Honey is delicious and has several health benefits. However, it has been known to be harmful to humans and some animals.
When honeybees collect nectar from poisonous flowers that have toxic substances, they are not harmed. However, if honey is made from this nectar, it can cause harm or death to humans, and some other animals. Here are some of those plants.
Rhododendron poticum (Azalea pontica), has alkaloids,which are harmful to humans. This honey, “maddening” honey, is believed to have poisoned Roman troops in the first century BCE, thus causing them to lose the war. Aristotle, Xenophon, Strabo, Pliny of Elder, and Columella are also documented as being affected after eating this honey.
Kalmis latifolia (spoonwood), is the state flower of Connecticut and Pennsylvania. No part of this flower is safe for consumption. Honey made from its nectar has the same results as the honey made from nectar from the Adromeda flower. An autopsy usually shows gastrointestinal problems and bleeding. It is not only harmful to humans, but to other animals such as the horses, goats, sheep, and deer.
Melicope temata(Wharangi bush), is located in New Zealand. It is said that anyone who eats honey made from the nectar from this plant can die quickly. Although harmful to humans, it is the food source to animals such as the caterpillars and the belid weevils.
Oleander(Neric um oleander), is believed to be one of the most poisonous plants known. Eating honey made from the nectar causes, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, seizures, even comas. It is also toxic to grazing animals such as sheep, horses, and cattle.
Opium poppy( papaver somniferous), Several well-known narcotics such as opium, heroin, morphine, codeine, and other less known such as papaverine, and noscapine are extracted from this widely grown plant. Narcotic opium honey, has also being made from this plant. This honey would have the same effect on the human body, any other narcotics.
Adromeda (Bog rosemary), has a substance called grayanotoxin which cause humans, who eat honey made from its nectar, to become paralyzed in their limbs and then the diaphragm, constricting breathing, which leads to death.
Honey is graded based on its, soluble solids, water content, flavor, aroma, clarity, absence of defects, and color. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), sets the standards for this grading.
Grade A – Good Grade B – Reasonably Good Grade C – Fairly Good Good D – Poor, Fail