The unique natural features of Altai – mountain valleys with turbulent rivers, clean lakes and luxurious meadows with generous herbs – allow you to get an extremely useful product in terms of quality – Altai honey.
Its main value lies in the uniqueness of its composition, purity, and the absence of unwanted impurities entering the nectar in industrial regions. Mountain honey is highly valued by experts all over the world. It differs not only in its excellent taste, but also in the healing properties that traditional healers use, prescribing in the treatment of many diseases.
Features and characteristics of the variety
Altai honey belongs to rare varieties. Many generations of families in Altai have been engaged in honey harvesting for centuries. Natural bee product is not the same in its taste and composition. It depends:
- from a variety of honey plants;
- from the height of the growth of grasses above the ocean level;
- on the characteristics of the soil;
- from the direction of the mountain slope.
At every apiary, even at a distance of several kilometers, it is distinguished by unique notes of taste, aroma, and color.
Many factors influence the appearance of honey. Usually bees collect nectar at different times from a large number of valuable medicinal plants: acacia, hawthorn, bird cherry, oregano, honeysuckle. More than 2 thousand herbs with medicinal properties grow in the region. The color of the product depends on the prevalence of melliferous plants and varies from creamy white to yellowish, from beige to dark brown. White honey is not uncommon.
The texture of mountain honey is quite fine, fine-grained, it remains liquid and transparent for a long time. Crystallization takes place over a long period of time, after which the honey acquires a consistency of medium density, but even thickened honey does not lose its healing qualities.
In its aroma, sweetish fruity notes with a long pleasant aftertaste are clearly felt.
The structure of Altai honey is not the same depending on the place where the nectar is collected. Due to the natural features of the region, bees produce a balanced product from medicinal herbs. Typically, nectar contains about 400 beneficial ingredients that are essential for health and are ideally absorbed by the human body. It includes:
- vitamins A, B, C;
- valuable micro and macro elements;
- amino acids necessary for humans;
- important carbohydrate and protein compounds;
- vegetable tanning components;
- complex organic compounds (saponins, polyphenols, etc.).
The enzyme invertase contained in honey, which is important for the breakdown of sucrose, is considered an excellent catalyst for the digestion and absorption of food, helping to cope with the problems of the digestive system.
The natural wealth and ecological purity of the mountainous region, which for a long time did not experience any harmful industrial impact, its plant diversity affect the unique composition of Altai honey and its unique taste. Due to the peculiarities of the relief, Altai bees collect nectar mainly from wild-growing honey plants.
On plowed lands, forage crops that do not produce honey are usually grown. Usually a homogeneous product is obtained from sown plants: sunflower, buckwheat, melilot, rapeseed, sainfoin. Many beekeepers, depending on the flowering period, transport their wards several times during the season from one field to another in order to increase the yield of honey and its properties.
It is almost impossible to obtain natural mountain honey from one plant. Most often it consists of nectar collected from herbs: clover, fireweed, sage, thistle, mint, blackthorn, leuzea, etc. Amber linden honey is highly valued in the world. Most honey plants bloom almost at the same time, so the nectar mixture is a unique mix.
Honey is a nutritious high-calorie product that has been successfully used for the prevention and treatment (as an additional remedy) of many pathologies. The use of a natural beekeeping product helps to solve problems with reduced immunity, low tone, sleep disorders.
The high concentration of biologically active substances of mountain honey increases its medicinal qualities, shortens the recovery period. It has bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties, replenishes energy deficiencies. This tasty medicine with its natural strength is useful for acute and chronic diseases:
- pathology of the gastrointestinal tract;
- for diseases of colds and infectious etiology;
- with problems of the respiratory organs;
- with stress and overwork;
- with a disorder of the nervous system;
- weakened immune defenses;
- with diseases of the liver and kidneys.
Due to its bactericidal activity, a high-altitude beekeeping product is successfully used in cosmetology as masks for healing the skin, its regeneration after burns and minor injuries. The use of honey inside also improves the condition of the skin, hair, nails.
The addition of other beekeeping products (propolis) enhances the healing effect of honey.
Why Altai honey is so prized
A unique natural product of beekeeping – one of the two most famous in the near abroad due to its unique composition. Altai and Bashkir honey are regularly presented at various exhibitions and fairs of beekeeping products in our country and receive the highest awards there. It is highly appreciated by connoisseurs and gourmets all over the world.
Bees collect nectar from medicinal plants, many of which grow only in this region. Traditional technologies for collecting beekeeping honey, preserved by beekeepers since ancient times, help to maintain natural purity. An environmentally friendly unfiltered product is very different from the cooked product that is often found in the store.
The natural and geographical conditions of Altai are diverse: magnificent mountains and valleys are replaced by endless fields and meadows overgrown with melliferous grasses and bushes. Natural nectar collected from flowers and processed by bees has different tastes, shades of color, smell and consistency due to differences in harvesting conditions and a variety of melliferous plants. Natural Altai honey can be of several subspecies.
