Plant Content of Honey

Chestnut

Chestnut is the general name for trees that constitute the Castanea genus in the Fagaceae family, as well as their edible seeds. The word “chestnut” is claimed to be derived from “Kastania”, an ancient Greek city in the Thessaly region. It is strongly probable that Anatolia is the home of this species. It grows especially in the Marmara, Aegean and Black Sea regions of Turkey. According to ancient Greek and Roman authors, chestnut was taken from Anatolia to Greece, and from Greece to Southern Italy and Spain in the 5th century BC.

Made from the nectar of the chestnut flower and colloquially called “wild honey", chestnut honey is dark brown, has a sour and slightly bitter taste and smells like chestnut, and is a major source of health. Another characteristic of chestnut honey, which is a tree honey, is that it is packed after only being filtered, without any heat treatment, since it is a relatively fluid honey. It crystallizes very slowly.

Also deemed a natural antibiotic, chestnut honey has been determined to have a high content of polyphenolic substances, and consequently, antioxidant activity. Organic chestnut honey contains many vitamins and a considerable amount of iron.

 

 

 


Pine - Pinus

These are coniferous species that consist of forest trees of the Pinus genus in the Pinaceae family. Turkey is home to five dwarf-shoot, bifoliate pine species: Scots Pine, Black Pine, Aleppo Pine, Turkish Pine and Stone Pine.

Pine honey is a type of honeydew honey. Bees collect the nutrients excreted by an insect species living on pine trees, and make pine honey from them. Therefore, pine honey contains nutrients and enzymes not found in other types of honey. Genuine pine honey is a true source of health. It stands out with its unique odor and color. It has a low glucose and fructose content. The most important characteristics of pine honey is that it can be stored for a long time without crystallizing or losing its consistency. In Turkey, pine honey is produced in Marmaris, Aydın, the vicinity of Kuşadası, Çanakkale, and certain areas of Mount Ida.

 

 

 

 


SAINFOIN - Onobrychis sativa

This is a short-lived perennial forage legume from the Fabaceae family. It is very resistant to cold weather and drought. It grows well on barren and lime soil, where other plants cannot grow. It has a good forage quality and is rich in proteins. Onobrychis sativa has a high nutrient value and is rich in calcium, phosphor and other minerals. It releases nitrogen to the soil through its roots. It is a very good nectar plant.

 

 

 

 


Echium Vulgare

This is a feathery plant with hard leaves from the Boraginaceae family, whose species are grown as ornamental plants. It is a perennial plant with a height between 30 and 50 cm. It grows naturally in Turkey and is widely seen especially on roadsides. It is abundant in Kırklareli, İstanbul, Bursa, Bolu, Kastamonu, Sinop, Samsun, Giresun, Erzurum, Çorum and Ankara. It looks very beautiful with its lilac-blue flowers. Echium vulgare is a major source of nectar. Honey made from this flower is high-quality and crystallizes very slowly. It is light yellow and has a tasty aroma.

 

 

 

 


Centaurea Cynaus (Cornflower)

Centaurea Cynaus, also known as “cornflower”, is a curative plant from the Asteraceace family and is found in Central Europe. It grows especially on crop farms in warm regions. The flowers of this annual herbaceous plant can grow up to a meter. The flowers are blue or violet. Centaurea Cynaus contains bitter substances, salts, glucoside, yellow substance, flavones and blue pigments.

 

 

 

 


Astragalus

This is the common name for a small herbaceous bush in the Fabaceae family, which has around 2,000 species depending on the region where it grows. Chinese Astragalus is used particularly for medical purposes. Present in Turkey for years, many astragalus species grow there naturally. Astragalus microcephalus and Astragalus gummifer are known as “Turkish tragacanth” and “Anatolian tragacanth”. The gum called "tragacanth", used in water marbling, is extracted from astragalus gummifer. Tragacanth is also used as a medicine. Astragalus honey is antibacterial. It is an efficient source of energy because it quickly mixes with blood. It is hematinic.

 

 

 

 


Eryngium Campestre

This plant is a member of the Apiaceae family. It is abundant in Mediterranean countries, in Southern Russia and Northern Africa. It is around 50-60 cm tall, has a greenish grizzly stem, is very thorny and short-stemmed. In Anatolia, it grows widely in coastal regions, and on non-calcareous soil, sunny regions, roadsides and farms. Its flowers are whitish, bluish or green. On its top, it has 1.5 cm white feathers that shed in time. The seeds are used for medical purposes.

