Honey is the Bee’s Knees

Honey – ‘A sweet, sticky yellowish-brown fluid made by bees and other insects from nectar collected from flowers’ (Oxford English Dictionary)

Health benefits

Honey has been used as a food source and for its healing properties since ancient times. In its raw state* researchers have confirmed its truly amazing anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory abilities.

Honey is naturally moisturising, contains amino acids and can be used direct on burns, or to help minimise scarring. This makes it an ideal and common ingredient for all kinds of medicines and cosmetics.

Manuka Honey

We are often asked what is the difference between our local honey and Manuka honey (apart from the cost!). Manuka honey is derived from the nectar of New Zealand’s native Manuka bush (Leptospermum Scoparium), the same family as the tea tree plant; Myrtaceae. This fact alone makes it more potent than regular honey with its high levels of a naturally occurring compound called Methylgoxal (MG). The quantities of MG are measured by the UMF scale.

What is UMF?

It is very common to see a sticker on Manuka honey indicating the UMF level. Over 20 years ago, Dr Peter Molan of Waikato University in New Zealand discovered that in some strains of Manuka honey there was a special ingredient with exceptional anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. At the time, although he could measure the amount of anti-bacterial/anti-fungal activity in the honey, he did not know what the specific compound was.

So, he named it Unique Manuka Factor, or (UMF), and he developed a scale from 0 to about 20 to help quantify how much UMF is present in a specific batch of Manuka honey. Any Manuka honey above a UMF of 16 is considered to have high levels of anti-bacterial and anti-viral activity.

Other uses

Local honey may also be a useful hay-fever remedy. Eating honey made from the pollens local to you can help alleviate hay-fever symptoms. Although research does not support this, many people swear by it.

It’s delicious on bread, ice cream, pancakes, in yoghurts, salad dressings etc, etc!

*not the processed squeezy bottled honey found in supermarkets