When you think of honey varietals, what do you think of? Maybe sweet clover? Wildflower? Apple or raspberry blossom? Manuka? Whatever comes to mind, odds are, you probably don’t really think about buckwheat. In fact, what the BUCK is buckwheat, anyways?
Buckwheat: the grain, the myth, the legend.
Seriously, is it even a grain? Nope. It’s not a cereal grain and is actually not related to wheat at all. In fact, buckwheat is actually a fruit seed—in the same family as rhubarb, knotweed, and sorrel. Isn’t that crazy? But because buckwheat has such grainy characteristics, it is considered a pseudo-grain—which is why its earthy flavor is so prized in healthy, gluten-free, and grain-sensitive baking.
Of course, since buckwheat isn’t actually a grain, it actually bursts into fields of blossoms full of yummy nectar, perfect for bees. And that’s where this unique honey comes in.
Buckwheat honey is usually a deep, rich purplish brown color and has a robust, earthy backbone to its sweetness. In baking, this single varietal honey is ideal for adding depth and dimension to hearty breads and bakes. But that’s not all it’s good for.
This honey is seriously North America’s manuka.
When it comes to antioxidants, this honey is royalty. Buckwheat honey actually has one of the highest antioxidant counts of any honey on the planet! And we’re not talking trace antioxidants. According to honey researcher May Berenbaum, “The antioxidant content of buckwheat honey compares favorably, pretty much bite for bite, with the ascorbic acid-related antioxidant content of tomatoes.” It’s real deal doses.
And in terms of germ-fighting activity, the powers of this rich honey are as impressive as those of manuka, the darling of the honey scene. (Seriously, check out the research here. They totally go toe-to-toe!) And like manuka, antioxidant-rich buckwheat honey powerfully soothes the skin and helps cuts and scrapes heal and stay clean. But this superfood medicinal honey has got a major step up on manuka—buckwheat grows right here in North America, so you’re supporting local bees when you dig into a jarful!
Take that, NyQuil!
Okay, let’s rewind back a little to the medicinal properties of this sweet sauce, because it is actually being studied as real medicine. According to a groundbreaking study published in JAMA, a single dose of buckwheat honey at bedtime was able to suppress coughing and improve sleep in sick children significantly *better* than honey-flavored dextromethorphan (the active ingredient in many OTC cough meds).
In the study, over 100 children with respiratory tract infections were given either a dose of honey-flavored dextromethorphan, a dose of buckwheat honey, or nothing. The buckwheat honey consistently scored the best among the three treatments for suppressing cough frequency, decreasing cough severity, and improving sleep quality. A spoonful of honey literally outperformed cough syrup!
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Try out this unique honey for yourself and harness a little bit more of that hive power!