Manuka Honey- what is it?

Recently my friend Allison brought me some New Zealand, Manuka Honey from one of her favorite LA stores Erewhon Natural Foods. I did not know much about this honey.

In recent years I have used less honey since it is technically non-vegan and since agave nectar, which can often be used in place of honey, became so readily available. I have continued to use honey in specific instances where I am looking for a honey flavor or for medicinal purposes. I choose specific types of honey depending on how I plan to use it since both taste and consistency are so varied. One of my favorites over the years has been from a Baltimore based company called, Really Raw Honey. Their honey is produced from a community of many small beekeeping operations that practice and advocate environmentally sound beekeeping.

I have read about and witnessed the health benefits of honey including a positive effect on digestion, ulcers, allergies and respiratory problems. Based on my recent reading, it seems Manuka honey provides all of the benefits of standard unprocessed honey plus many more.

Manuka is a raw, un-pasteurized organic honey which is collected from the bees that gather nectar from the flowers that grow on wild Manuka (also known as the Tea Tree Bush). For years I have used tea tree oil for all sorts of cuts and scrapes because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties. The tea tree is indigenous to New Zealand and it seems that the properties of the tea tree combined with the natural antibacterial properties of honey make for an extraordinary variety of honey.

The taste is unique, complex and somewhat earthy and can be used in for a variety of culinary purposes. The few Manuka honeys I have recently tried have all been delicious but it seems that its healing properties are what distinguish it from all other types of honey.

With a little online research I found….

Studies indicate that Manuka honey contains very powerful antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, making it extremely effective in treating a wide variety of health conditions. There are testimonials that the honey taken internally and used externally has been a successful treatment to all sorts of infections and other ailments, some that are resistant to antibiotics.

Standard honey and Manuka honey contain hydrogen peroxide which is a known antiseptic. However standard honey looses most of its healing properties when it comes in contact with certain conditions such as light, heat or dilution. Active Manuka (a specific form of the honey) is stable so it is able to maintain its potency and healing properties.

The Benefits of Manuka Honey Website
sells the honey and gives details about how and when to use as a remedy.