Humans have known of the benefits of honey for thousands of years, from its natural sweetness to its various acclaimed health properties, honey is one of the oldest known and valued commodities on earth. (There is evidence dating back over 8000 years with a rock painting found in Valencia, Spain of a person collecting honey…) Through the ages we have been finding more and more benefits from honey and with modern science we are able to narrow down the exact properties in specific types of honey widely studied for potential medicinal properties. We all know it’s delicious, easy on the stomach and a great substitute for nasty chemicals and sugar, but now we are learning more about possible natural antibacterial properties.
One honey in particular has the highest properties of these compounds and is now known as the one of best natural antibacterial sources in the world. This honey is found right here in New Zealand, and comes from the nectar of the Mānuka Flower, also known as Leptospermum Scoparium.
Mānuka Honey has a few different key compounds which make it such a fantastic product, the main element we are concerned with is methylglyoxal, or MGO for short.
MGO is directly proportional to the amount of dihydroxyacetone found in the nectar if the Mānuka flower, which varies from tree to tree and location to location across New Zealand. MGO is the main ingredient which makes Mānuka honey so beneficial to us.
In order to maintain a fair standard, the term Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) was established to grade all Mānuka honey made in New Zealand. The grades often displayed as 5+, 10+, 15+ and 20+ tell us the minimum levels of the key ingredients that particular jar of honey has.
UMF grading relates to its percentage of properties to a Phenol Equivalent, which was once used as a potent antiseptic. UMF of 20 would be 20% phenol equivalent. As you can see, Mānuka Honey is an extensively researched so it must be special!
There is more to honey than just the super food of Mānuka though! As mentioned honey has been used for thousands of years so there must be something golden about this product.
At Honey and Cocoa we will be stocking not just a huge variety of Manuka Honey, but a range of the best of all the variations of honey found across all of New Zealand. This includes Thyme and White Clover honey from Otago, Rata, Rewarewa and Kamahi honey from the native forests of the North Island, plus Wildflower, Borage, Pasture honey and balanced blends of all the best flora from across the country. If your looking for a particular type or flavour, we have everything you could want!