The sweetest medicine: anama honey from Ikaria

Spring is approaching which means that fresh winter honey, the anama is ready in Ikaria. This type of honey is getting more and more popular recently due to its beneficial properties for human health.

Anama is harvested in December and it is said to be a powerful medicine against kidney, prostate and colon problems. It is a dark strongly flavored honey, mildly sweet and high in trace minerals. It crystallizes within 2 to 3 months of harvest. This honey is made from the nectar of the autumn heather (Erica manipuliflora) which is endemic in Greece. This herb contains alkaloids, citric and fumaric acid, volatile oil, tannin and carotene. The healing properties of the herb have been documented since the Middle Ages, it is mentioned in the books of the 7th century AD.

It is astringent, slightly sedative and hypnotic herb with diuretic, expectorant and sudorific properties. It acts as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory especially in the urinary tract. The decoction of the plant acts positively on the stones that are formed in the urinary tract, fights against renal colic, chronic cystitis and edema and helps to reduce the likelihood of prostate problem. It also helps in gastritis problems with hypersecretion digestive juices, intestinal colic accompanied by diarrhea and diseases of the liver and bile. With sedative properties, helps reduce neuronal hyperexcitability in nervous exhaustion and insomnia.

In the 2012 survey found that honey from the heather plant had the highest phenol content. Also, the high amount antioxidants of heather honey help to remove the free radicals produced as a result of metabolic reactions and interactions with external environmental contaminants. The elimination of these free radicals prevents aging and improves overall health.

Discover Ikaria regularly organizes visits to the beekeepers in Ikaria where you can broaden your knowledge about bees, the plants that they collect the nectar from and the different types of honey.

Join our 'Introduction to beekeeping and honey harvest' if you are a big fan of this sweet delicacy!

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