The trending questions nowadays are, which honey is best? which is the best honey brand in India? And which one is purest? Which is more useful for health? Best organic honey in India? Best quality honey brands in India and other honey brands in India.
Being in the industry for three long decades, we have tried to answer all these questions.
Honey is a supernatural food and sweetener. It is a priceless gift to the human being from nature’s most hardworking species – The Honeybees.
On earth, we find different varieties of flowers in different seasons of the year. This whole natural upsurge rests on the wonderful weather pattern that we have in this world.
Honeybees collect nectar from different flowers during different seasons. As a result, honey comes in different floral tastes, textures and aromas.
Raw or natural honey certainly has varieties. So, How do we decide, what are the parameters to judge the best one?
Is it by the taste or its health benefits? Few people even judge it by its colour, thickness and shiny texture.
In my view, the best one should be judged based on its floral variety and ripened condition during its extraction from the honeycomb.
Here we have compiled various perceptions of choosing the best honey:
1. The best honey according to the source of the nectar.
The source of the nectar for honeybees is from different flowers of different seasons. Bees forage to collect the nectar from different flowers and then bring it to their hives and store it as honey.
Nectar from Acacia flower – Kashmir Honey
This is one of the best honey due to its procurement from the pollution-free ecosystem of Kashmir valley.
Pure Kashmir honey’s demand is very high and wide. Because of its awesome taste and eye-catching light natural colour. It has a good amount of health benefits as well.
Most importantly, children fall in love with its sweetness which has become a definite substitute for unhealthy snacks.
Nectar from Wild Jujube flower – Sidr Honey
The name ‘Sidr’ is derived from an Arabic term.
It is originally collected from the deserted areas which are rich in wild Jujube flowers.
That is to say, Yeman discovered the benefits of Sidr Honey first and then they started importing it from various countries including India to meet its demand.
Since India too harvest Sidr honey as it also has a large region of desert area where wild Jujube flowers blossom. So, this breaks the claim that it is only available in Yemen.
It has various benefits for various health issues and healthy well-being. It has a unique aroma and taste than the other honey.
Nectar from ‘Syzygium Cumini’ orchards – Jamun Honey
When there is Jamun flowering season in the region, the Jamun honey harvest takes place.
Honeybees love Jamun flowers as they are very rich in nectar.
Its naturality comes from its unique aroma and its abundant bee pollen.
Even holistic medicine practitioner advises Jamun fruit and its seeds for diabetic patients.
Furthermore, it has several other health benefits for its consumers.
Nectar from litchi orchards – Litchi Honey
The nectar is collected from the flowering seasons of Litchi orchards. This light colour honey is a treat for a lifetime as it has a strong aroma of litchi fruit.
You would cherish every drop of delicious Litchi honey.
Nectar from the deep-forest multi flower – Multiflora Honey
The nectar is collected right from the deep forest area which is blossoming with rich multiflora sources.
The dominant flora of this honey is ‘Curry’ leaves tree flowers, ‘bansa’ flowers, starflowers, ‘furly’ flowers. (These are local names).
The huge harvesting of multiflora honey comes from Northern India.
It has various health benefits as the forest from where the nectar comes from has various herbs and medicinal plants.
Nectar from Ajwain flower – Ajwain Honey
Ajwain honey nectar comes from Ajwain herbs or Bishop’s weed making it rich for health benefits.
Because, it contains medicinal properties like antioxidants, antifungal and antimicrobial benefits.
It has a disagreeable taste because of its pungent aroma, however, it has huge health benefits.
It is the best choice for people who prefer health to its taste.
Nectar from Eucalyptus flower- Eucalyptus Honey
Eucalyptus honey is generally produced from tall eucalyptus trees. It has a three to four months long flowering duration.
What makes it unique is the strong aroma of the flower and it also has a hint of medicinal smell.
Most importantly, It has been tested for its medicinal values, therefore, largely beneficial for medicinal purposes.
Nectar from White Clover flower- Clover Honey (Barsin)
It comes from the clover plant family. It has a pleasant and extremely delicious taste.
Clover honey comes in a light colour. However, it varies depending on where and what type of clover the nectar came from.