 

 

 

 


Erica

This is the common name for more than 700 flowering plant species in the Ericaceae family. Many species exist in the form of bushes. Over 600 sub-species are native to South Africa. Around 70 sub-species grow in other regions of Africa, the Mediterranean basin and Europe. Erica, which spreads naturally in the Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Sea regions and Thrace in Turkey, has species that flower in spring and fall. The flowers are pink and purple and make a rich source of nectar and pollen for bees. Erica honey has a unique flavor and a slightly bitter taste, is very consistent and valuable.

 

 

 

 


Gundelia tournefortii

This is a feathery, perennial, milky, thorny herbaceous plant in the Asteraceae family, and is 40-50 cm tall. In Turkey, it grows abundantly in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia, the Mediterranean region and the Aegean region. Gundellia tournefortii, which can be consumed as a dish, salad or pickle after peeling the shell of its fresh branches, is deemed sacred in Babylon (Mesopotamia) as the Royal Food of Babylon. It is a curative plant with medically proven benefits. Gundelia tournefortii gum is made from the milk extracted by cutting its stems. Gundelia coffee is made by roasting and milling the ripe heads of the plant.

 

 

 

 


Gaillardia

This is a drought-resistant and perennial plant in the Asteracea family and is endemic to North America. It has many single-layered or multilayered flowers of various colors, and big, feathery leaves. The fruits contain volatile oils, tannin, resin and inulin. The roots contain two alkaloids called senecin and senecionin.

 

 

 

 


Trifolium incarnatum

This is an annual plant that grows vertically to reach a height of 20-50 cm, and is a member of the Fabaceae family. Incarnatum, which is a part of the name of the species, means "blood red." It is mainly found in forestsides, farms and roadsides. Trifolium incarnatum is widely grown for cattle and other farm animals since it is a forage legume rich in proteins. It has a high pollen and nectar quality. It is essential to beekeeping. Trifolium incarnatum honey has a very nice taste and odor. It is very light yellow and crystallizes quickly.

 

 

 

 


Thyme - Thymus, Thymbra, Origanum, Coridothymus, Satureja

Thyme is the common name for several plant species that grow on green fields, farms, forestsides and meadows. It is known for its unique odor and is a member of the Lamiaceae family. In Turkey, thyme grows naturally in Ankara, Amasya, Çankırı, Kastamonu, Bolu, Trabzon and Kütahya.

It contains 1% volatile oil (containing thymol, carvacrol, cymol, linalol and borneol), bitter essences, tannin, flavonoide and terpenoid. The substances thymol and carvacrol give thyme its pleasant odor. Thyme honey is light golden-yellow. It has a very delicious taste and flavor, and is very rich in enzymes.

 

 

 

 


Anchusa officinalis

This is a herbaceous plant in the Boraginaceae family and may be annual or biennial. It grows horizontally or vertically, and has many branches. Its feathers are brushy and thorn-like, or hard and stinging. Europe, Africa and Eastern Asia are home to 30 Anchusa species that grow naturally. This plant is seen very often on farms and steppes. Its height varies from 20 to 150 cm. The flowers are mostly blue, but it is sometimes possible to see pink and white flowers as well. In Turkey, it grows naturally in Tekirdağ, İstanbul, Bursa, Ankara, Samsun, Artvin, Kars, Çanakkale, Yozgat, Elazığ, Bitlis, Ağrı, Muğla, Antalya, Konya, Adana, Kahramanmaraş, Van and Mardin.

 

 

 

 


Trifolium repens

This is a very valuable forage legume in the Fabaceae family. It grows in places with a humid and chilly climate. Trifolium repens is present in all chilly climate zones of the world, including the Northern Pole. It grows naturally in the meadows of Turkey, and is an essential plant for beekeeping and soil conservation. It is a sought-after forage legume in livestock and dairy farming thanks to its dry and green leaves, and is also a major source of nectar for bees. Trifolium repens honey has a very mild and delicious taste.

 

 

 

 


Trifolium pratense

This is a short-lived perennial plant in the Fabaceae family, and is widely planted. It grows wild in grassy fields and meadows, farms and roadsides. Trifolium is abundant in Europe and Turkey. It is colloquially called “tirfilin yonca” (“trifolium" means “three-leaved” in Latin). It is also known as “çayır dutu” ("meadow mulberry") in Erzurum and its vicinity. Stems can grow as tall as 40 cm, the short leaves are oval, featherless and hard-veined, with fine-toothed ends. The flowers are lilac or purple. Approximately one-hundred trifolium species grow in Turkey.

It is planted as a forage legume in livestock farming since it is rich in proteins. Trifolium adds nitrogen to the soil, and is used as green manure in the following year. Trifolium pratense also contains silica and calcium. It is a very efficient blood cleanser and is used for the treatment of fresh wounds, and the flowers can be dried and consumed as a tea.

