Gorno Draglishte Borov Med

Miscellaneous - Bulgaria

Borov med is a honey-like product made from Scots pine tips and local herbs e in the Razlog area of southwestern Bulgaria, particularly in the village of Gorno Draglishte on the southern slopes of Mount Rila. The syrup has a chestnut-red color and is very fragrant, with resinous and herbal notes. Although borov med is popular throughout Bulgaria, the more widely known version is made from pine tips and sugar. In Gorno Draglishte, however, many local medicinal plants and herbs are added that make this local version unique. Scots pine tips are collected in May when they are very young and full of resin. Only Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) tips are used, because local people consider other pine resins as excessively tangy. The tips are boiled in water for about 20 minutes together with fresh leaves and branches of colt’s foot (Tussilago farfara), thyme (of the Thymus genus), St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), Bulgarian geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), raspberry (Rubus idaeus), and blackberry bush (of the Rubus genus). This is mixed with sugar in a ratio of 5:4, and boiled down over 1-3 days over a low flame, until the syrup obtained is as thick as honey. It is then poured into glass jars for later storage. Bulgarian traditional medicine prescribes Scots pine tips in many cases in a variety of forms (water, syrup, honey, herbal teas, compresses, etc.). Borov med consumption is part of the traditional therapy of respiratory conditions such as cough, bronchitis, asthma, as well as gastric problems. It is used externally for healing of wounds and skin inflammations. Besides its medicinal properties, borov med is also consumed directly as a breakfast jelly or used to sweeten cakes, pastries and herbal teas. Commercially produced borov med can be made from a combination of pine tips and green pine cones, and the quality varies from producer to producer. In southwestern Bulgaria, borov med is still made according to the local tradition on a small scale, following a time consuming and labor intensive process.