Mad honey is a type of honey that has a dark reddish color and is produced by bees that feed on certain types of rhododendron nectar that contains a mild neurotoxin called grayanotoxin. When eaten it causes certain physical reactions in a person including nausea, mild intoxication, light-headedness, blurred vision, heart irregularities, and hallucinations. In cases of extreme consumption, it has even led to death in rare cases.
The types of rhododendron from which it is produced only grow in high altitudes in the Black Sea region of Turkey and parts of Nepal and the honey is highly prized by local inhabitants for its medicinal properties.
It was also known to ancient peoples. King Mithridates, according to ancient history, left the honey in the path of Pompey’s invading army of Romans and, once they had consumed it and were intoxicated, was easily able to defeat them due to their intoxicated state.
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