Medically Reviewed By Sharon Baisil, MD
It’s 3 a.m., and you can’t sleep. You’ve been coughing for days, and it’s only getting worse. You need relief, and you need it fast. You’ve tried all the usual tricks: honey, lemon, tea, even that weird home remedy your neighbor swears by.
But something needs to be fixed. So what do you do? You reach for the buckwheat honey.
Buckwheat honey is not your average honey. It’s darker and richer in flavor and has unique health benefits. When used to treat a cough, buckwheat honey can be as effective as over-the-counter medications. But what makes buckwheat honey so unique?
Buckwheat honey has been used as a home remedy for centuries, and recent studies have shown that it may be even more effective than cough syrup. So, what is this magical elixir, and how does it work? and did you know that experts believe it is even better than manuka honey?
What is Buckwheat Honey?
Buckwheat honey is a type of honey made from buckwheat flowers’ nectar. It is dark in color and has a strong, unique flavor. Buckwheat honey is not as sweet as other traditional honey and has a slightly bitter taste. Buckwheat honey has many health benefits and is used in traditional medicine.
Additionally, it contains more antioxidants than other sweeter honey varieties. Buckwheat is understood to be packed with minerals and considered to be a healthy food, so it would make sense that buckwheat honey would be good for you, too.
The color of buckwheat honey can vary from deep purple to black. It appears to be a typical dark amber honey with a faint reddish tint—the rich hue of buckwheat honey results from the dark hue of buckwheat flowers.
Since buckwheat has no connection to wheat and is a flowering plant instead, the term buckwheat may even be misunderstood in this context. The buckwheat plant produces white flowers, sometimes, they are a mix of white, cream, or shades of pinkish flowers that draw honey bees. Buckwheat seeds can be ground into flour or eaten like cereal.
Most northern U.S. states, as well as Canada, produce buckwheat. Since buckwheat cultivation is not as common as it was in the past, many companies in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania use it, primarily for honey production.
Where Does Buckwheat Honey Come From?
Bees that gather nectar from buckwheat flowers produce the highly nutrient-dense honey known as buckwheat honey. Because the buckwheat plant has small flowers, bees that produce buckwheat honey must work particularly hard to gather sufficient nectar.
Buckwheat is commonly used instead of wheat as a flour substitute, but buckwheat is not grass. Buckwheat produces that kind of fruit resembling rhubarb. Honey from buckwheat isn’t as tasty and filled with sweetness as pure honey.
The Optimal Environment for Buckwheat Honey Production
Beekeepers are close to agricultural systems where buckwheat is grown, and blooms produce nearly all of the honey, which is then sold commercially. Migratory hives are rarely used because buckwheat crop farmers infrequently need to employ additional pollination as a business component.
Commercial honey producers rarely choose buckwheat as a monofloral origin for their hives because buckwheat honey is not frequently regarded as a hugely profitable honey product. Buckwheat thrives in relatively short growing seasons and is most commonly grown in temperate climates.
As a result, it serves as a crucial source of cold weather feed for hives in regions with long winters.
Some Additional Info
Raw Honey Vs. Regular Honey
People use honey as food and medicine. Honey may have been used medicinally by humans for up to 8,000 years.
Raw honey might have been used in the past, but nowadays, most honey on grocery store shelves has undergone processing, most commonly pasteurization, which involves extremely high heat. Several of these processed honey varieties might have extra sugars in them.
Bees keep their larvae in honeycombs. Raw, unprocessed honey from the hive contains natural beeswax, pollen, and even different bits of dead bees is yet another intriguing fact. Producers often put their raw honey through filtration processes that eliminate as many contaminants as possible. Some contaminants remain, though.
Regular processed honey undergoes a time-consuming pasteurization process, unlike raw honey. The natural honey will be heated during this unique manufacturing process. This procedure will extend the honey’s shelf life and eliminate any yeast cells that might affect its wonderful taste.
What is Raw Honey?
Directly from the honeycomb is where raw honey is found. Typically, the beekeeper will funnel the honey to eliminate any stray particles of pollen, beeswax, or even dead bee sections. The honey is not pasteurized.
These additional components give raw honey its cloudy or opaque appearance. You can still eat it.
What is Regular Honey?
Regular honey is smooth and transparent because it has been pasteurized. The pasteurization procedure enhances the honey’s aesthetics, extends its shelf life, and eliminates yeast cells that could taint its flavor.
Even so, a few others assert that pasteurization lessens the number of nutrients and antioxidants in honey.
How Do They Differ?
Honeycomb fragments that are too tiny to be sifted out cause raw honey to be fuzzier than regular honey. Compared to regular honey, raw honey varies in color and texture. The type of flowers the bees pollinated may affect the color of raw honey.
