What Is Acacia Honey: Learn About Acacia Honey Uses And Benefits
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Honey is good for you, that is if it isn’t processed and especially if it is acacia honey. What is acacia honey? According to many people, acacia honey is the best, most sought after honey in the world. Where does acacia honey come from? Maybe not where you think it does. Keep reading to find out the answers to these questions, as well as acacia honey uses and more fascinating acacia honey information.
What is Acacia Honey?
Acacia honey is usually colorless, although occasionally it has a tint of lemon yellow or yellow/green to it. Why is it so sought after? It is sought after because the nectar of the blossoms that produce acacia honey do not always produce a crop of honey.
So where does acacia honey come from? If you know a bit about trees and geography, then you may be thinking that acacia honey comes from acacia trees, natives of sub-tropical to tropical regions of the world, particularly Australia. Well, you’d be wrong. Acacia honey actually comes from the black locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia), a native of eastern and southeastern North America, sometimes called ‘false acacia.’
Black locust trees not only produce amazing honey (okay, the bees produce the honey), but as members of the pea or Fabaceae family, they fix nitrogen into the soil, which makes it a great choice for damaged or poor soils.
Black locust trees grow rapidly and can attain heights of 40 to 70 feet (12-21 m.) when mature. The trees thrive in moist, fertile soil and are often grown as firewood because they grow rapidly and burn hot.
Acacia Honey Information
Black locusts, unfortunately, don’t always produce honey. The nectar flow of the blossoms is subject to weather conditions, so a tree may have honey one year and not again for five years. Also, even in years when the nectar flow is good, the bloom period is very short, about ten days. So it’s no wonder that acacia honey is so sought after; it’s fairly rare.
The major reason for the popularity of acacia honey is its nutrient value and its ability to crystallize slowly. Acacia honey crystallizes very slowly because it is high in fructose. It is the least allergenic of all other honey types. Its low pollen content makes it suitable for many allergy sufferers.
Acacia Honey Uses
Acacia honey is used for its antiseptic, healing, and antimicrobial properties, low pollen content, and its natural antioxidants.
It can be used in the same way as any other honey, stirred into beverages or used in baking. Since acacia honey is so pure, it has a lightly sweet, mildly floral flavor that doesn’t overtake other flavors, making it a nutritious sweetening option.
When you hear the word Acacia, do you think of umbrella-shaped trees in the African Savanna? Or maybe shrubs in the dry American Southwest? Or even the Australian outback? Acacias are a group of trees and shrubs with over 1,000 species and a wide range! Let’s take a quick tour of the most interesting facts about these trees!
Drawings of various parts of different Acacia species.
Where do they grow?
Acacias are well adapted to deserts and tropical areas. Therefore, they have a wide distribution and are native to Australia, South Africa, the Southwestern United States, and South and Central America. Some people plant species of these trees for their attractive yellow blooms. Because they are so diverse and fast-growing, some of these species have become invasive.
What do they look like?
Though acacias are quite diverse, they share some common characteristics. The genus Acacia is a member of the pea family (Fabaceae). This family shares the distinctive seed pods that peas, acacias and other legumes grow.
They often have many small oval leaves (called pinnate leaves) along their “leaflets.” This gives them the appearance of a double-sided comb. These leaflets attach to the main stem by a leaf stalk called a leaf petiole.
Sharp, threatening thorns protect acacias precious leaves from herbivorous (plant-eating) animals. They need these thorns in the dry environments where they grow. When it rarely rains, losing the water in your leaves can be a death sentence. This is a common strategy for desert plants.
Acacias can be shrubs or trees of all sizes. However, the large, umbrella-shaped acacias of the African Savanna are an easily recognizable image. Other acacias can be low growing groundcover or small shrubs.
Do you think you have spotted a species of acacia in your yard or on a hike? Use the PlantSnap app to identify it!
What Is The Composition Of Honey?
Depending on the source(s) of nectar, honey can have a variable composition. The average composition of honey samples collected in and around the United States are listed below:
|Chemical Composition of U.S. Honeys|
|Component||Average (%)||Range (%)|
|Acids (not including gluconic||0.43||0.13–0.92|
Honey has minerals like potassium, sulfur, chlorine, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, iron, copper, and manganese. It also has vitamins B and C.
Now, let’s get to the point. Based on the biochemical composition and nectar source, honey comes in many types. And not all varieties taste and function the same.
Explore more about each (unifloral) variety in the next sections!
The Real Health Benefits of Acacia Honey
Acacia honey shares all the usual health benefits of other honeys, but it also has some unique properties of its own. Here are some of the best know:
- Cleanses the liver
- Conditions the intestines
- Beneficial to the respiratory system due to antibacterial properties
- Treats headaches
- Treats kidney and urinary system issues
- Treats atherosclerosis
- Digestive problems
- Pulmonary infections
- Acts as sedative for nervous disorders and insomnia
- Helps with various skin diseases
- Improves wounds healing time
Regarding the last point, there has been some scientific research into the effects acacia honey has on wound healing. The trail applied the honey topically as well as orally. The results showed the honey had a significant effect on infected wound healing.
Effects of Acacia Honey on Wound Healing in Various Rat Models.
Iftikhar F, Arshad M, Rasheed F, Amraiz D, Anwar P, Gulfraz M.
Phytother Res. 2010 Apr24(4):583-6. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2990.
As with any kind of health treatment, including honey therapy, always consult your doctor. Even with minor conditions, it's never a good idea to self-diagnose and it's an even worse idea to self-prescribe.