Mad honey, also known as red honey or hallucinogenic honey, is a type of honey that is produced by bees in certain regions of Nepal, including the Himalayan foothills. The honey gets its name from the fact that it contains grayanotoxins, which can cause hallucinations and other symptoms when consumed in large amounts.
The production of mad honey is a dangerous and illegal practice that involves risking life and limb to collect the honeycombs from steep cliffs and rocky outcroppings. Despite the risks, some people are drawn to the lucrative business of selling the honey, which can fetch high prices in international markets.
The tradition of collecting mad honey in Nepal dates back centuries and is still practiced today by a small number of people, primarily in the districts of Kaski and Mustang. The honey is said to have medicinal properties and is used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments.
However, the risks associated with collecting and consuming mad honey cannot be overstated. Grayanotoxins can cause a range of symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and even loss of consciousness. In extreme cases, consuming large amounts of mad honey can be fatal.
The Nepalese government has taken steps to crack down on the illegal production and sale of mad honey, but the practice continues. Those who choose to collect and consume the honey do so at their own risk, and it is important for travelers to be aware of the dangers associated with this controversial product. While it may be tempting to try mad honey for its purported medicinal or hallucinogenic properties, it is not worth risking one's health or safety for a taste of this rare and dangerous delicacy.