Watch a brown bear cub get high on excess amount of ‘mad honey’

Mad honey, or “deli bal” in Turkish, is produced in small quantities by beekeepers in the Kaçkar mountains above the Black Sea, the only place in the world. Mad honey is also known to produce a potent neurotoxin called grayanotoxin. Rhododendron, which grows in the foothills of the Himalayas, also has the same effect.

Why is mad honey that effective?

Mad honey is obtained from the flowers of white rhododendron and Caucasian rhododendron. The substance becomes toxic because the bees overeat these plants and produce honey in this way. Also known as ‘bal tutması’ (honey sick) in Turkish, this product causes poisoning and hallucinogenic effects when consumed in excess.

The grayanotoxin substance in bitter honey causes poisoning. Its symptoms are heart rhythm disorder, burning in the throat, redness of the skin and eyes, nausea, vomiting, itching in the mouth and nose, increased salivation, blurred vision or temporary blindness, headache, and dizziness, diarrhea, low blood pressure, loss of consciousness. After consuming a spoonful of honey, its effects usually appear within 1-1.5 hours. Mild effects resolve spontaneously within 24 hours without the need for medical intervention.

Mad honey poisoning can cause death if medical intervention is not done. After the medical description of mad honey in 1983, no death cases were encountered. The majority of mad honey poisonings in recent years are seen in Turkey.

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