Buckwheat honey is a highly nutritious honey made by bees that collect nectar from buckwheat flowers. Buckwheat has tiny flowers, which means bees that make buckwheat honey have to work extra hard to collect enough nectar.
Buckwheat is often used as a flour substitute, but unlike wheat, buckwheat isn’t a grass. It actually produces a type of fruit similar to rhubarb.
Buckwheat honey isn’t as sweet as traditional honey. It’s also higher in certain antioxidants, so it might actually be better for you than other, sweeter types of honey. Buckwheat is rich in vitamins and is considered a very healthy food, so it makes sense that honey made from buckwheat would also be good for you.
Buckwheat honey can range in color from dark purple to black. In general, it looks like your average, amber-colored honey with a slight reddish tint. Buckwheat flowers are often dark in color, which leads to the rich color of buckwheat honey.
The primary benefits of buckwheat honey are that it promotes healing in the body, supports immune function, and boosts antioxidants. It’s also great for soothing sore throats and coughs. Some people even use honey as a part of their skin care regimen. Buckwheat honey has also been found to help keep blood sugar levels down for people with diabetes.
What the research says
Many studies have shown the benefits of honey. Buckwheat honey, in particular, has been shown to have several health benefits, such as:
- Boosting antioxidants. One study found that drinking buckwheat honey in a mixture of black tea significantly boosted the level of antioxidants in the body. Another study placed buckwheat honey very high in antioxidant status in a ranking of honeys on the market.
- Wound care. Using honey on wounds has been found to be beneficial because the honey actually draws moisture out of the wounds and helps eliminate bacteria. Because it has a lot of sugar and a low pH, honey can also prevent bacteria and other microbes from growing in the wound.
- Skin care. More research is needed on the specific benefits of using honey for skin care. But in general, honey is known to help protect your skin and keep it smooth and supple. Look for honey-based skin care products, or make your own skin moisturizer by mixing coconut oil and honey in your electric mixer until it looks like whipped cream.
- Stopping DNA mutations. Certain types of honey have even been found to help reverse some of the DNA mutations that cause sickness and cancer.
- Reducing cholesterol. Buckwheat honey was found to help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, which can help heart health and even lower high blood pressure.
- Soothing cough. One specifically looked at using buckwheat honey as a treatment for nighttime coughs in children due to respiratory infections, like colds. The study found that buckwheat honey was more effective than over-the-counter cough medicine.
How you use buckwheat honey will depend on what you’re trying to treat.
For wounds, you can apply the raw honey directly to the wound and cover it with a clean bandage.
As a general health supplement, you can take honey raw by the tablespoon or mix it into your favorite food or beverage. Buckwheat honey is also a great all-natural sweetener for any of your meals or deserts. You can mix it into oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, smoothies, or baked goods — the possibilities are endless.
For sore throats and colds, you can swallow honey alone or mix it in with a warm herbal tea. To treat a child with a cold, the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends one dose of honey in the following amounts:
- children ages 2 to 5: 2.5 mL
- children ages 6 to 11: 5 mL
- children ages 2 to 18: 10 mL
Be aware that buckwheat honey, like any honey, should not be given to infants under the age of 1. Honey contains certain bacteria that might be harmful to babies.