PETALING JAYA: The numerous health benefits of Malaysia’s rare and highly prized Tualang honey was featured on Fox News yesterday with researcher Chris Kilham detailing the arduous task of harvesting the honey from deep within the country’s rainforests.
Kilham, who researches natural remedies and teaches ethnobotany at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, spoke highly of Tualang honey, named after the tree from which the bee hives hang.
According to Kilham, Tualang honey is known to fight inflammation, stabilise blood sugar levels as well as heal infected wounds and respiratory problems.
“It (Tualang honey) shows anti-tumour activity. It shows profound anti-inflammatory activity. In terms of skin, the wound-healing properties seem to be as good as Manuka Honey, which is a New Zealand honey which has always been kind of a medical standard,” said Kilham.
One teaspoonful of the “power-packed, protective” Tualang honey in a little water will effectively deliver health benefits to the body, it has been claimed.
Tualang honey is expensive compared to others but only because the harvesting process is somewhat nightmarish. Honey hunters usually scale some 76 metres up the Tualang tree, sometime even higher, to gain access to the one hundred or so bee hives hanging from its many branches. Incidentally the Tualang tree is so tall, it often shoots up head and shoulders above others in the rainforest and can be spotted from far off.
Asian honey bees known as Apis dorsata, the world’s largest, work these hives and the hunters, according to Kilham, “get the hell stung out of them…” in the course of smoking out the bees and gathering some, not all, of the honey the bees have painstakingly collected.
The gathered honeycombs are then passed down by rope to assistants on the ground who place these in buckets to be carted back home. It is believed up to 450kg of honey can be obtained from a fully laden Tualang tree when rainforest flowers are in full bloom from the months of May to Sept.
Tualang honey can be purchased online as it is not readily available in stores.
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