 

 

 

 


Ceratonia siliqua

This species in the Fabaceae family exists in the form of green bushes or trees, and grows naturally in the entire area affected by the Mediterranean climate. The fruits are edible. Ceratonia is a long-lived scrub that grows around 10 meters tall. The leaves are hard and dark-green.

In Turkey, it grows in small and large groups in the districts Alanya, Manavgat and Gazipaşa in Antalya, the districts Anamur, Erdemli, Bozyazı, Aydıncık, Gülnar and Silifke in Mersin, and the districts Marmaris and Datça in Muğla.

The fruits of this tree can reach 15-20 cm. The middle layer of the fruit is soft and sweet. It has been known for about 5,000 years. It was used in desserts and consumed as sugar until a few centuries ago.

Each fruit contains hard-shelled seeds. The seeds contain a substance called trigosol.

 

 

 

 


Acacia

Acacia is a green-leaved and thorny ornamental and shade-bearing tree in the Fabaceae family. It exists mostly in the form of shrubs or trees, and sometimes bushes. Acacia has small leaves and bunches of flowers. It encompasses 600 species that grow naturally in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Some species particularly grow in Australia and also in Africa, Sudan, Central America and tropical regions of Asia. In Turkey, acacia widely grows especially along the Eastern Black Sea coast.

Flowers and leaves are used after being dried. The dried plant can be consumed as a herbal tea. Acacia has hundreds of species, some of which can be used to produce glue. The wood of some acacia species is boiled in water to make catechu, which is used in medicine, fabric dyeing and leather processing.

Acacia honey is a distinctive honey with a unique aroma and taste. It has been long used as a therapeutic and flavor. It is rich in nutrients and gives strength to the body. Acacia honey prevents microbial growth and has a wound-healing effect. It is successfully used in cases of stomatitis (aphtha, mouth sores) which is common in children.

 

 

 

 


Lavender - Lavandula

“Lavender” is the common name for the Mediterranean plant species that constitute the Lavandula genus in the Lamiaceae family. The word “lavender” is derived from the Latin word lavare, which means “washing”. This is because this highly aromatic plant can be used as a washing or bathing water. Lavender species, which grow in a huge area stretching from islands in the Atlantic to Mediterranean countries and India, are shrub-like plants with blue, purplish or red flowers in the form of stamina. Lavender grows on mountains at altitudes between 1,000 and 1,800 meters.

Today, it grows wildly and abundantly in Southern France, Central Italy, Spain and Greece. In Turkey, it is rather widely seen in the Western Mediterranean Region. Lavender is also cultivated in Bulgaria, England, the USA, North African countries and Turkey (Keçiborlu district of Isparta).

Lavender flower honey is a curative honey with antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It is really effective against vitiligo, psoriasis and skin spots caused by old age. Lavender honey crystallizes quickly due to its high pollen content.

 

 

 

 


Lamium album

This is a perennial plant in the Lamiaceae family, which grows in humid and fertile soil and may grow as tall as 50-100 cm, with quadrangular stems. It is colloquially called akısırgan as well. Lamium grows on fields, in shady areas and near fences. It is widely seen in Trabzon and its vicinity, the Kop Mountain in Bayburt, Erzurum, Bingöl Mountain and surroundings of Rize.

Young leaves of lamium album can be eaten, used in salads, or cooked as a vegetable. The flowers are boiled and dried to treat many diseases. The plant is also hemostatic. The flowers, after being boiled, are used to heal wounds.

 

 

 

 


Laminum galeobdolon

 

 

 

 


Lamium purpureum

 

 

 

 


Phacelia tanacetifolia

This is an annual plant that belongs to the Phacelia genus of the Hydrophillaceae family. It originates from North America. Phacelia grows naturally in forages near the coastline of California, and on mountainsides and hillsides in Nevada, USA.

It is among the best 20 honey plants as a source of nectar and pollen, and is planted in many countries particularly in front of bee yards for honey bees. In some European countries, on the other hand, beekeepers engaged in migratory beekeeping carry their colonies especially to areas where phacelia is planted. This plant, which produces high-quality honey, is not only a good forage plant, but is also grown as a medicinal plant.

 

 

 

 


TEASEL

Dipsacaceae is a plant family in the order Dipsacales. It consists of eight species that include annual, biennial, herbaceous and shrub-like species. It is native to Africa, Asia and Europe. Like in many countries, teasel is seen mostly on roadsides and forests in Turkey. The stems are covered with stinging thorns and bear large, thorny leaves. Flower heads of this species have been used for fabric raising since ancient times.