Coriander Honey

Honey Bee Extracting The Nectar Of The Coriander Flower
Honey bee extracting the nectar of the coriander flower in order to make coriander honey

Coriander honey is produced by honey bees harvesting and processing the nectar from the cilantro plant, more commonly known as coriander.Usually, the seeds of the plant are referred to as “coriander”, while the plant is called “cilantro”. Despite this, people often confuse and say coriander to describe the whole plant and its produce.

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    Where Does Coriander Honey Come From?

    Naturally coriander honey comes from countries with high productions/exports of coriander, as bees including honey bees are brought in to pollinate their cilantro crops. A by-product of that pollination is coriander honey, which is often sold and distributed locally and worldwide depending on the size of the operation.

    Coriander (cilantro) is grown in many parts of the world, and some of the biggest exporters include; India, China, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iran, Turkey, Tanzania and Bulgaria. In 2019 of those exporters China and India are within the top 6 worldwide for exported honey, which includes coriander honey.

    We’ve found one of the largest producers/retailers of coriander honey is located in Poland (14th largest exporter of honey worldwide 2019). Whilst it can be found in most countries, often the coriander honey comes in the form of a polyfloral honey, which is when the honey gathered is from multiple flowers and plants.

    To be deemed coriander honey it must be “monofloral” which is when the nectar comes predominantly from one source; the cilantro plant.

    How Do Bees Produce Coriander Honey?

    The moment the honey bee collects the coriander (cilantro) nectar, it is mixed with an enzyme within the bees mouth. The enzyme itself is known as invertase or the “bee enzyme” which is secreted from the bee’s glands. When the honey bees return to the hive, they will pass the coriander nectar they have collected between themselves further mixing the nectar with the “bee enzyme”.

    This will reduce the water content converting the nectar into honey. They will then deposit the coriander honey into wax cells, but at this point, the water content may be too high. To reduce the water content, the honey bees will fan their wings above the wax cell, this, in turn, will evaporate some of the water.

    Once they’ve finished the process, the coriander honey will have a water content roughly below 20%. It will then be capped, and the honey bees will repeat the process all over again.

    Honey Bee Extracting Coriander Nectar
    Honey bee extracting coriander nectar

    Benefits of Coriander Honey?

    Healing Wounds and Burns There has been positive effects of using raw honey on wounds & burns reported.
    Reducing The Duration of Diarrhoea According the NCBI consumption of raw honey has been shown to reduce the severity & duration of diarrhoea.
    Preventing Acid Reflux Research has shown that with honey lining the oesophagus and stomach, it actually can reduce the upward flow of undigested food and stomach acid.
    Fighting Infections Scientists in 2010 reported that honey through its protein (defensin-1) has the ability to kill bacteria.
    Relieving cold and cough symptoms Its been proven that honey may prove beneficial in relieving cold and cough symptoms. The World Health Organisation actually recommend honey as a natural cough remedy.
    Rich In Antioxidants High quality raw honey contains many helpful antioxidants. These include phenolic compounds like flavonoids and organic acids.
    Can Lower Triglycerides Triglycerides are associated with insulin resistance and are a major driver of type 2 diabetes. Multiple studies have linked regular honey consumption with lower triglyceride levels, especially when it is used to replace sugar.

    This is based on raw honey. Filtered or pasteurised honey will break down and diminish these benefits.

    Coriander Honey as an Antiseptic

    Treating wounds such as burns and ulcers is just one way that honey can be used topically as a therapeutic antiseptic.By absorbing water, and helping to dry out wounds, coriander honey can help to inhibit the growth of fungi and bacteria.

    Glucose Oxidase is an enzyme that is in honey, and this enzyme can catalyze the production of hydrogen peroxide.Raw coriander honey acts as a natural antibiotic and protects wounds from dirt and other substances.The use of raw honey as an antiseptic goes back thousands of years, even before the times of ancient Egypt.

    Close Up Of A Honey Bee Pollinating Coriander
    Close up of a honey bee pollinating coriander

    Coriander Honey vs Regular Honey

    Coriander honey is most commonly sold in its raw form. That means that it retains the bee pollen, propolis, and other beneficial compounds that are typically removed by fine filtering or destroyed by pasteurization during the processing that regular honey goes through.

    In a raw state, it will naturally contain many if not all of the benefits listed above. In comparison, regular honey will hold that somewhat industrial standard taste and tends to be missing crucial benefits and nutritional properties of raw honey.

    This is typically due to “regular” mass-produced honey being fine filtered and pasteurized. Which, unfortunately, destroys many of the antibacterial and active elements. Research shows that the processing of honey can reduce antioxidant levels by up to (and even more than) 30%.

    The reduction of these antioxidant reduces coriander honey’s effectiveness as an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent.

    When You Should Avoid Coriander Honey

    You should avoid coriander honey if you have any allergies that may make you sensitive to either honey or cilantro/coriander.If you have an allergy to bees and you are unsure if you will react to honey, you should consult with your doctor.

    Furthermore, raw honey of any kind, including coriander honey, should never be given to a child under a year old.This is because raw honey can cause a rare but serious disease (Infant Botulism) caused by a specific type of bacteria.

    When children are a year old or older, they usually have more robust immune systems, and the risk of eating raw honey is reduced.

    Honeybee Harvesting Coriander Nectar
    Honey bee harvesting coriander nectar

    Is Coriander Honey Vegan?

    The Vegan Society do not consider honey vegan, this includes cornflower honey. They believe that because some honey farmers replace honey with a sugar substitute when harvesting, it will naturally lack the essential micronutrients of honey, thus being detrimental to the honey bees.

    Furthermore, they believe that in conventional beekeeping, honey bees are specifically bred to increase productivity. Which they believe leads to a narrowing of the population gene pool and increases susceptibility to disease and large scale die-offs.

    They also believe that many honey farmers will cull their hives post-harvest and clip the queen bee’s wings to stop them from leaving to start a new colony. Thus the Vegan Society does not consider honey vegan. That, of course, doesn’t stop some vegans arguing its fine if they source their honey from reliable sources that do not practice the above.

    Is Coriander Honey Expensive?

    Coriander honey is slightly more expensive than other types of raw honey because it is rarer than other types of honey.

    However, if you are from an area that grows large amounts of cilantro, coriander honey may be quite affordable and easy to find. Within the UK it’s available at roughly £3-£4 per 100g, and within the US, we’ve found it averaging around $1-$2 per 100g.

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