Raw Buckwheat honey is a dark-colored honey that is sweet and delicious, with a distinctive spicy-malt flavor and an aftertaste that is reminiscent of molasses. With a range of vitamins and minerals, as well as polyphenols antioxidants, honey made from buckwheat flowers has many health benefits, too. In fact, this type of honey is now recommended for children under six years of age as a healthier alternative to cough syrup.
One of the main health benefits of buckwheat honey is related to the honey’s dark color. It has been established that dark honeys are generally richer in antioxidants than lighter colored honeys. This is because the antioxidants that are present in honey are one of the chemicals which give it color. Honey made from buckwheat flowers contains a type of antioxidant called polyphenol, which gives the honey its distinctive dark copper color.
Darker honeys such as buckwheat also tend to contain more vitamins and minerals in addition to antioxidants. Buckwheat honey is a minor source of eighteen amino acids. This type of honey also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can hasten wound healing and may even reduce scarring.
Benefits of Buckwheat Honey
Buckwheat honey's full-bodied flavor isn't for everyone, but once accustomed to it, some people fall in love with its lingering aftertaste. Its dark color and taste are reminiscent of molasses, and it's a favorite in Europe. Darker honey like this, is said to contain more antioxidants. Antioxidants provide a defense against free radicals, and are said to help fight heart disease, cancer, and other maladies. Buckwheat honey is also a great source of iron. Other benefits include:
- Higher in mineral content
- No fat or cholesterol
- Provides quick energy
- Can be stored without refrigeration
Studies and Research
University of California (Antioxidants)
This rich, dark honey has also been the focus of a number of studies. Research done at University of California, Davis concluded that eating honey boosts antioxidantlevels. This was a small controlled study of 25 people who ate between four and ten tablespoons of buckwheat honey everyday for a month. The amount consumed was dependant on the individual's size. The honey could be eaten in whatever manner the participants wanted as long as it wasn't baked or dissolved in a hot liquid. The result was that antioxidant levels when up in all of the people participating. Researchers concluded that the honey had as many antioxidants as:
Another point that's worth mentioning regarding this study is that none of the people taking part in it gained weight during the study.
Penn State College of Medicine (For Coughs in Children)
Another study, this one conducted by Penn State College of Medicine, determined that small amounts of buckwheat honey administered before bedtime helped relieve nighttime coughing in children when compared to the cough suppressant dextromethorphan (DM). DM is no longer recommended for children age five and under because of its ineffectiveness and adverse side effects. The Penn State College of Medicine study determined that honey controlled not only the frequency of coughing but also the severity, and participants including adults and children experienced better quality of sleep.