What is Sundarban and Sundarban Honey?
The Sundarbans are among the largest contiguous mangrove forests of the world and are the source of a variety of products that are consumed by humanity in one way or another.
Sundarban honey is one of them. It is an important Non-timber forest product or NTFP of the Sundarban Honey and has been demanded from far and wide for its nutritional value and purity.
The Production and Demand of Sundarban Honey
Honey hunting has been practiced for centuries in the Sundarbans. If we talk about the current business of honey hunting in the Sundarbans then around two thousand honey collectors work in the forest to collect highly nutritious Sundarban honey and beeswax.
As per the website of West Bengal, the state that regulates Sundarbans, around 25,000 kg of honey is collected each year from beehives in the wild in the Sundarbans.
The commercial annual production of Sundarban honey is around 20,000 tonnes, of which about 20% caters to domestic markets.
The largest chunk of Sundarban honey is shipped out to the US, Germany, UK, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Morocco, Canada, and UAE. The figures are not trivial and nor are its demands worldwide.
Before, we proceed any further; let us make you aware of the topics that we will be taken for discourse in this post. The core topic would be Sundarban honey and we’ll answer the following questions related to Sundarban honey in this post.
- Which honey bees produce Sundarban honey?
- How Is Sundarban Honey Collected from Sundarban’s Wild Swamps?
- What are the therapeutic effects of Sundarban honey?
So, without further ado, let’s move on to our first topic for consideration.
Which Honey Bees Produce Sundarban Honey?
The Sundarbans are home to three different honeybee species. The names of these honey bee species are as follows:
- Apis Dorsata, commonly known as the giant honey bee
- Apis Cerena aka the eastern honey bee, Asiatic honey bee, or Asian honey bee
- Apis Florea aka The dwarf honey bee or red dwarf honey bee
As per forest conservators of the Sundarbans, that the bulk of Sundarban Wild honey is collected from Apis dorsata that are regionally called Chak moumachhi since this honey bee species is the dominant one in the Sundarbans geography.
How Is Sundarban Honey Collected from Sundarban’s Wild Swamps?
Honey hunting in the Sundarbans’ saline wetlands is a hazardous profession. However, Honey hunters, centuries-old traditional wisdom, prayers to Bon Bibi (the Forest Goddess).
the experience of honey hunting in the swamps of Sundarbans extract Sundarban honey directly from hives that are sometimes only an arm’s length away from claws of bears and tigers.
The collection of Sundarban honey from the wilds of Sundarban is a seasonal activity that takes place in the months of April and May. Every year, the Sundarban Tiger Reserve issues honey collecting licenses.
Honey hunters enter the deep mangrove jungle inhabited by the Royal Bengal Tiger after obtaining permission to harvest the tastiest produce of the forest, honey.
The Sundarban honey so collected is either
- marketed individually or via cooperative groups on domestic and international markets.
- The honey is stored in several Tiger Reserve godowns before being handed over to the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation Limited, WBFDCL.
The honey gathered by WBFDCL is then transferred in raw form to WBFDCL’s processing factories in Kolkata, where it is processed, bottled, and eventually sold to markets; and from where it eventually reaches our plates.
This concludes today’s post. We hope that our efforts have provided you with an answer to your query.
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Sundarban honey: An Elixir from Mother Nature
The Sundarbans are home to 64 plant species, 33 of which are medicinal. Sundarban honey, according to experts of Sundarban geography and Sundarban forest conservation, is a “concoction” of medicinal flora of the Sundarbans.
Sundarban Honey includes around 180 distinct chemicals, including organic acids, trace elements, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and proteins; nevertheless, carbohydrates constitute the predominant group of compounds by weight, with roughly 26 mono- and di-saccharides.
This honey includes phenolic components such as gallic, vanillic, and trans-Cinnamic acids, as well as three flavonoids: naringin, rutin, and quercetin, making it a strong source of natural antioxidants.
Many research publications have been written about the therapeutic properties of Sundarban honey.
Sundarban Honey for the Speedy Recovery of Liver and Kidney Patients
Sundarban honey protects the liver and kidneys against oxidative stress-induced damage.
Sundarban honey’s antioxidant qualities have also been discovered to protect consumers against acetaminophen (APAP)-induced acute hepatic and renal damage. Acetaminophen, often known as Paracetamol, is a widely used painkiller and antipyretic.
APAP is a safe medicine when used in therapeutic amounts, but due to its widespread availability, it is frequently overdosed. Overdosing on APAP has the potential to cause hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity.
Sundarban Honey for the Protection against Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress is defined as a disruption in the equilibrium between the formation of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and antioxidant defenses.
It is linked to cancer, mutagen production, aging, atherosclerosis, and a variety of chronic and degenerative disorders.
The potential function of oxidative stress in the creation of tissue damage in diabetes mellitus is explored. Sundarban honey has a remarkable antioxidant capacity, which helps to protect the consumer from oxidative stress.
Sundarban Honey for Cardiovascular Diseases
Sundarban honey contains phenolic substances such as acaetin, caffeic acid, quercetin, galangin, and kaempferol, as well as other phenolic compounds that might be used as medicines to treat cardiovascular ailments.
When You Should Avoid Sundarban Honey?
You should avoid the consumption of honey in the following 5 cases:
- In case of Overdose: it is ideal to take two to three spoonfuls of Sundarban honey twice a day. However, taking a dose higher than these limits might develop the conditions of nausea, vomiting, and sometimes diarrhea in the consumer.
- Infancy: When the consumer of Sundarban honey is less than a year’s age.
- A Concoction of Sundarban honey and Ghee.
- Boiled Sundarban honey: A boiling any honey, in general, causes harmful chemical changes. Hence, do not consume Boiled Sundarban honey or any honey. Furthermore, drinking the concoction of Sundarban Honey with boiling hot water or milk might also have detrimental effects on your health.
- Combination of Honey with Radish: you should also avoid all those dishes where Radish has been combined with Sundarban honey since the combination of Sundarban honey can be toxic.