Grayanotoxins are produced by plants in the family Ericaceae, specifically members of the genera Rhododendron, Pieris, Agarista and Kalmia. The genus Rhododendron alone encompasses over 750 species that grow around the world in parts of Europe, North America, Japan, Nepal and Turkey. They can grow at a variety of altitudes ranging from sea level to more than three kilometers above. While many of these species contain grayanotoxins, only a few contain significant levels. Species with high concentrations of grayanotoxins such as R.ponticum, R. flavum andR.luteum are most commonly found inNepal and regions of Turkey bordering the Black sea.

rhododendron flower fleur rose pink miel honey nepal.
 Nearly all parts of grayanotoxin-producing rhododendrons contain the molecule, including the stem, leaves, flower, pollen and nectar.    


Medical Uses

Although it is a poison itself, mad honey has been used for its beneficial effects by locals for thousands of years. According to an ancient medical practice, people are using this honey as a sort of medicine. According to the locals, eating one teaspoon at least once a year develops the immune system. Locals are using mad honey to cure diabetes, hypertension, treat aches and pains caused by arthritis and improving sexual performance. Locals also boil it up in milk and drink really teeny-weeny amounts before breakfast.

Historical use

The intoxicating effects of mad honey have been known for thousands of years. Not surprisingly, there have been many famous episodes of human inebriation caused by its consumption. Xenophon, Aristotle, Strabo, Pliny the Elder or Columella was Mad Honey users !

aristote statue stone psychedelic honey miel fou

Psychedelic Experience

Besides its beneficial uses, a VICE producer has experienced mad honey's psychadelice effect. He told his experience in the documentary they have shot in Nepal, with locals who are hunting for.

"I feel pretty f*cked up, but honestly it is a good feeling. It's a cold and warm feeling. It is kind of being stoned but it's kind of being on mushrooms as well. Like you eat just like a gram and a half or two grams mushrooms"


For traditional medical reasons, around 1 teaspoon is a fairly common dose. More than 1 tablespoon is associated with more overt symptoms, including recreational ones.

For recreational uses, we recommand to not excess 2 table spoons after eating.

Chemical structure

grayanotoxins chimical structure mad honey miel fou miele loco drugs
          Ac = acetyl

Grayanotoxins are low molecular weight hydrophobic compounds. More than 25 grayanotoxin isoforms have been identified from Rhododendron species, but grayanotoxin I and III are thought to be the principle toxic isoforms. Different Rhododendron species contain multiple different grayanotoxin isoforms, contributing to differences in plant toxicity.