Nectar from Mustard flower – Mustard Honey
The nectar comes from mustard flowers making it honey-filled with nutritious mustard flowers.
The unique characteristic feature of this is that it crystallizes faster. Mustard honey crystallizes within seven to ten days after extracting from the honeycomb. It crystallizes as white hard crystals.
Because of a strong myth against crystallization among the people in India. Almost 90% to 95% of mustard honey produced in India is exported.
Nectar from Rosewood flowers – Sheesham or Rosewood Honey
It obtains nectar sources from rosewood flowers. It usually comes in a light colour and has less pollen.
However, it has very attractive and has good taste. It is rich in amino acids which is quite beneficial for a healthy lifestyle.
Nectar from Plectranthus Regosus flower – Solai Honey
The flower Plectranthus Regosus is a shrub grown in the peaceful environment of Kashmir valley.
The nectar and pollen are collected from the very same wild environment.
It has very high medicinal benefits. It seems to be effective cleaning of the liver & conditioning of the intestines.
Solai has a very strong aroma, however, it does crystallize faster.
Nectar from Karanj flower – Karanj Honey
Grown in the deep Jharkhand forest, Karanj honey has very good taste. In addition, it is useful as the best natural antiseptic and antibiotic.
Children like this a lot because of its sweetness.
Nectar from Sunflower – Sunflower Honey
Sunflower is cultivated less nowadays due to which sunflower honey has become scarce.
The colour comes in medium yellow. It is good for cardiovascular-related issues.
Best suitable for heart patients.
Nectar from Fennel (Saunf) flower – Saunf Honey
Fennel honey is uncommon and nectared from high fennel fragrance flower which comes with respectable medicinal benefits.
Fennel is full of nectar and pollen and it is very attractive for bees too.
However, it comes in less quantity.
Nectar from Coriander flower – Coriander Honey
Coriander comes for harvesting during the Coriander flower seasons. It has a unique taste and gentle aroma.
This type of honey again is rare and less harvested leading to less in quantity.
It has a super medicinal benefit, especially for painful constipation victims.
People choose honey according to its taste and medicinal benefits. The reason is the benefits of eating honey daily offer a very positive effect on our health.
Every raw honey has a different taste and aroma as it depends upon the nectar that honeybees collect from the flowers. So, the best one varies accordingly.
For instance, Jamun honey goes well with diabetic patients according to its medicinal values.
Children like Kashmir honey because of its wonderful and delicious taste.
Similarly, the multiflora honey has the nectar from different flowers of the deep and pollution-free forest areas including herbs and medicinal flowers.
Therefore, it tastes good and has various medicinal properties.
For different varieties of floral honey, go for a trusted honey brand like Bharat Honey.
This is one of the best honey brands in India which packs different floral varieties of 100% natural and raw organic honey.
2. The best honey is based on the type of honeybee.
There are five types of honeybees present in India out of which two types of honeybees can be domesticated.
Apis Dorsata Honeybee (Rock bee or giant honeybee) – size 17 – 20 mm
This type of honeybee usually makes its beehives in the deep forest or inhabits the cliff.
They form the hives in an open place like on big trees, rocks and old buildings.
Each hive can give around 5kg to 10kg of honey.
This type of wild honeybee is common and widespread across every forest region of India. Except for Kashmir valley.
This rock bee honey is usually harvested by tribals. The process of harvesting is mostly done in an unhygienic manner.
While harvesting, tribal people squeeze the entire beehive damaging it completely. Therefore, the honey becomes unhygienic, cloudy and contains dead larvae.
And also, this process leaves honeybees homeless and it will take more time for the Apis Dorasata bees to build the hives all over again. The need of the hour is to educate tribals on the hygienic way of harvesting.
The correct method of harvesting is to just remove the honey part of the beehive and leave the pollen and larvae part untouched. Hence, this helps honeybees to restart the nectar collection and store them in the same beehive.
If extracted in the right method the honey retains its quality and other natural properties.
Apis Mellifera – size 10 – 17 mm
This type of honeybee is widely domesticated across the world. Because beekeepers easily migrate Apis Mellifera to the places where the flowering season is in full bloom.
