"Mad honey," or deli bal as it is call in Turkey, contains a neurotoxin from rhododendrons called grayanotoxin that can cause "low blood pressure and irregularities in the heartbeat that bring on nausea, numbness, blurred vision, fainting, potent hallucinations, seizures, and even death, in rare cases."
Although the product makes up only a tiny percentage of the Black Sea’s honey production, it’s long held a strong Turkish following. “People believe that this honey is a kind of medicine,” says Süleyman Turedi, a doctor at the Karadeniz Technical University School of Medicine in Trabzon. “They use it to treat hypertension, diabetes mellitus and some different stomach diseases. And also, some people use deli bal to improve their sexual performance.”
The Strange History of ‘Mad Honey’
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