In a world filled with psychoactive substances like alcohol, ecstasy, caffeine and LSD, honey is definitely not the first that comes to mind when talking about mind-altering drugs.
But somewhere deep in the subtropical forests of Nepal exists a bee that will have you feeling high as a kite.
Produced by Himalayan Cliff bees, the largest bees in the world, red honey also known as mad honey has psychotropic effects on the consumer. In fact, the honey is so unique that locals go through unimaginable lengths to harvest the sweet nectar.
When taken in large quantities, the rare honey can be fatal, however in small doses the potent honey has similar effects to recreational drugs including light-headedness, dizziness, increased heart rate and hallucinations.
On the other hand, the rare bee by-product has surprising positive health benefits.
Mad Honey is believed to be beneficial in treating health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and poor sexual performance. Some people even take a daily dose to maintain good health.
To create the special honey, the Himalayan Cliff bees obtains nectar from the flowers of the Rhododendron plant, a poisonous species of woody plants found mainly found in Asia. These flowers contain grayanotoxins, a natural neurotoxin which gives red honey its hallucinogenic properties.
The Gurung tribe of Nepal risk their lives to climb the massive cliffs to get a hold of the coveted honey. These bee hunters use smoke to drive the bees out before transferring the honeycombs in special baskets.
The harvesting process lasts around 3 days and at the end it yields between 20-30 gallons of honey. Since the product is extremely hard to find, locals profit by selling it to curious tourists. Apparently the demand is so high that hunters are now harvesting honey off-season and it's beginning to negatively impact the ecosystem.
You can check out the documentary below to learn about the interesting honey:
Would you have a taste of mad honey? Let us know in the comments!
[H/T: Scoop Whoop]