Mad honey is honey that has been made by bees that feed on specific varieties of rhododendron. These varieties contain a neurotoxin in their pollen called grayanotoxin that causes an intoxicant effect in humans which manifests in reduced heartbeat, light-headedness and hallucinations.
The varieties of rhododendrons that contain the neurotoxin only grow in mountainous regions at specific altitudes where conditions are conducive. These areas include mountains in Nepal. Mad honey Nepal is produced by wild bees in difficult to reach cliff-faces and is harvested twice a year in spring and autumn.
The honey was prized for its medicinal effects by traditional users. It is said to have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, strengthen the immune system, be a treatment for wounds and burns regenerate cells among other properties. Today people buy the honey online as a legal relaxant and hallucinogen or for these medicinal purposes.