Honey is one of the most attractive sweet foods in human history. It appeared in the Stone Age. Historians claim that the ancient people immediately learned about the benefits of nectar and used the wild bees honey as food. The ancient Egyptians made it a symbol of prosperity and wealth; it stood on the tables of the nobility.
In the modern world there are many varieties of honey. It is classified according to several characteristics. Useful properties and contraindications of linden or lime honey depend on the properties of linden tree. The type of tree also affects the color and taste.
Where Does It Come From?
Linden honey can be found in North America, the United Kingdom, other parts of Europe, and Asia. This type of honey is basically the same in all of these places, but goes by three different names; basswood honey, lime honey and linden honey. In North America, this honey is sometimes called Basswood honey, although it is more often called Lime honey, in the UK they call it Lime Honey usually because of the yellow-green color of the flowers, and in the rest of the world they call it Linden Honey. I will be using Lime Honey and Linden Honey in this article.
In North America, most of the trees that produce honey are linden trees. Some people who notice the tree during the wettest part of summer call it the “bee tree” because it produces a lot of nectar at this time and the bees love it so much.
The linden tree produces large amounts of nectar, up to 40 pounds per tree —that it’s possible for bees to gather a full ounce of nectar from each flower. When lime honey is at its freshest, it’s relatively clear with a green tinge that turns yellow. Due to its high glucose-fructose ratio, it crystallizes rapidly in about four months.
Since it is a light colored honey, people are surprised that it has such a strong flavor and aroma. Some say it smells woody at first, then they smell minty. The taste of linden honey is sweet, spicy and slightly bitter.
How Is Linden Honey Produced?
The production process of this honey is the same as for all other types of honey after the bee collects the linden nectar, it is mixed with an enzyme in the bee’s mouth. The enzyme itself is called invertase, or “bee enzyme,” and is secreted by the glands of honeybees.
When the bees return to the hive, they pass the collected lime tree nectar to each other and mix the nectar with “bee enzymes”. This reduces the moisture content, turning the nectar into honey. The lime honey is then put into the wax cells, but the water content may be too high at this point.
After this comes the process of reducing the moisture in the honey, this is done by the bees flap their wings over the wax cells, which in turn causes some of the water to evaporate.
At the end of this process, the lime honey will have about 20% water in it. Then it is closed with wax covers and the bees repeat the same procedure again. After this, the honey is completely ripe and cannot spoil.
What All Affects Producing Linden Honey?
Beekeepers who produce and sell linden honey face uncertainty about their harvest and yield of this honey. Although the linden tree has great potential to produce large amounts of honey, the weather often plays a major role in this.
While the flowers typically bloom for three weeks, changes in the weather can shorten the flowering period to just two days. It’s also possible that heavy rain washed away the nectar, as the flowers are very delicate and tend to drop in downpours.
In addition, seed production can also be hit or fail every three to four years. The average beekeeper can only expect a good harvest of honey in two to three out of five years.
Best Areas For Lime Honey Production
An area with a moderate climate is most suitable for the development of lime trees and is found throughout the northern hemisphere. This tree is very common in the United States and most of these trees are Tilia americana or Tilia americana var. heterophylla.
In the United States, they are often found in the eastern part of the country — usually east of the Mississippi River and around the Appalachian Mountains. The nectar flows from late spring to early summer, peaking when the weather gets wet. However, since the linden tree only produces nectar for three weeks, the bees must act quickly and efficiently.
Also, large quantities of lime honey are produced in Europe.
But as I mentioned, the amount of honey produced varies widely, mainly due to climatic conditions, which become more erratic each year.
Characteristics And Properties Of Lime Honey
Flower nectar is collected from the buds of shrubs and flowering trees. Type of honeydew shows that the bees collect secretions of sweet syrup that settles on the leaves of plants. The variety of linden can be a combination of two types: linden flowers form nectar, and honeydew secretions accumulate on the leaves. These properties give lime honey a special taste and aroma. The advantages of its use lie in the unique connection of different elements.
