MAR 17, 2019 09:49 AM PDT

This Nepali honey makes you hallucinate

Honey is known to have multiple health benefits, as it is rich in antioxidants and has antibacterial and antifungal properties. But one type of honey found in Nepal only during a select few months of the year has another sort of effect: it's a hallucinogen. 

Called mad honey, the honey's hallucinogenic properties are a result of a substance called grayanotoxin that comes from rhododendron pollen. Rhododendron flowers cover the mountainsides of Nepal, blooming twice a year and producing this natural product. The honey must be harvested from the high cliffs where the bees build their combs. The Gurung people who live in the foothills of Annapurna have a tradition of harvesting the honey, though the harvest process itself is dangerous and must be carried out only by those who have received training from their elders. Want to learn more about this unique honey and the traditions behind it? Watch the video!

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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