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|
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|
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 (agrifutures.com.au)
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- Wootton M, Edwards RA and Rowse A. 1978 Antibacterial properties of some Australian honeys. Food Technology in Australia:175-176.