Buckwheat honey is a dark-colored honey that is sweet and delicious, with a distinctive spicy-malt flavor and an aftertaste that is reminiscent of molasses. With a range of vitamins and minerals, as well as polyphenols antioxidants, honey made from buckwheat flowers has many health benefits, too. In fact, this type of honey is now recommended for children under six years of age as a healthier alternative to cough syrup.
One of the main health benefits of buckwheat honey is related to the honey’s dark color. It has been established that dark honeys are generally richer in antioxidants than lighter colored honeys. This is because the antioxidants that are present in honey are one of the chemicals which give it color. Honey made from buckwheat flowers contains a type of antioxidant called polyphenol, which gives the honey its distinctive dark copper color.
Darker honeys such as buckwheat also tend to contain more vitamins and minerals in addition to antioxidants. Buckwheat honey is a minor source of eighteen amino acids. This type of honey also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can hasten wound healing and may even reduce scarring.
One of the factors that gives honey made from buckwheat some of its nutritional benefits is that it is a monofloral honey. This means that the honey is entirely made from buckwheat flowers, and is not blended with other types of honey that may contain fewer antioxidants or other nutrients. Raw honey may be even more beneficial, as some of the honey’s nutrients may be destroyed when it is heated during processing.
Particularly for children under six, one of the most important buckwheat honey health benefits is that this type of honey is a safer and more effective cough suppressant as compared to over-the-counter cough syrups. Children who are given a small dose of buckwheat honey before bed cough less and sleep better than children given a dose of cough syrup. Additionally, many parents report that if they give their children the honey as a cough suppressant, parents themselves sleep better too, because their children’s sleep is more restful.
Dark colored honeys are noted to be more effective in this role than lighter honeys, due to their higher antioxidant and nutrient content. In addition to these nutrients, the texture of honey also makes it a more effective cough suppressant than over-the-counter syrups. Honey is stickier and is much more viscous, which helps soothe the throat and suppress the coughing reflex. It should be noted that pediatricians say that children under one year of age should never be given honey of any kind, due to the risk that botulism spores may be present. If these spores are present in honey, they can be harmful to very young children.