Manuka Honey

The Capilano Guide to Manuka Honey

Authentic Australian Manuka honey is one of nature’s sweetest superfoods and to us here at Capilano, a national treasure. Read on to discover what makes Aussie Manuka honey unique and a much revered (and researched!) ingredient to support everyday health.

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is produced by bees that have foraged on the flowers of Leptospermum trees, native to Australia and New Zealand. While New Zealand has just one variety of Leptospermum, Leptospermum scoparium, Australia is home to over 80 species of Leptospermum, which contributes to the smooth, pleasing flavour of Aussie Manuka. Manuka honey has been used by native Australian and Māori cultures for thousands of years, and today is a widely researched honey prized for its healthy supporting properties.

 

How is Manuka honey different to other honeys?

Some types of Manuka honey are what we call ‘active’ and have higher antibacterial properties than regular table honey. This is thanks to a component in Manuka honey called methylglyoxal (MGO). MGO comes from an organic compound in the nectar of some Leptospermum trees called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). It is worth noting that not all Manuka honey is considered ‘active’, so it’s important to check the label when purchasing Manuka honey.

 

How is the strength of Manuka honey measured?

The strength of Manuka honey is measured by its antibacterial activity. There are a number of measures used to show the antibacterial strength of Manuka honey with the the most common measures including:

  • Methylglyoxal (MGO)
  • Non-peroxide activity (NPA)
  • Unique Manuka factor (UMF)

The higher the number for each measure, the higher the antibacterial action. Read our Manuka Honey Strength Guide to learn more on this.

 

What’s the difference between Australian Manuka and New Zealand Manuka?

The key differences are geography and taste! Both Australia and New Zealand Manuka honey is produced from bees that have foraged Leptospermum trees. As Leptospermum trees produce various amounts of DHA there are various anti-bacterial strengths of Manuka honey. It doesn’t matter if the Leptospermum tree is located in Australia or New Zealand but rather how much DHA and MGO is found.  Australian-sourced Manuka has a sweeter, smoother taste when compared to the typically medicinal-tasting New Zealand variety.

 

What are the researched health properties of Manuka Honey?

Active Manuka Honey is today prized for its health supporting properties, and has been widely studied for its antimicrobial, and wound healing effects.  There are several studies available including the following.

  • Molan, P.C. (2011). The evidence and the rationale for the use of honey as wound dressing. Wound Practice and Research, 19(4), 204-220.
  • Johnston, M., et al (2018). Antibacterial activity of Manuka honey and its components: An overview. AIMS Microbiology., 4(4):655-654
  • Bean, A. (2012). Investigating the Anti-inflammatory Activity of Honey (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6218

 

What does Manuka Honey taste like?

Manuka honey has a bold, rich and complex flavour with notes of barley, herbs and a pleasant lingering aftertaste. Capilano Active Manuka Honey has a deliciously sweet, smooth flavour with no overpowering ‘medicine’ flavour, common in some Manuka honeys. This means our active Manuka honey is incredibly versatile an easy to enjoy by the spoon, or in drinks and recipes. We have a whole eBook dedicated to ways to enjoy Manuka honey in your daily drinks and recipes, which you can download here.

How can I use Manuka Honey?

With its smooth sweet taste, Capilano Active Manuka honey is very easy to enjoy. Why not try it:

  • Simply by the spoonful to soothe a sore throat
  • In a cup of tea or coffee to start your day the active way
  • Squeezed into cereal or porridge, for a superfood boost
  • Mixed into salad dressings and sauces to top up your daily Manuka honey intake

To discover even more ways to use manuka honey, jump on over to our article on the 5 ways to Boost your Daily Routine with Manuka Honey or download our free eBook with even more recipes, education and inspiration!

 

References:

*Cokcetin, N.N., Pappalardo, M., Campbell, L.T., Brooks, P., Carter, D.A., Blair, S.E. & Harry, E.J. (2016). The Antibacterial Activity of Australian Leptospermum Honey Correlates with Methylglyoxal Levels. PLoS One, vol. 11, no. 12, p. e0167780

**Jenkins, R. (2016). Manuka honey makes bacteria less resistant to antibiotics. The Conversation website. https://theconversation.com/manuka-honey-makes-bacteria-less-resistant-to-antibiotics-63160

***Australian Manuka Honey Association, (n.d) https://www.capilanohoney.com/uploads/Honey-And-Health/AMHA-Awareness-Brochure_v0.9-web.pdf & Molan, P.C. (2011). The evidence and the rationale for the use of honey as wound dressing. Wound Practice and Research, 19(4), 204-220.

**** Bean, A. (2012). Investigating the Anti-inflammatory Activity of Honey (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6218

Capilano Active Manuka Honey has a deliciously sweet, smooth flavour with no overpowering ‘medicine’ flavour, common in some Manuka honeys. It is completely pure and hand-harvested by our Aussie beekeepers.

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