Migration takes place around four to five different places without difficulties with this type of honeybee.
The honey of Apis mellifera honeybee is safe and hygienic as harvesting is totally done by beekeepers with utmost care and safety of honeybees.
The honeycomb in this process is not damaged at all. Because they use an extractor or centrifugal force in extracting the honey without damaging the honeycomb.
This way honeycomb is safe and available for honeybees for storing nectar again. Ultimately, this will help in harvesting honey in a great amount of quantity.
Apis Cerana Indica- size 7 – 9 mm
This type of honeybee is domesticated, however, the honey harvested is less due to the reason that Apis cerana honeybees tend to swarm and abscond (abandon a hive location) more frequently than Apis mellifera).
Hence, the harvest becomes very less, as a result, this becomes difficult to get commercial production of honey.
Apis Florea – size 7 – 8 mm
This type of honeybee makes a very small beehive on the branch of the trees and generally inhabit the forest.
Domestication of Apis florea is not possible considering its way of inhabitation. Therefore, commercialization is not an option at all.
Apis Trigona – size – the smallest of all
Apis Trigona honeybee makes a small honeycomb and its honey taste is sour. For this reason, it is not available in the market for the customer.
Then which Honeybee’s honey is the best?
Honey harvested from the nectar collected by these honeybees is without a question natural.
All things considered, only Apis mellifera honeybee’s honey is available widely as it is easy to domesticate and migrate according to the flowering seasons across India.
This helps in producing or harvesting in vast quantities.
Every honeybee has the same process of making honey. That is collecting the nectar from flowers and depositing it in the beehive for further process.
Hence, honey extracted from different types of honeybees is almost similar.
There is hype regarding the superiority of small bee honey, however, except for Apis Dorasat every honeybee is the smaller bee.
Most of the honey available commercially in the market is from Apis Mellifera which is a small bee.
3. Selecting honey considering the health benefits
In order to enjoy the health benefits, always choose raw honey.
Remember the supermarket’s big brands mostly heat and ultrafilter honey.
To get raw honey, search for local ones from tribals or beekeepers. If you don’t’ have access, then search for a small brand that has direct access to the source, for instance, Bharat honey.
This brand provides you with different types of floral honey in raw form.
It plays a different role depending upon its usage.
Add two spoonfuls of natural honey to a glass of lukewarm water with or without squeezing lemon in it. Enjoy it whenever you feel tired and hungry as this will suppress your hunger and keep you super active throughout the day.
Take one teaspoonful of honey with a pinch of black pepper or ginger before going to bed. This can cure the cough symptoms and help you with sound sleep.
Take one cup of Garlic, Ginger, lemon and apple cider vinegar juice and boil them to make three cups. Allow it to cool and then add three cups of raw honey. Take 5-10ml without water on an empty stomach in the morning and evening for a better result.
Mix ground black pepper, long pepper, and dry ginger with raw honey. Take this mixture whenever you are suffering from these symptoms.
Nausea and Travel sickness:
Mix half spoon of ginger powder with half-cup of honey along with lemon according to your taste. Take a spoonful of it to decrease Nausea and for a better feeling.
Adding local honey to your regular diet is the best way to treat allergies. It is best suitable for soothing allergies as it has local bee pollen.
Energy booster for athletes:
Raw honey boosts energy and improves the performance of the athlete.
Raw honey can be used as an energy drink especially during summer. This gives you instant energy and a refreshing experience.
Taking pomegranate with honey keeps your heart healthy and strong.
Adding pure raw honey to your regular diet helps you to recover from anaemia. It develops haemoglobin which is crucial for the circulation of iron in your body.
Acidity and Heartburn:
Drink milk sweetening with honey is a sure way to reduce acidity problems and heartburns. Therefore it keeps your stomach healthy.
Mix one spoonful of natural honey in lukewarm water with a squeeze of lemon to relieve yourself from constipation. Drink this on an empty stomach.
Dental cavities and gum diseases:
Raw honey is the only sweetener that helps prevent dental cavities and gum diseases by stopping bacterial growth inside the mouth.
Sweeten your milk with raw honey and take it half an hour before bed. As it produces melatonin which calms your mind and gives you a sound sleep.