While no substantial studies have supported the claim that raw honey has greater nutritional value than regular honey, some smaller studies have raised the possibility.
What Are the Health Benefits of Buckwheat Honey?
Buckwheat honey’s main advantages include strengthening the immune system, promoting bodily healing, and boosting antioxidant levels. Additionally, it works wonders to relieve coughs and sore throats. Some people include honey in their skincare routine. Additionally, it has been discovered that buckwheat honey can help people with diabetes maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
What Studies Say About Buckwheat Honey?
Honey has advantages, as evidenced by numerous studies. Numerous health advantages of buckwheat honey, in specific, have been demonstrated, including but not limited to the following:
- Raising Antioxidant Levels: According to one study, consuming black tea mixed with buckwheat honey substantially enhanced the amount of antioxidants in the body. According to another study, buckwheat honey scored very high on the antioxidant scale compared to other kinds of honey.
- Wound Care: Buckwheat honey is beneficial for wounds because it absorbs moisture from the wounds and aids in bacterial eradication. Because of its low pH and high sugar content, honey can also help prevent the growth of germs and other bacteria in wounds.
- Skin Care: The distinct advantages of using honey require further study. However, honey keeps your skin pliable and smooth while protecting it. Consider using honey in skin care products, or make your skin moisturizer by blending honey and coconut oil in an electric blender until the mixture has the consistency of whipped cream.
- Preventing DNA Alterations: Some honey varieties, including buckwheat honey, have even been found to help reverse some DNA mutations that cause disease and cancer by inhibiting the free radicals.
- Lower Cholesterol: It has been found that buckwheat honey can aid in lowering blood cholesterol levels, improve cardiovascular health, and sometimes even lower high blood pressure.
- Calming Cough: In one study, the use of buckwheat honey as a remedy for children’s nighttime coughs brought on by respiratory illnesses like colds was explicitly examined. The study discovered that buckwheat honey was superior to over-the-counter cough syrup in terms of effectiveness. It is particularly effective with flu-related sore throats and coughs due to its antioxidant activity and more medicinal ingredients than common honey. Notably, locally sourced honey is a great way to prevent seasonal allergies.
How Does Buckwheat Honey Help Coughs?
Buckwheat honey has been used as a cough remedy for centuries. It is thought to work by coating the throat and soothing irritated tissues. Some studies have shown that buckwheat honey was more effective than over-the-counter cough medicines in reducing coughing and promoting sleep quality.
Buckwheat honey has a high concentration of flavonoids. These plant-based compounds have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They help to soothe the throat and airways, and they can also help to break up mucus.
The honey also contains propolis, which bees use to build their hives. Propolis has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which make it effective at fighting infections.
Though not widely studied, when compared to the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, the results of another study that the Penn State College of Medicine carried out found that giving children small amounts of buckwheat honey before bedtime helped relieve coughing that occurred during the night.
One study found that buckwheat honey was particularly effective at relieving dry coughs.
How to Use Buckwheat Honey for Cough?
Take 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) of honey at bedtime to use buckwheat honey as a cough remedy. You can also add honey to warm tea or lemonade. Do not give honey to children under one year of age. If your cough persists, see your doctor.
Be sure to buy honey that is 100% pure and has not been processed in any way. You can find buckwheat honey at most health food stores.
Is Buckwheat Honey Expensive?
Prices typically range between $4 and $5 for 100g in the U.S. and £1.50 and £2.50 for 100g in the U.K.
Since it is hard to find buckwheat honey in shops or farmer’s markets, except if you live in an area where buckwheat is grown commercially, many people buy it online.
Buckwheat honey, a “superfood,” is a great natural cough remedy. It is packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Buckwheat honey is also less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other types of honey. Give buckwheat honey a try the next time you have a cough!
Depending on where you live, buckwheat honey is best purchased from a nearby farm, beekeeper, or farmer’s market. It is also available online.
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FAQs | Buckwheat Honey is Super Good
Does buckwheat honey expire?
Buckwheat honey does not expire, but it may crystallize over time. Store your buckwheat, and honey, in a cool, dark place to prevent this. If your honey does crystallize, place the jar in a pot of warm water (reread it, it’s WARM and NOT HOT/BOILING WATER) and stir until the crystals dissolve.
How long does buckwheat honey last?
Buckwheat honey typically has a shelf life (best consumed before) of around two years. However, storing it properly can last for much longer and may never expire. To extend the shelf life of buckwheat honey, store it in a cool, dark place.
Does buckwheat honey taste good?
