There aren’t many foods as delicious and multifaceted as honey. You can add it to just about any hot beverage or breakfast dish, and it’s guaranteed to give your meal a much-needed sweet kick.

Yet not all honey is created equal. While the average container runs just a few bucks, a rare one known as “mad honey” can cost an arm and a leg.

The reason why? Well, it’s not because it makes your breakfast taste better—it’s because it’s dangerous to harvest. Not to mention, it does some pretty crazy stuff to your mind…

Who doesn’t love honey? As one of the most delicious and versatile foods you can find on the planet, it’s virtually in everything in some way, shape, or form. You can pour some into your hot cereal as a sweet topping or even use it in place of sugar in your favorite baked goods.

Honey—at least the processed kind—is a rather cheap, too. You can buy it at the supermarket for just a couple of dollars and it really never goes bad. While common honey like this is inexpensive, not all honey is created equal.

Take, for instance, mad honey. Featuring a reddish brown color and a somewhat bitter taste, this product can run people between $60 and $80 a pound. And that’s not because of what it does for your breakfast. It costs so much because of how it’s harvested—and for what it does to your mind

Mark Spencer

Research has found that, when bees take pollen from rhododendron flowers, they create honey that is actually capable of causing hallucinations in people and animals. This is often nicknamed “mad honey,” and it’s not difficult to see why! Of course, it all depends on how much of the product is ingested.

Wikimedia

The resulting side effects are directly dependent on the amount of mad honey you consume in a sitting. When ingested in small doses, it can cause a slower heartbeat, unconsciousness, and even temporary paralysis. When taken in higher quantities, however, hallucinations can occur…

Dr. Suleyman Turedi

The earliest known people to have consumed mad honey were Greek soldiers in Turkey in 401 B.C., and the results were unpleasant, to say the least. In addition to becoming extremely disoriented, they suffered from diarrhea and vomiting.

Wikimedia

So how is this stuff harvested, and what else is it used for? First, rhododendrons grow in high altitudes, as do the bees who bring it to their cliffside nests. In order to gather the product, someone has to actually scale the cliffs.

dimachatrov

Many mad honey gatherers in Nepal are forced to make incredibly risky and dangerous climbs in order to harvest the product. All the while, they risk being stung by thousands of angry bees, who are simply doing their best to protect their colonies.

ERIC TOURNERET / CATERS NEWS

Aside from those pesky side effects, mad honey also serves several medicinal purposes. In addition to providing a boost of energy to those who ingest it, many claim it can also be used to relieve hypertension. It may even work as a substitute for Viagra!

ERIC TOURNERET / CATERS NEWS

So, if you’re looking to buy some mad honey and to take advantage of some of those purported health benefits, just remember: this ain’t your average jar of honey! Who else is ready to try some?

ERIC TOURNERET / CATERS NEWS

Who knew that honey could be this dangerous? Of course, anyone looking to use mad honey for its medicinal purposes should consult their doctor first.

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