- Sinus infection: Crush three cloves of garlic and add two spoons of raw honey then mix it well. Take it whenever you feel the symptoms.
Make the paste of raw honey and cinnamon powder and applied it to the affected area by wrapping a cloth around it and leave for a whole night for a better result.
Refined Sugar is like a poison for cancer patients but honey can be a good replacement. As this can be selectively toxic to cancerous cells.
Add one tablespoon of milk or buttermilk to two tablespoons of honey. Allow the mixture to cool and then apply it to your skin and leave it for ten minutes and then wash it with lukewarm water for beautiful skin.
Raw honey is a trusted natural tropical therapy for healing wounds as it reduces infection and assists in repair mechanisms and quicker cell growth. Hospitals use honey-infused bandages for the fast healing of wounds.
Apply the mixture of raw honey and cinnamon powder to the affected area. This kills the infection and keeps your skin smooth.
It is the best remedy for burn injuries than antiseptic used for this purpose in the market. Research has proved that It not only controls infection but also help in the repairing and healing process.
Few floral varieties work better for different health issues.
As Jamun fruits and seeds are recommended for diabetic patients. So, using Jamun honey is recommended for diabetic patients.
Sidr Honey is the most liked in gulf countries because they believe that it increases stamina and potency.
It is from multiple nectar flower sources including herbs. Hence, it is beneficial for many healthy-being. Most importantly, it is preferable for weight management. It also boosts immunity which protects us from many diseases.
Kashmir Honey comes from a pollution-free environment in Kashmir valley which is rich in herbal plants.
A holistic medical practitioner recommends using this for its medicinal properties.
Ajwain honey is very useful for curing stomach and liver-related ailments. Though its taste is not preferable, however, it is very healthy.
As the name suggests, it comes from the Eucalyptus honey flower that blooms largely in the northern part of India. Offers a good sweet taste with a pleasant aroma.
Sulai honey, also popular as Vana Tulsi honey comes from the deep Kashmir valley during its flowering season. It offers plenty of medicinal values, a special taste and a unique floral aroma.
Apple honey is unique and rare honey procured from the Himalayas. The taste, aroma and texture of this organic honey stand out from other types of honey.
Every floral honey has some of the other health benefits provided it should be in raw form.
4. Picking by its colour.
Raw honey ranges from light watery to dark amber colour, as this depends upon the source of the flower.
Usually, the light colour is the most prefered one. However, some studies suggest that dark colour contains more minerals.
Few dark colour ones by origin; Jamun, Ajwain and Eucalyptus honey etc.
Change in colour because of age:
Though every honey gets darker as it ages, it mostly depends on the storage condition, processing or exposure to high temperature.
To know if the honey has become darker because of its origin or due to the above reasons then we need to check its HMF (5-hydroxymethylfurfural) content.
If HMF is less i.e, around 10 – 50 ppm then It is darker because of its origin or flower sources. If it is more than 50 ppm then it is due to age, exposure to heat or processing.
If the honey is darker because of its origin then it is as good as or even better than the light colour one.
5. The best honey brand in India:
I don’t want to comment on each and every honey brand available in India. But I will share a few tips so that you can very well choose the right brand of honey for yourself.
India is a country with diverse flora and fauna. The production of honey is very much scattered.
With so much diversity and scattered production of honey, It is very difficult for any honey brand in India to pack ONE best honey.
Most of the brands in India pack only ONE type of honey.
These honey brands either homogenise different floral honey or use various synthetic honey (like HFSC or rice syrup). Making a uniform blend needs a lot of processing which involves high heat.
Every honey brands in India claim its brand is the best. So, which one you should choose?
Our advice to the consumers who are searching for the best honey brands in India is to choose:
- A small or local brand which can provide varieties.
- A brand that has direct access to the source.
- A brand that packs raw honey.
One of the best honey brands in India is BHARAT HONEY. However, it may not be the best selling brand.
Bharat Honey packs different floral honey in raw form. All the varieties packed are Organic in nature and Ideal for medicinal use.
I am sharing a link to Quora’s answer which can help you choose the right honey.