Medicinal Honey: Yapunyah 

Eucalyptus honeys are among the most produced honeys in Australia, due to the high proportion of Eucalyptus trees found in the environment and the affinity of bees towards them. While there are multiple sources of Eucalypt nectar available within Australian botanicals, here we will focus on amongst the most popular variety in the form of honey derived from the Yapunyah Eucalypt.  

Yapunyah honey is derived from the Yapunyah Eucalypt, otherwise known as the Napunyah, Lapunyah, Yellow Jacket or Black Butt eucalypt. The botanical name for this tree is Eucalyptus ochrophloia. The Yapunyah tree is most often found in Qld & NSW, and can reach a height of 20 meters high. The tree is often used by beekeepers and companies for honey production.

There is considerable research to suggest that the honey derived from nectar associated with the Yapunyah is a potent source of antioxidants and beneficial molecules, as well as providing antibacterial protection within wound dressings (Wootton et al., 1978). Table 1 below summarises the biochemical properties of Yapunyah honey. 

Table 1: Summary of Yapunyah Honey 
Common Name of Plant Source  Botanical Name of Plant Source  Important Molecules Found In Honey  Overall Health Benefits of Honey 
Yapunyah  Eucalyptus ochrophloia 


With reference to the specific molecules within Yapunyah honey, D’Arcy and colleagues (2005) undertook several chemical analyses and determined the presence of flavonoid molecules including Gallic Acid, Caffeic Acid, Tricetin, Quercetin, and p-Coumaric Acid. But while these molecules are known to have antioxidant properties when within the source honey, they are also known, individually, to provide various health benefits.  Table 2 below discusses the general health benefits provided by these individual molecules. 

Table 2: Summary of Yapunyah Honey Components
Molecule Found In Honey  Health Benefit 
Gallic Acid 
  • Antioxidant, anti-cancer properties (Oršolić et al., 2020) 
Caffeic Acid 
  • Antioxidant, anti-cancer properties (Oršolić et al., 2020) 
  • Anti-cancer properties, antioxidant (Hung et al., 2015) 
  • Antioxidant, anti-platelet, cardio-protectant (Olas, 2020) 
p-Coumaric Acid 
  • Anti-cancer properties, antioxidant (Jaganathan et al., 2013) 

As can be seen above, many of the individual components of Yapunyah honey have been analysed for their potential medicinal effects and have been experimentally found to induce protection of the heart, infer anti-cancer effects and provide antioxidant benefits. While more research is required to confirm the medicinal value of Yapunyah honey, it is clear that it acts as a potent functional food with significant dietary benefits for consumers. 

  • D’Arcy et al., 2005 HBE – 05-040 – Antioxidants in Australian Floral Honeys ( 
  • Oršolić N, Kunštić M, Kukolj M, Odeh D, Ančić D. Natural Phenolic Acid, Product of the Honey Bee, for the Control of Oxidative Stress, Peritoneal Angiogenesis, and Tumor Growth in Mice. Molecules. 2020 Nov 27;25(23):5583. doi: 10.3390/molecules25235583. PMID: 33261130; PMCID: PMC7730286. 
  •  Hung JY, Chang WA, Tsai YM, Hsu YL, Chiang HH, Chou SH, Huang MS, Kuo PL. Tricetin, a dietary flavonoid, suppresses benzo(a)pyrene‑induced human non‑small cell lung cancer bone metastasis. Int J Oncol. 2015 May;46(5):1985-93. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2015.2915. Epub 2015 Mar 4. PMID: 25738754. 
  •  Olas, B. Honey and Its Phenolic Compounds as an Effective Natural Medicine for Cardiovascular Diseases in Humans? Nutrients 2020, 12, 283. 
  •  Jaganathan SK, Supriyanto E, Mandal M. Events associated with apoptotic effect of p-Coumaric acid in HCT-15 colon cancer cells. World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Nov 21;19(43):7726-34. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i43.7726. PMID: 24282361; PMCID: PMC3837272. 
  • Wootton M, Edwards RA and Rowse A. 1978 Antibacterial properties of some Australian honeys. Food Technology in Australia:175-176. 

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