The variety is harvested on the slopes from alpine plants (lavender, clover, St. John’s wort, chestnut). Honey is a dark colored substance with a brownish, reddish or yellowish tint. It is distinguished by a bright, rich aroma, as well as a slightly bitter taste and tangible aftertaste. The product is harvested from late May to mid-summer. It remains in a liquid state for a long time, crystallization begins only 3 months after the harvest season.
Natural mountain Altai honey has pronounced healing qualities due to the large amount of vitamins (A, B, C, E, K) and microelements (iron, calcium, magnesium). Its peculiarity is the presence of a mass of tannin in its composition. The product has an antibacterial effect and helps to cope with many diseases.
This type of honey is the most widespread in Altai. It is obtained during the entire honey harvesting season from field plants: chamomile, dandelion, sage, bellflower, thistle, thistle. The pleasant fruity taste and rich aroma varies depending on the volume of nectar obtained from certain melliferous plants. The product crystallizes 3 months after collection.
This sweet medicine, rich in vitamins and minerals, helps to heal colds, neurological problems, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Domestic and foreign amateurs highly value honey collected in Altai meadows from herbaceous melliferous plants:
- St. John’s wort;
Healing meadow grasses impart their medicinal qualities to the beekeeping product.
Honey has a nutty flavor and a pronounced fruity-floral aroma. Shades of golden color (from lightest to amber) are due to the predominance of certain plants in its nectar content. During the crystallization process, the honey turns beige.
This type of Altai honey belongs to rare valuable products. It is obtained from the nectar collected by bees from typical taiga plants: currants, raspberries, blueberries, angelica. Honey collection takes place throughout the season. Taiga honey is a viscous viscous substance of a rather dark color with well-perceptible herbal notes in the taste. Due to the rich content of vitamins, enzymes, as well as potassium and iodine, it has healing properties:
- pain relievers.
Taiga honey crystallizes faster than other varieties – 1,5-2 months after harvest.
Altai honey, like other varieties of this product, in addition to benefits, can be harmful to health. Problems arise with individual sensitivity to bee products, allergic reactions to plant pollen, as well as at the time of exacerbations of liver, kidney and gastrointestinal tract diseases. Complications are threatened by excessive enthusiasm for a delicious high-calorie product.
Nutritionists do not recommend giving sweet medicine to children under 5 (sometimes up to 3) years of age due to insufficient development of their liver. Taking honey from them can lead to allergies.
Moderate reasonable consumption of Altai honey will benefit most people and will successfully replace harmful sweets.
Used in cosmetics
The mass of antioxidants and amino acids in the beekeeping product has a beneficial effect on the quality of human skin and hair. This property has long been appreciated by cosmetologists and representatives of the beautiful half of humanity. Traditional healers have accumulated vast experience in the use of a valuable natural substance to improve appearance, preserve youth and beauty.
Women successfully use honey not only internally, but also in care procedures in the form of tonic and healing wraps, compresses and masks that eliminate pimples and other imperfections of the skin. The cosmetic industry has long taken note of the beneficial properties of a natural remedy and produces creams, lotions and scrubs based on it, which are in high demand among women of all ages.
How to distinguish from fakes
The increased demand for Altai honey and its popularity among experts lead to the desire of unscrupulous sellers to falsify a valuable product. Therefore, during the purchase process, you should make sure of its authenticity, so that instead of gaining unnecessary problems.
It is almost impossible to independently determine the regional binding of a natural substance; a specialist is needed for this. The safest counterfeit for the health of the buyer is the replacement of a valuable product with ordinary low-grade inexpensive honey, fraught with only monetary costs. It is much more dangerous if various chemical flavor enhancers are added to the substance, or artificial honey is offered instead of natural.
To avoid potential health problems, the buyer should pay attention to color and texture. Excessively liquid transparent consistency of honey, packed no more than 2 months ago, indicates its heat treatment in order to extend the shelf life.
A product diluted with starch or flour can be identified with a drop of iodine – it will color the substance blue. And the reaction to vinegar will help to identify the addition of chalk.
You can avoid the risk of acquiring a counterfeit by buying honey at a specialized fair or from a manufacturer.
Storage conditions and shelf life
The healing qualities of Altai honey can be partially lost if the storage conditions are violated – at too high or too low temperatures. The candied product is recommended to be kept at 5-7 degrees. Do not store it open in humid air, otherwise it will quickly turn sour. Also, do not keep it in direct sunlight.
The best honey container is made of darkened glass. In it, the healing properties of the substance are guaranteed to be preserved for several years. Optimal conditions are a cool, dark place, temperature from 5 to 20 degrees.
Natural Altai honey and its types have valuable medicinal qualities. With reasonable moderate consumption, it is good for health, serves to prevent many diseases and, in combination, helps to cope with them. However, before using honey for treatment, you should consult with specialists to eliminate the risk of some complications.