What is Sourwood Honey?
Sourwood honey is one of the three best honeys in America and favored across the world. It has won three out of six world champion honey contests. Sourwood honey comes from the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia, North Carolina and parts of Tennessee. It is harvested from June to July, when the Sourwood trees are beautifully blooming.
Sourwood Honey got its name from the sour taste of its leaves, which have been used as a thirst-quencher by hikers and mountain climbers. However, it definitely doesn’t have a sour taste.
Sourwood honey has a very unique taste: aromatic, floral and buttery. It also, unlike the dark rich taste of tulip poplar trees, sourwood honey has an ultra light, amber color. It’s flavor is so favorable that it is even strongly desired by food connoisseurs all over the world. It smells like a combination of cinnamon, cloves and anise.
Sourwood Honey Nutrition Facts
Only when you source raw, natural Sourwood Honey, will you make the most from the benefits it offers. This is because just like milk, honey is often pasteurized to help extend its shelf life. However, this kills most of its beneficial nutrients, enzymes and vitamins present in Sourwood honey’s raw form. For this reason, stick to raw honey!
In just one tablespoon, one serving of Sourwood honey has 60 calories, packing in 17 grams of carbohydrates and 0 grams of fat and protein.
It has a rich vitamin and mineral profile, high in vitamin A, C, D, and E. Furthermore, it is abundant in B vitamins including thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and other amino acids. B vitamins play a role in your metabolic processes, energy levels and brain function. B vitamins combined with the carbohydrates already present in the honey makes this treat a great energy booster for your body.
Sourwood honey, like most raw honeys, contains trace minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, which are vital to our health.
Health Benefits of Sourwood Honey
All varieties of honey have been found to have health benefits, but these health benefits are unique to the remarkable Sourwood honey itself.
1. Anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties
Honey has been used for wound healing since ancient times. It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties promote the healing process of a wound.
When applied to a wound, the acidic pH of honey, between 3.2 and 4.5, encourages the blood to release oxygen which is beneficial for wound healing. The acidic pH also reduces the presence of proteases (which are usually present between a pH of 4 and above). Proteases are enzymes that break down proteins into amino acids and peptides. Too much protease activity can impair the wound healing process and make your wound harder to heal.
Furthermore, the natural sugar from the Sourwood honey also contributes to its healing properties. Because sugar has an osmotic effect (draws water out of tissues), it soaks up any moisture that allows the bacteria cells to survive. When the wound is not contained with bacteria, it can heal much quicker.
2. Rich in Antioxidants
Sourwood honey is abundant in antioxidants including flavonoids, phenolic acids, carotenoid derivatives, organic acids, amino acids and more. These antioxidants have several preventative effects against health diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory disorders, neurological degeneration and aging in general.
Antioxidants help to fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals come from the regular metabolic processes that occur in your body, but can also be generated from external variables including UV radiation, poor diet, and air pollutants.
So when you protect these oxidative reactions from occurring by consuming honey, you are able to keep those tissues healthier for longer periods of time.
3. Relieving cold and cough symptoms
It is sourwood honey’s antioxidants, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that makes it the perfect medicine to fight off colds, coughs and other flu symptoms.
Its viscous nature also helps soothe a sore throat naturally and its rich nutrient profile helps benefit the immune system, which not only helps you recover faster but also prevent the chances of a common cold in the future.
In one study, 139 children were suffering from coughing and it was found that honey did a better job of easing nighttime coughs and improving sleep than the popular cough suppressant dextromethorphan and even antihistamine.
4. Boosts Energy
Sourwood honey can instantly benefit your energy level.
Due to the natural sugars in honey, it proves a healthy source of calories and energy whenever the body needs them the most. Sourwood honey easily fights fatigue and satisfies the body’s innate cravings for something that tastes sweet.
This is because of the chemical compound of honey, it is composed of fructose and glucose sugars which are easily digested by the body. Once digested, the body can easily convert the honey into energy. It also is calorically dense, with only 20 g of honey providing 3% of your daily energy requirements.
Sourwood Honey Recipe Ideas
The distinctive taste of this honey is perfect for incorporating into your cooking. You can of course simply drizzle it over pancakes, cheeses, breads, granola and oatmeal, but another way is to use it in your cooking, for sauces, marinades, muffins and more. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Honey Garlic Chicken
Peanut Butter, Strawberry and Honey Toasts
Honey Mustard Glazed Carrots
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This blog was written by Yara Mersi