Linden is a unique tree that stems from mallow family which is widespread in the western parts of Europe and the European part of Russia. The tree reaches 40 meters of height and belongs to the deciduous type. Linden blossoms in July. Time may vary due to changes in weather conditions. The sweet smell of linden lingers in the air in summer, when bees work tirelessly around the buds and collect nectar.
The peculiarity of this type of honey lies in complete monoflorism. This means that the bees will collect all the last drops of nectar from a single tree without mixing with other varieties. After the honey is collected from the hives, lime honey acquires its own special characteristics that determine its useful properties.
The color shade of the product changes during a process of ripening. Freshly extracted honey will be transparent, amber in color with a rich shine of a golden hue. When it ripens, sediment appears in it: the color of the product becomes white due to gradual crystallization. Experts say that a ripe linden flower should be white.
The smell of lime honey cannot be described in words. That scent reminds you of sunny days in the middle of summer and the mixture of floral scents. Experts of the linden flower fragrance will recognize this variety by its peculiar scent.
The mature product has a thick consistency, but when it enters the mouth, it begins to melt. This is the sweetest variety of all. Such property is explained by the high content of sucrose in it.
For each variety the crystallization process is important, as it is an indicator of honey ripening.
The linden type of honey has average crystal formation. It remains liquid for about 90 days from the date of collection. Some varieties are capable of remaining in a liquid form for about a year.
Crystallization goes through several stages. First to appear is sediment that slowly sinks to the bottom. Gradually the structure becomes the same and the whole jar becomes crystallized.
Chemical Composition And Calorie Content Of Lime Honey
The benefits of lime honey for the human body are determined by the value of the elements found in its composition.
Calorie content -323 kcal.
Proteins -0.5g without fat and about 80g of carbohydrates on 100g.
|Ingredient||Per 100 Grams|
The product contains 16 useful amino acids.
- Pantothenic, folic, and ascorbic acid.
- Micro and macro elements: compounds of zinc, selenium, iodine, phosphorus, iron.
The honey connoisseurs claim that the amount of useful substances with their unique properties in lime honey reaches 400 in different stages of ripening.
What Are The Benefits Of Linden Honey?
The benefits of the linden flower apply to all body systems. It is used both internally and externally. These properties make it particularly popular.
The content of vitamins and amino acids makes the collection useful for those suffering from certain diseases of the digestive track. The elements have anti-inflammatory effect on the walls of the stomach.
It is considered that one of the useful and specific properties is an antipyretic effect: a few teaspoons of lime honey can normalize the body temperature. This is due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
This type also has diaphoretic effect, which is useful in fevers.
The content of flavonoids gives the product antioxidant and tonic properties.
The presence of ascorbic acid contributes to its active use for the treatment of diseases of the upper respiratory tract, which are often accompanied by edema of the throat mucosa, cough. Adding linden honey to a warm drink helps alleviate symptoms.
A cup of warm tea with a spoon of linden honey can act as a sedative, which can be very useful in stressful times.
Amino acids which are found in linden honey participate in metabolic processes at all levels of the body.
The anti-inflammatory effect of this honey explains its wide external use: it is recommended as one of the means to alleviate inflammation in the oral cavity. Small wounds and skin damages are softened by the use of linden honey.
The beneficial properties of linden honey are used by women in the preparation of skin and hair masks. There is also a possibility for external use in women. Aqueous solution with the addition of lime honey cures thrush. Application of such therapy during pregnancy is especially wanted. During such period it is recommended that medicines are not used unnecessarily in order not to harm the development of the fetus.
The use of this honey in men is for improving potency. In modern life men are often under stress, which leads to a decrease in metabolic processes in the body, problems with intestines.
Lime honey is useful in that it affects all body systems and its regular use stabilizes the reproductive system.
