Beware Mad Honey Disease

Do you like honey? Are you just mad about it? There’s nothing wrong with having an affinity for the taste of honey, but if your obsession approaches the level of madness, you’d better seek medical attention. You may have developed “Mad Honey Disease.”

The rhododendron is known for its beautiful, vibrant flowers. It also produces grayanotoxin, a neurotoxin that triggers overstimulation of the central nervous system.

The combination of flowers and toxins is a perfect recipe for Mad Honey Disease. When bees collect pollen and nectar from the flower of the rhododendron, grayanotoxin can make its way into the honey produced by that hive. When that honey is consumed by humans, the results can include dizziness, blurred vision, excessive salivation, and increased perspiration. In larger doses, Mad Honey Disease can impair coordination and start playing havoc with the heart.

We hope your life is sweetened this holiday season with a bit of nature’s natural sweetener. If you find yourself more agitated than usual, however, the culprit may not be holiday stress. It might be a bee spreading a bit of madness.

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