Local honey from hawthorn blossom
Our Isle of Purbeck honey is a special type of local honey from Dorset. It comes from bees foraging mainly on hawthorn blossom – a native, thorny, bushy tree which can grow almost anywhere and is often planted in hedgerows.
By late spring, Dorset's hedgerows, woodland and wild places will once again be adorned with small, delicate pale pinky-white flowers. Hawthorn blossom is most prevalent in May when it's buzzing with bees and other nectar-seeking insects.
Honey from bees foraging on hawthorn is therefore harvested earlier in the year than other types of honey.
Characteristics and properties of hawthorn honey
This Dorset honey is rich amber colour with a sweet, floral flavour. Some people find it has a slightly nutty taste.
Like other types of honey, hawthorn honey is antiseptic with antioxidant properties. This means honey can inhibit the growth of bacteria while also providing a source of natural acids and compounds that support the functioning of the cells in our bodies.
In terms of nutrients, hawthorn honey contains natural sugars, enzymes, protein and minerals. This honey is also used to support the digestive system and soothe sore throats.
The fruit of the hawthorn, the 'haw', is a dark red berry with a single stone which stays on the trees from autumn throughout winter. These berries were traditionally used for treating heart problems, although they can cause stomach upsets and are not recommended fo while pregnant or breastfeeding.
It's not surprising, therefore, that over the years, people have used hawthorn honey for heart-related health problems, such as chest pain, irregular heartbeat, high and low blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and high cholesterol.
Hawthorn and folklore
Also known as the Maythorn, the May Tree and May Blossom, the hawthorn appears in age-old legends and folk tales. The most famous hawthorn is the Holy Thorn of Glastonbury, which according to legend was planted by Joseph of Arimathea in Biblical times.
The hawthorn tree once featured in May Day festivities and it was a sacred tree in Celtic mythology. The tree was said to guard fairies who lived underneath, also giving it the name 'fairy tree', which ensured the hawthorn was treated with respect!
How to order Hawthorn Honey from Dorset
Go to the Isle of Purbeck Honey page and you'll fine more about this delicious local Dorset Honey and an order button.