Chestnut honey

It is considered to be an important apiculture plant and it is proven by the excellent quality of pollen as well as the high nutritional value of the nectar it produces
Chestnut is a tree that is widely used throughout the mountainous area of Greece. Chestnut honey is a special case of honey because although it is considered to be flowering, it has honeycomb characteristics as it is produced both by the chestnut nectar (Castanea sativa) and by the honeycomb secretions produced by the Myzocallis castanicola aphid that is found on the lower surface of of chestnut leaves, but also on the echinaceous cups which surrounding its fruits.

Honeycomb secretions begin in May and continue until July. The source of chestnut, then, is a mixture of nectar from Castaneasativa, the Greek chestnut and honeycomb from its parasite Myzocalliscastanicolla. Chestnut honey is a very limited production honey and is mainly collected in the regions of Macedonia (Mount Athos) and Arcadia. The color of this varies depending on the place of origin from light to dark brown, even black or reddish when it comes to honeycomb. Chestnut honey is a highly aromatic honey and has a characteristic long lasting odor. Its taste is also strong, intense, slightly bitter and lasting and accompanies the strong impression that arises from its aroma. In fact, the taste and aroma of chestnut honey is so strong and characteristic that a small proportion of it can outweigh the taste of other honeys. Chestnut honey contains a large amount of undiluted pollen grains and its strong taste is due to this high content of pollen grains. Its slightly bitter aftertaste and the fact that it is a moderately sweet honey make the chestnut perfect for flavor combinations, being a great accompaniment to grilled meats and smoked cheeses. Chestnut honey stays in liquid form without crystallization for a long time (1-2 years) because it has high fructose content and low glucose levels.

Chestnut honey, in addition to its particular organic taking properties (color, taste, aroma), is unique in its properties. Chestnut honey has been found to have significant antimicrobial activity against various microorganisms such as Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, Helicobacter pylori and the two species of Candida ( Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus subtilis, Helicobacter pylori, Candida tropicalis, Candida albicans). It also has a high bacteriostatic effect as chestnut flower honey is of particular biological nature to prevent the development of bacterial infections in humans. It is characteristic that in Italy chestnut honey was traditionally used to cover chronic wounds, burns and skin ulcers, precisely because of its antibacterial activity. In addition, it enhances mental clarity, helps with pregnancy and venous insufficiency, and has antimicrobial action on the gut. It also has astringent, disinfectant and healing properties which are particularly useful in the urinary and digestive tract. At the same time, it can act as an astringent in cases of dysentery while helping to regulate the circulatory system, aiding the functioning of the gastrointestinal system and having a high antioxidant effect. Finally, it has sweating properties, accelerates blood circulation and is a very good ‘tonic’ for the body.

The high nutritional value of chestnut is due to the fact that it is rich in trace elements and amino acids. Chestnut honey is probably the richest in trace elements such as potassium, magnesium, manganese, barium as well as in fructose and tanins due to the chestnut tree.
In addition, chestnut honey has a particularly high content of minerals. A comparative study conducted on pure Greek honey found that the total content of chestnut in seven minerals (K, Na, Ca, Mg, Mn, Zn, Fe, Cu) was twice that of thyme honey and cotton honey. The highest concentrations were mainly potassium, calcium and magnesium. Also in this honey you find a high content of pollen (pollen grains). This is also one of its main advantages as the strong presence of its pollen increases its nutritional value. Finally, chestnut on organic taking overshadows other honeys because it contains high fructose and low glucose levels. It is recommended for the elderly and babies, for those who exercise, for those who have prostate or prostatitis problems and for people with diabetes. In conclusion, chestnut is not only a food of high nutritional value, but it is also extremely beneficial to human health.