Yemeni Sidr Honey: Here's Why It's So Expensive

Yemeni Sidr Honey, historically cherished for its healing properties and dubbed the "liquid gold" by Arabs, is a world-renowned delicacy known for its rare flavor and medicinal potency.

Yemeni Sidr Honey: Here's Why It's So Expensive
Photo by Meggyn Pomerleau / Unsplash

Organic honey transcends its simple use as a spread for toast or a cereal sweetener.

Historically revered for its therapeutic qualities, Yemeni Sidr Honey stands out as a prime example. Hailed in the Arab realm for its exceptional medicinal attributes, this honey is a global luxury.

Its unparalleled flavor, nutritive essence, and scarce availability have christened it as the "liquid gold" among Arabs.

What is Yemen Sidr Honey?

Yemeni Sidr Honey is a monofloral honey, meaning it is primarily sourced from the nectar of one type of flower: the Sidr tree (known as Jujube tree in English, and scientifically as Ziziphus spina-christi).

This tree grows in the desert areas of the Middle East, particularly in Yemen. The honey made from its flowers is renowned for its distinctive taste, medicinal qualities, and rich nutritional content.

History and Origin

Sidr honey originates from the nectar of the wild Sidr tree, often referred to as Christ's thorn, thriving in Yemen's untamed desert regions, notably Tihamah.

Bees dedicatedly source their nectar from this singular tree, bestowing the honey with its distinct richness.

The Sidr tree has historical and religious significance in the Middle East, being mentioned in the Holy Quran, Bible, and ancient medical books. Yemen, with its unique climate and untouched nature, offers the ideal environment for these trees to flourish.

Historically, Sidr honey has been used as a form of medicine to treat various ailments due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It has been harvested using traditional methods for thousands of years.

Price of Sidr Honey

Royal Yemen Sidr honey one of the world's most prized and costly honey. Esteemed for its unparalleled flavor, therapeutic advantages, and aphrodisiac properties, the allure for authentic Sidr Doan Yemeni honey is palpable.

Prices can soar to US$200 per kilo for its summer variant, and staggeringly, up to US$1,000 per kilo for select batches.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Several factors contribute to the high price of Yemeni Sidr Honey:

Producing Yemen's Exquisite Sidr Honey

In Yemen's Hadramaut region, bees have ingeniously shielded themselves from extreme heat by nesting in mountain caves.

This region's geography makes it an ideal sanctuary for bees. The esteemed Yemeni Sidr honey, among the world's priciest, originates from the desert-dwelling Sidr tree.

The nectar of the Sidr tree stands out, noted for its enriched sweetness. This distinction is evident in the honey produced by bees drawing from it.

Crucially, the absence of chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers on these trees ensures the honey's pristine organic quality, underscoring its high price point.

Harvesting of Yemeni Honey

A distinctive aspect of Yemeni honey is its harvest rhythm, especially for Sidr honey. This honey is uniquely collected in winter, and here's the reason:

Winter witnesses the Sidr tree in full bloom, presenting bees with an abundant pollen feast. This bounty ensures the bees focus solely on the Sidr tree, maintaining the honey's pure richness.

The harvest process remains rooted in Yemen's tradition. Instead of machinery, harvesters rely on rudimentary tools like knives, coupled with the occasional use of smokeing Methods

Beekeepers in Yemen often follow age-old, traditional methods. These methods, while environmentally sustainable and ensuring the highest quality of honey, are labor-intensive.

Geopolitical Factors

Yemen's ongoing conflicts affect its Sidr honey production and pricing. Damaged roads and risky areas make transporting honey difficult and dangerous.

Plus, because of the unrest, there's less honey being produced. Combined with trade issues, these challenges drive up the honey's price.

Despite these obstacles, the world values Yemeni Sidr honey both for its quality and as a symbol of Yemen's resilience.

Healthful Splendors of Yemeni Honey

The health merits of Yemeni honey are profound. Research indicates its antioxidants can assist in moderating blood pressure, curbing potential heart ailments. It's also suggested to harmonize cholesterol levels.

Moreover, it offers relief for upper respiratory issues and has been shown to expedite wound healing.

The honey's unique therapeutic benefits, particularly its antimicrobial properties, make it a sought-after product globally.


To maintain its luxury and exclusiveness, Yemeni Sidr Honey is often unblended, ensuring it remains a monofloral honey.

Flavor Profile

Yemeni Sidr Honey boasts a rich, complex flavor. It has a luxurious sweetness accompanied by subtle fruity undertones.

Its aroma is reminiscent of the wilderness from which it originates, with hints of caramel, herbs, and light earthy notes.

Its texture is smooth and velvety, leaving a lasting impression on the palate.

Yemeni Sidr vs. New Zealand Manuka: A Honeyed Comparison

Often dubbed the "Middle Eastern Manuka," Sidr honey has carved a reputation in the Middle East as a potent medical elixir, even outpacing Manuka in some opinions.

Both Sidr and Manuka honeys are heralded for their medicinal prowess, transcending the realm of typical table honeys.

Manuka honey hails from the manuka bush in New Zealand, while Yemeni Sidr owes its name to the Sidr tree. The latter's historical significance is enriched by mentions in sacred texts, emphasizing its healing capacities.

Both varieties inherit antibacterial and antiseptic traits from their parent plants. While the manuka bush is celebrated for its essential oil, every fragment of the Sidr tree—from bark to berry—is revered for its therapeutic value.

The Sidr tree's fruit, in particular, is notably nutritious, an attribute mirrored in its honey, enriched by the fertile soils of its homeland. These honeys offer not just curative benefits but also an unparalleled gustatory experience.

Interesting Facts

  • The Sidr tree itself is resilient and can live for hundreds of years. Some trees in Yemen are believed to be over a thousand years old.
  • Sidr honey is often considered a symbol of love and respect in Yemeni culture and is gifted during special occasions.
  • Due to its high value, it's not uncommon for counterfeit or adulterated Sidr honey to be sold in the market. Authenticity can often be verified through lab tests checking for specific pollen counts and other markers.
  • Historically, Sidr honey was used by ancient civilizations as a topical ointment to promote wound healing.

Final Thoughts

Without question, Yemeni honey stands unparalleled in its league. Its superior quality, flavor, and health virtues distinguish it from the rest. This is merely a glimpse into its exceptional nature.

Given your discerning palate and deep appreciation for gastronomy, indulging in Yemeni Sidr Honey promises an immersive journey through Yemen's storied past, rich customs, and culinary brilliance.