Valerian Honey

Valerian Root
Valerian Root is used to make valerian honey

Valerian honey is honey that is infused with valerian extract or valerian root, to amplify its calming effects, promote sleep, improve your mood, and boost heart health, among other things.

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    What is Valerian Honey?

    Often the valerian root/extract will be infused with Manuka honey due to its already impressive list of health benefits it boasts.

    That being said, you can find raw valerian honey, whilst it is rare, it does exist. This is created from honeybees pollinating valerian plants.

    Quick fact: The production & usage of valerian root has been used since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome, and is used in traditional folk medicine.

    What Is the Taste, Texture, and Colour of Valerian Honey?

    Valerian infused honey will have an earthy taste and usually a darker colour than most other types of honey. Raw valerian honey is usually also thicker than the honey you may be used to buying at the supermarket.

    Something worth noting, if you do purchase valerian or standard raw honey and it crystallises, that doesn’t mean it’s gone bad. It’s actually a natural process and can be reversed by gently warming the honey.

    Honey Bee Extracting Nectar From Red Valerian (Centranthus Ruber)
    Honey bee extracting nectar from red valerian (Centranthus Ruber)

    What Is Valerian Honey’s Scientific Name?

    Where valerian honey is predominantly an infused honey, so it does not have one specific scientific name.

    The scientific name of valerian is Valeriana officinalis.

    Red Valerian (Centranthus Ruber)
    The honey bees will pollinate and extract the red valerian (Centranthus Ruber) nectar

    Is Valerian Honey Produced Differently Than Other Honey?

    Typical valerian honey is not only infused with beneficial valerian root or valerian extract, but it is also usually made using raw honey.

    Raw honey is already proven to be extremely beneficial for your health and is a powerful natural antibiotic. By adding in valerian extract or valerian root, raw honey’s benefits are enhanced, and it becomes even more impressive.

    Normal, mass-produced honey, on the other hand, has next to none health benefits.

    The cheap honey that you see at supermarkets that typically comes in a plastic bottle is usually pasteurised and processed at high temperatures, ultra-filtered to remove vitamins, minerals, pollen, protein and amino acids, before finally getting pumped full of fillers, such as high fructose corn syrup and preservatives.

    Mass-produced honey has none of the health benefits that raw valerian honey has.

    Where is Valerian Honey Produced?

    Valerian honey is produced all over the world, however, the valerian herb is native to Europe and Asia, and so it can be found more readily in those areas.

    In addition it can be found in both North & South America but generally valerian prospers in clay soil with partial sun. 

    Thus the apiary’s will be positioned in places where the valerian plant is in abundance. 

    Honeybee Extracting Nectar From Red Valerian Flower
    Honeybee Extracting Nectar From Red Valerian Flower

    How Do They Get the Honey Bees to Produce Valerian Honey?

    While valerian plants do flower and are pollinated by bees, there is usually insufficient amounts of them to produce honey strictly from valerian nectar and pollen alone. Therefore, while you may be able to locate a small batch of valerian honey produced from the flowers of valerian plants, it is much more likely that you will find a raw honey infused with valerian root or valerian extract.

    With that being said smaller, local suppliers will position their apiary surrounded by valerian plants. By doing this it will naturally encourage the bees to extract the valerian nectar and begin the process of making natural valerian honey. The moment the honey bee collects the valerian nectar it is mixed with an enzyme within the bees mouth. The enzyme itself is otherwise known as invertase or the “bee enzyme” which is secreted from the bees glands.

    When the honeybees return to the hive they will pass the nectar they have gathered between their mouths further mixing the nectar with the “bee enzyme” reducing the water content and converting the nectar to honey.

    They will then deposit the valerian honey into wax cells, but at this point the water content will be too high. In order to reduce the water content the honeybees will fan their wings above the wax cell, this in turn will evaporate some of the water.

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

    Is Valerian Honeycomb Different From Standard Honeycomb?

    Despite pollinating different flowers, in this case the valerian flower, the honeycomb produced will be constructed as any other.

    Honeybees do not vary their design based on what they’re pollinating. That said, the honeycomb will naturally slightly taste different based on what they pollinate and nectar they extract. 

    What is Valerian Honey’s pH?

    Valerian honey, like all honey, has a pH that will vary from batch to batch, due to the unique nature of each hive and season.

    Typically honeys pH ranges from 3.4 to about 6.1.

    Honey Bee Collecting Nectar From Red Valerian (Centranthus Ruber)
    Honey bee collecting nectar from red valerian (Centranthus Ruber)

    What Are the Benefits of Valerian 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 pasturised honey will break down and diminish these benefits.

    Valerian honey has all the benefits of raw honey, such as being a natural antibiotic, containing essential proteins and amino acids, as well as having a high level of vitamins and minerals. In addition, valerian root or valerian extract offers many additional benefits, namely as a sleep aid, and can help reduce not just anxiety, but may also help with blood pressure.

    Is Valerian Honey a Good Antiseptic?

    Raw valerian honey is an excellent antiseptic. Honey has been a known treatment for burns and wounds since the Ancient Egyptians documented it thousands of years ago.

    Should Certain People Avoid Valerian Honey?

    If you are allergic to bees, or if you have a sensitivity to sugar, you should consult with your physician before consuming valerian honey. If you have a child or infant under a year old, they should not eat any honey or products containing honey until they have reached their first birthday.

    This is because their digestive system may not be fully developed until they reach a year old, and any products containing honey could make them sick.

    Red Valerian (Centranthus Ruber) Ready To Be Pollinated
    Red valerian (Centranthus Cuber) ready to be pollinated

    Is Valerian 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.

    What Is Valerian Honey Used For?

    Valerian honey is used to reduce stress and anxiety, promote a healthy night’s sleep, and can even be used for its antibacterial properties.

    This makes valerian honey perfect for those who may have a cold or other health condition that makes it difficult to go to sleep or stay asleep through the night.

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