Greece with temperate climate supports growth of rich flora. There are a total of 7500 different varieties of flora in Greece of which 850 are found only in Greece. Long hours of sunshine and presence of wide variety of flora makes this nation a perfect place for apiculture. Different varieties of honey are available of which few varieties such as thyme honey and honey derived from aromatic plants can be found only in Greece. Thyme nectar is derived from the nectar of wild thyme and garden thyme species of Thyme. It is produced only during a very short period of the year from middle of June to middle of July.
Properties of thyme honey
- Light amber in color when present in liquid form. Turns to brown upon crystallization.
- Aromatic honey with strong herbal, resinous and savory flavors. Leaves an after taste.
- Crystallizes within a very short period after extraction in to fine grains.
- Possess a complex aroma that is mix of herbs, flowers, clove, Marsala and mulled wine.
- Contains high amount of pollen of which the thyme pollen is very less. A high quality monfloral thyme honey should contain at least 20 % of thyme pollen out of total pollen count .
Varieties of Thyme honey
Depending on the place of origin there are three different varieties.
- Siclian Mount Iblei honey: Wild thyme that grows in Iblei mountains is the source for this honey. Though the characteristic flavor is contributed by wild thyme it is also mixed with nectar derived from other plants. It is collected in the months of July and August.
- Sardinian and Corsican honey: This is derived from T.capitus and T.herba-barona of Italy. It shares all characteristics of other thyme honey but has got a very unique flavor and taste. Spicy component present in this honey adds a spicy tinge to the honey.
- New Zealand honey: This honey variety produced in New Zealand is produced from Thyme species T.vulgaris.
Benefits of Thyme honey
Thyme honey is well known for its amazing health benefits. Some key benefits include:
Serves as strong antioxidant: Thyme honey rich in antioxidants exert defensive mechanism in the body. They bind to the oxidants released during various metabolic reactions and prevent them from converting in to free radicals responsible for cell damage.
Prevents cancer: Regular consumption of thyme honey is found to prevent the progress of cancer related processes in endometrial cells, prostate cells and the breast cells. Thus, thyme honey prevents prostrate, breast and endometrial cancers.
Relieves sore throat : The antibacterial action helps to relieve even the worst cases of sore throat. Have it alone or mix it in herbal tea for best results. Greek drink Rakomelo made with Greek honey, grape based spirit tsipourou commonly known in Greece as raki, cloves and cinnamon sticks serves as perfect remedy for cough and cold .
Skin toner: Greek thyme honey face mask is an excellent remedy for rejuvenation of damaged skin. It even clears the skin pores preventing bacterial infections. Use of this Greek honey along with egg yolk and olive oil serves as an excellent remedy to dry skin. Prepare a face mask with oat meal and Greek honey to make the skin tight and healthy.
Cures wounds: The anti bacterial and anti fungal properties make it a perfect cure for wounds. It even cures burns. It absorbs moisture from the wounded portion contributing to faster wound healing and prevention of bacterial infection.
Treats cases of food poisoning: The strong anti bacterial action prevents the growth of salmonella and E.coli, bacteria found in cases of food poisoning. Hence, serves as a remedy to treat food poisoning.
Anti-cholesterol property: Like other Greek foods it is also rich in vitamins that support the metabolic reactions. Hence, it is attributed to have anti cholesterol properties.
Purchasing Pure Thyme honey
The beneficial components present in thyme honey get destructed when subject to heat. Hence, always choose certified organic thyme honey that is extracted below 37 degrees of temperature. This safe extraction process prevents the destruction of the defensive components such as enzymes and phenols. In fact, honey extracted above 45 degrees of temperature may initiate certain reactions resulting in release of toxins. Hence, purchase raw organic honey extracted carefully to preserve its natural components.
Popular Greek dessert with thyme honey
The best way to eat this Greek honey is by drizzling it over the special Greek yogurt. To spice up the taste add few nuts.
Greek honey with floral taste and mild bitterness is a part of Mediterranean diet. High amounts of vitamins and antioxidants present in it help you live long with good health. Have it with meat, cheese or as a substitute for sugar in sweet dishes. As it is available in only few places such as Greece, New Zealand and Italy make sure to choose suppliers from those nations to obtain pure Greek Thyme honey.