Nature provides us an access to a diverse group of plants with numerous usages including decoration, medicinal, flowering and fruiting. India is known for its vast biological diversity and rich traditional systems of medicine (Ayurveda), which forms a strong base for the exploration of various plants for general health care.
Rhododendron is one such plant that is acquiring a special place in the cultural as well as economic life of the people. Rhododendron is derived from Greek word: “rhodo” means “rose” and “dendron” means “tree.” It belongs to the family, Ericaceae, and was frst described by Carl Linnaeus in 1837.
Rhododendron, the largest genus of the Ericaceae family, includes 1200 species which is distributed throughout the Northeast Asia and Eurasia, Western Europe and North America.
Rhododendron contains minerals such as manganese, iron, zinc, copper, sodium, chromium, cobalt, cadmium, molybdenum, nickel, lead and arsenic. Minerals play a vital role in maintaining certain physicochemical processes which are essential for life. Manganese, copper, selenium, zinc, iron and molybdenum are important cofactors found in the structure of certain enzymes and are indispensable in numerous biochemical pathways. Sodium is important in maintaining the osmotic balance between cells and interstitial fluid
Some studies have reported that Rhododendron honey lowers blood glucose and lipid levels in the case of rats with diabetes mellitus. It has also been reported to impart anti-bacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and antimicrobial effects.