Despite the fact that small children love sweets, honey is not recommended to be included in the children’s menu before the age of 3. In the absence of health problems and special recommendations of pediatricians, sweets are to be gradually introduced into the diet so it would not harm a child’s development.
Over time, the habit of drinking warm milk with fragrant linden honey at night has a relaxing effect on children and helps them calm down and fall asleep.
Is It Safe To Consume Lime Honey During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a special period in a woman’s life: at this moment you have to deny yourself many favorite foods in order to avoid harm to the development of an unborn child.
Honey is to be taken with extreme caution during pregnancy. High fructose levels can trigger high blood sugar levels.
There is a high probability of developing an allergic reaction since honey is a plant based product. This effect can appear even in the absence of allergic reactions before pregnancy.
Is It Safe To Consume Linden Honey During Breastfeeding?
The product may not be useful for nursing mothers because of the possible harmful effect on the baby. Diathesis of the skin often develops in newborns and breastfed children.
Warm tea with the addition of minimal amount of linden honey helps increase lactation and saturates breast milk with additional useful nutrients. When carefully applied and analyzed, linden honey can be useful in optimizing the composition of breast milk.
Linden Honey For Weight Loss
When choosing a diet, women are led by what can and cannot be consumed. Linden honey for weight loss is useful for those who follow a carbohydrate diet.
Approach to this diet:
- exclusion from the menu of all sweet products except honey;
- increased fluid intake;
- adding fiber and lactic acid products for daily use.
The benefits of honey diet are based on the product’s ability to improve metabolism and promote active digestion of food.
Recipes Of Traditional Medicine With Linden Honey
The healing properties of linden honey are highly valued, despite contraindications. The popularity of linden honey has been growing since ancient times, during the century of its existence, traditional medicine has accumulated many recipes for all cases of diseases.
For Cough And Cold
Medicinal properties of lime honey are considered particularly valuable in treating the throat issues, as its benefits are truly unique.
The treatment begins with tea. Linden tea made from flowers has a good effect.
In case of a cold, it is recommended to drink warm water or tea with the addition of 1 tablespoon of linden honey.
In case of coughing attacks that disturb the sleep and exhaust the patient, it is recommended to keep one tablespoon of honey in the mouth until it dissolves completely. This technique helps relieve sore throat, removes swelling, and relieves spasms. A napkin coated with lime honey is places on the chest to treat bronchitis and pleurisy.
In Issues With Gastrointestinal Tract
Linden honey has a useful property-it affects the acidity of the stomach. To treat the disease of the gastrointestinal tract it is essential to know the exact indicators of acidity.
For people with increased acidity, the method of taking honey on an empty stomach is not suitable: it will cause damage that threatens inflammation.
Treatment of gastritis of any complexity includes adding honey to meals with complete removal of sugar.
For Mouth Ulcers And Stomatitis
For rinsing, use honey solution two times a day by dissolving one tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm water.
Gingivitis includes bleeding gums, the presence of wounds and micro damages of the mucous membrane of the oral cavity. Honey is used as an application to stop bleeding.
For Rapid Wound Healing
The antibacterial property of linden honey is useful in treating small wounds. A mixture of honey and vaseline in equal proportions is applied to the wounds.
Important! Such composition is not used for bleeding of the open wounds: it could be harmful.
For Eye Diseases
Putting honey behind the eyelid can only be done if there are no signs of acute inflammation.
Use Of Lime Honey In Cosmetology
The linden variety has been used in home cosmetology for many centuries.
Linden Honey For Hair Beauty
The benefits of linden honey for hair are known by world cosmetologists. This explains its use as an additive in the production of industrial products for cosmetic care.
Traditional beauty methods for hair are more effective because the base is a natural product without chemical impurities. Wash your hair at home with honey shampoo. It is prepared by mixing honey with an egg until smooth.
Hair lightening mask:
- 1 tablespoon of linden honey,
- One egg yolk.
