The best chestnut honey in Greece is produced in the protected chestnut forest of Mount Athos (NATURA 2000). Its properties make it unique: distinctive smell, strong spicy taste, less sweet than other kinds of honey, and with a slightly bitter aftertaste. These words shortly describe its macroscopic features, since the main advantages of this honey are not “visible to the naked eye”.
Chestnut honey is rich – perhaps the richest of all – in micronutrients such as potassium, magnesium, manganese and barium, as well as in fructose and tannins due to the chestnut tree. This honey contains a large quantity of pollen grains, which give it a very strong taste. This is one of its main advantages, since the strong presence of the pollen increases its nutritional value. It causes perspiration, helps blood circulation and is also a very good “tonic”.
In addition, it has got styptic, disinfecting and healing properties, especially useful to the urinary and digestive system, providing at the same time antibacterial action to the intestine. It is recommended for people who exercise, elders and people, who suffer from prostatitis or other prostate problems. It can also act as a styptic in case of dysentery. Chestnut honey, when combined with particular essential oils, propolis and pollen, gives “propolis honey” (Arohoney, Aromiel, Aromelia), a product of high nutritional value for a large variety of diseases.
Chestnut honey is a honey of mixed origin: of chestnut blossom nectar and honeydew secretions. However, scientifically, it is categorized as flower honey because of its physicochemical characteristics, since its sugar is counterclockwise. When the beekeepers want to strengthen the bee swarms, they take them to the chestnut tree. Bees love the chestnut blossoms; they are stimulated and soon they become aggressive around their beehive. They collect nectar till late every day, even after the sunset.
Unfortunately, in our country, Greece, chestnut honey is not well-known. However, it is popular and in great demand for its beneficial properties in the markets of central Europe and Russia.