of this honey.
Gallberry makes excellent table honey because it is very slow to crystalize. This is because it has a higher than average pollen count. If you don’t use honey often, you’ll still find the honey has a smooth consistency. It’s not as sweet as some honey. In fact, it has a bit of an herbal smoky flavor.
In addition to enjoying the honey on its own, it makes a great pancake or waffle syrup.
Gallberry honey’s smoky earthy flavor makes it a wonderful choice for honey barbecue sauce. It’s also great for baking. Despite its strong flavor, when used in cooking, it complements other flavors.
Instead of a strong flavor, it becomes very subtle but tasty when used in baking or making sauces. It pairs well with savory dishes like chicken and grouper.
The Health Benefits of Gallberry Honey
Gallberry honey hasn’t been studied independently for its health benefits. However, we can draw some conclusions based on the research performed on honey, along with the composition of gallberry honey.
One of the reasons honey is good for your health is its antioxidant content. Gallberry honey has a higher antioxidant level than most honey. This is why gallberry honey has a rich amber color. Darker honey typically contain more antioxidants than lighter types.
Antioxidants scavenge free radicals from the body before they can damage cells. They also reduce oxidative stress. Honey contains two main types of antioxidants. These are flavonoids and phenolic acids.
The benefits of antioxidants include slowing ageing and preventing premature ageing. They also reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. They also reduce inflammation in the body, which is a source of many diseases and conditions.
Gallberry honey contains several important vitamins. These include vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene.
Vitamin C helps support immune function, but it has other benefits as well. It’s essential for the growth and repair of all tissues in the body. It helps form collagen and aids in iron absorption. It contributes to healthy bones, teeth, and cartilage, and it speeds up wound healing.
Vitamin E also plays a role in immune health. It helps protect cells from damage due to oxidative stress, and supports healthy organ function. It’s also essential for healthy vision and brain health.
Beta-carotene, which is also known as Vitamin A, is also important for eye health. It can lower your risk of some cancers. It’s important for skin health, reduces acne, and contributes to bone health.
Raw honey contains over 5000 different enzymes. These enzymes have many positive effects on the body, including breaking down toxins and clearing them from the system.
Diastase is one enzyme contained in honey. Our bodies use it to digest complex carbs, and convert them into simple carbs. The enzyme is actually present in our saliva. When we chew food, the enzymes go to work. It’s helpful for treating acid reflux because it aids digestion.
Peptidase is another enzyme found in honey. This enzyme breaks down proteins, converting them into amino acids which are then used by the body.
Honey can also play a role in preventing a wide range of diseases. It reduces the risk of heart disease. It can also prevent or help treat gastrointestinal diseases, including diarrhoea and inflammation caused by gastritis.
Surprisingly, honey may also reduce the risk of diabetes, or lower blood sugar in those with the condition. Just like other sugars, honey does raise blood sugar levels. However, it contains adiponectin, which reduces inflammation and helps regulate blood sugar.
Studies have also found that eating honey each day may improve the fasting blood sugar of people with type 2 diabetes.
Some of the most surprising benefits of gallberry honey are neurological. Honey has anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. It may also reduce the risk of seizures or convulsions. It may also prevent memory loss disorders, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, in elderly adults.
One of the best things about gallberry honey is its accessibility. It’s wonderful for a honey to have a great taste, versatility, and health benefits. However, this isn’t helpful if you can’t purchase the honey.
Some speciality honey can be difficult to find or afford. Gallberry honey may cost a bit more than processed honey in your local supermarket, but it’s budget-friendly compared to other types of honey such as Manuka or Anzer. Since it’s made in Florida and Georgia, it’s easily available in the U.S.
This means you can enjoy gallberry honey anytime you want. Paired with its other benefits, it makes the honey well worth a try.