The mixture is heated until homogeneous structure is obtained, which is then applied to hair for 30 minutes. Regular use lightens hair by 1-2 shades.
Linden Honey For Facial Skin
Face masks are especially popular. The texture, smell, and taste of such products are additional incentives for preparation..
Ingredients for all kinds:
- 1 tablespoon of linden honey,
- Castor oil 2-3 drops,
- Lemon juice 2-3 drops.
The mixture is applied to the face, and then rinsed after 20 minutes.
The benefits of such masks are noticeable when used regularly. They even out the complexion, promote active cell regeneration. The property of honey to alleviate inflammation helps with facial skin irritations and acne formation.
Side Effects And Contraindications
It is talked about the dangers of linden honey in terms of it being a product containing high sugar amounts. For anyone with blood clotting issues, lime honeycan be harmful.
Despite the fact that the product is recommended for the treatment of digestive system diseases, it could be harmful during the period of deterioration. In these kinds of situations one should seek an opinion of a gastroenterologist.
Linden honey may not be useful for those who are prone to allergic reactions. It is a strong allergen because of the herbal base and increased biological activity.
How To Distinguish Natural Linden Honey From Fake Honey?
Selling honey is a profitable business, which is why there is a system of product counterfeiting on the market. In order not to buy a product that can harm the body, it is better to buy only from reliable sellers.
With The Help Of Available Tools
There are additional methods for determining the naturalness of the product. One of the most popular home methods is dipping a stainless steel wire into a container with honey. With its natural composition, the wire will remain absolutely clean.
When honey is mixed in a glass of warm water, no harmful sediment will form: the natural product will be completely dissolved.
If you use the essence of vinegar, then the result of testing the falsified product will be the characteristic foaming and hissing of the honey and water solution.
Such counterfeits harm the health, so you should be especially careful when purchasing honey.
Difference Between Lime Honey Vs Regular Honey
Lime honey contains vitamins, macronutrients, minerals and acids. In total, it contains more than 400 substances and compounds. It contains more B vitamins as well as vitamin C, biotin and niacin than other types of honey.
Calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and other minerals are distributed almost the same in the human body and are easy to absorb. The taste of lime honey is sweet, spicy and slightly bitter.
Of course, in pristine state, it contains many, if not all, of the benefits listed above. In contrast, regular honey retains a certain standard industrial flavor and often lacks the key benefits and nutritional properties of raw honey.
This is usually because “regular” bulk honey is finely filtered and pasteurized, which unfortunately destroys many antibacterial and active elements. Studies have shown that processing honey can lower antioxidant levels by as much (or even more). A 30% reduction in these antioxidants would reduce the effectiveness of lime honey as an antimicrobial.
Is Linden Honey Vegan?
Honey is not considered vegan by the Vegan Society, and this includes Linden honey. They argue that because some beekeepers replace honey with sugar substitutes at harvest, it naturally lacks essential micronutrients and is harmful to bees.
They also believe that bees in traditional beekeeping are bred specifically for productivity. In their view, this would lead to a shrinking population gene pool and increased susceptibility to disease and mass mortality bees.
Vegan Society believe that many beekeepers do not allow the expansion of bee colonies, and they do this by clipping the wings of the queen to prevent her from starting a new colony and weakens the colony from which leaves. Therefore, the Vegan Society does not consider honey to be vegan. Of course, that doesn’t stop some vegans from arguing that it’s okay if they get their honey from reliable beekeepers.
Of course, there are beekeepers like this who only care about benefits and the highest possible yields. I personally condemn it and sometimes I am disgusted with some beekeepers. Because I believe that these wonderful instincts deserve our immense love.
The beneficial properties and contraindications of lime honey have clear explanations.
Moderate consumption of real honey is not harmful, it has a general strengthening effect on the body, and it helps in increasing natural immunity and maintaining it at a high level.