Buckwheat honey has a strong flavor that some people find pleasant. Others find it too intense and prefer milder-tasting honey. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference.
Is buckwheat honey raw?
Yes, buckwheat honey is raw. Buckwheat honey is made from the nectar of buckwheat flowers and has not been heated or processed in any way.
Why does buckwheat honey smell?
Buckwheat honey is known for its strong, earthy aroma. This is because buckwheat flowers are fragrant and contain a lot of nectar. When bees collect nectar from these flowers, it becomes concentrated in the honey and gives it its characteristic smell.
Is buckwheat honey sweet?
Buckwheat honey is a dark purple, robust honey with a strong, molasses-like flavor. It is not as sweet as some other types of honey but has a unique taste that many people enjoy.
Is buckwheat honey safe during pregnancy?
Yes, buckwheat honey is safe during pregnancy. This type of honey is rich in vitamins and minerals, which can help support a healthy pregnancy. Additionally, buckwheat honey is effective in reducing the risk of certain congenital disabilities.
How much buckwheat honey should I eat a day?
It depends on individual needs and preferences. However, a general guideline is consuming 1-2 tablespoons of buckwheat honey daily. This can be added to food or beverage or consumed straight from the spoon.
Is buckwheat honey low fodmap?
Yes, buckwheat honey is low fodmap.
Can buckwheat honey go bad?
Buckwheat honey can go bad if it is not stored correctly. If the honey is exposed to heat or light, it will begin to deteriorate and eventually go bad. To prevent this, store buckwheat honey in a dark, cool place.
Does buckwheat honey have gluten?
No, buckwheat honey does not have gluten. Buckwheat is a type of grain that is naturally gluten-free. Therefore, buckwheat honey is also gluten-free.
Does buckwheat honey crystallize?
Yes, buckwheat honey can crystallize. Crystallization is a natural process when the glucose in the honey forms crystals. The rate this happens depends on the ratio of glucose to fructose in the honey and the temperature.
Is buckwheat honey good for sore throat?
Buckwheat honey is a good option for sore throat because of its high viscosity. This means that it coats the throat and provides a barrier against irritants. Additionally, buckwheat honey has antimicrobial properties that can help to fight infection.
What is sage buckwheat, honey?
Sage buckwheat honey is a type of honey produced from the nectar of sagebrush flowers. This type of honey is known for its dark color and intense flavor. Sage buckwheat honey is typically used in baking or as a sweetener for tea.
Why is buckwheat honey so dark?
Buckwheat honey is dark because it is made from the nectar of buckwheat flowers. This type of honey has a strong, distinct flavor that some people love, and others find too intense. Buckwheat honey not only looks like molasses, but it also has a similar flavor. It has a hint of spiciness, and malty undertones dominate the flavor. Buckwheat honey is also known for its health benefits, as it is high in antioxidants than other types of honey.
Is buckwheat honey vegan?
Buckwheat honey is not vegan. Buckwheat is a type of grain, and honey is made from beeswax, an animal product.
Is buckwheat honey good for diabetics?
Buckwheat honey has a lower glycemic index than other types of honey, which means it doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels. This makes it a good choice for diabetics.
Is buckwheat honey safe for toddlers?
Yes, buckwheat honey is safe for toddlers. There is no evidence that buckwheat honey poses more risks to toddlers than any other type of honey.
- ScienceDirect: Biochemical properties, antibacterial and cellular antioxidant activities of buckwheat honey in comparison to manuka honey
- ACS Publications: Buckwheat Honey Increases Serum Antioxidant Capacity in Humans
- ACS Publications: Identification and Quantification of Aroma-Active Components that Contribute to the Distinct Malty Flavor of Buckwheat Honey
- ScienceDirect: Physicochemical quality parameters, antibacterial properties and cellular antioxidant activity of Polish buckwheat honey
- ScienceDirect: Protective effects of buckwheat honey on DNA damage induced by hydroxyl radicals
- Hindawi: Phenolics and Carbohydrates in Buckwheat Honey Regulate the Human Intestinal Microbiota
- The Royal Society: Polyphenol profile of buckwheat honey, nectar and pollen
- Healthline: Buckwheat Honey: Benefits, Uses, and More
- GeesBees: Is Buckwheat honey better than Manuka honey?
- Bees Wiki: What Is Buckwheat Honey? | How It’s Produced & Benefits
- Delighted Cooking: What Is Buckwheat Honey?
- Cooking Love to Know: Buckwheat Honey & Its Benefits (Backed by Studies)
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Editor’s Note: The articles on this website are not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, treatment, or advice. You should always consult with your physician before beginning any new diet or exercise program and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you have an emergency, please call 911.