The Wild Story of Manuka, The Bees, and Honey

The Wild Story of Manuka, The Bees, and Honey - TURNER New Zealand

You’ve heard about Manuka honey everywhere, and now you’re ready to get some answers.  If you want to know everything that there is about this seemingly mysterious sweet treat, there’s no better place to start than at the beginning.  Let’s take a detailed look into where it comes from, what you need to know about it, and the reality of what it is going to mean for you if you’re interested in its sweetness, too.


What is Manuka honey?

This is a raw kind of honey that is created by bees that extract the nectar from the flowers of the Manuka bush (hence the name).  In order for it to be considered Manuka honey, the honey harvested by beekeepers from the hives must pass certification practices that can establish the Manuka percentage value (more on that in a bit).

Manuka Flowers

Who discovered Manuka honey?

You may already know this, but you see Manuka honey from New Zealand in terms of marketing because it was native to this island nation.  It was first discovered by the first settlers of New Zealand, the Maori.  They are considered to be the discoverers, if you will, of this potent honey. 


Their uses were broad and focused mainly on the Manuka plant itself.  From healing salves from burns out of the leaves to relying on the bark as a sedative, it did a little bit of everything.  During this time, there was no honey to be harvested because, well, there were no bees!


The honey itself didn’t come until the late 1830s, when Mary Bumby, an English beekeeper, set up a hive of bees near the Manuka bushes.  Historians agree that this first generation of bees was responsible for producing the first-ever Manuka honey.


While the Maori discovered the plant’s medicinal properties many years ago, the antibacterial properties of the honey itself were confirmed by Peter Molan in 1980.  This marked the start of this honey’s rise to claim.

Manuka Honey Infographics

Why is Manuka honey famous?

What is it that makes organic Manuka honey so great?  Why does it continue to be popular to the point where everyone is talking about it?  It all comes down to the main properties that help “put it on a pedestal” compared to your classic table honey from a supermarket.   These include:


1. The antibacterial properties

This is perhaps the most crucial detail in this honey. Its active ingredient, MGO, makes it antibacterial, and it can even outperform traditional antibacterial products.  When used over a wound, it can help keep it clean as it heals.  It is a dedicated protector to the skin, killing off daily bacteria, such as that which causes acne), to those responsible for infections.


2. The antimicrobial properties

It is also microbial, adding extra fighting power to its already potent antibacterial properties. It is a great choice, especially for those who are looking for acne treatment, as this antimicrobial works well with low pH products from cleansers to moisturizers.


3. It is as effective inside as outside

We’ve talked mostly about wound healing and skincare with those antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, but this is also a great choice when looking at what it does inside. Through those same properties, it can help soothe sore throats, calm upset stomachs, and ease digestion, amongst others.


4. It has a particular taste

A fascinating detail to those who love honey is that it has a vibrant and specific taste. It’ll add a bit of extra tang and a whole lot of nutritional value, especially in its antioxidant properties, while you’re at it.


Is Manuka honey a myth?

When you see all of that explained out, it sounds as though Manuka honey from New Zealand must be a fairytale or fiction, right?  While it is impressive, you’ll be happy to learn that it is very much a real thing, and it is something that you can have for yourself in your very own pantry!  There are many different uses for this unique honey, including:


A. As a tea sweetener or sweet treat

Substitute this in place of your sugar in your coffee or tea or your spoonful of ice cream. It’ll be subtle but sweet and just right for delivering some antioxidant-rich nutrition in “disguise” like a sweet treat.


B. As a natural, potent wound healer

Mentioned briefly above, it bears repeating! From wounds to sores to burns to cuts, and so on, Manuka honey can be supportive in keeping the area clean and free from bacteria and promoting new skin cell growth for faster and more effective healing.


C. As eczema and acne treatment

This will help kill bacteria that cause acne, reduce the redness s of acne or eczema flare-ups, and moisturize the skin all at the same time. For those that find they need gentle yet potent cleansers or salves, Manuka honey is a great choice that protects and cleans!


Also Read: Manuka Honey Beauty Mask Recipe


D. As toothpaste and/or mouthwash

Manuka honey can lend its antibacterial properties to oral hygiene as well, as counterintuitive as it sounds. It will help kill off gingivitis-causing bacteria and will also help break down plaque and build-up.  Since it is not made from refined sugar, it won’t cause cavities.


Essential Manuka honey details to know about

Do you still have some questions on Manuka honey that need answering?  Here are some prime ones and the answers that you seek.


How do I take Manuka honey?

Any way that you wish, really!  Since it has a strong taste to it, it’s best enjoyed mixed with something.  Many people add it to tea, mix it with yogurt, add it to oatmeal, and use it as part of a glaze for a ham or a roast.  If you love the taste, enjoy it by the teaspoon and let it melt in your mouth!


Why is Manuka honey so expensive?

There is a lot of demand for Manuka honey, so that means there is more demand for beekeepers and their hives.  Since the Manuka bush is native to New Zealand and has a short flowering season, there is a lot of demand for not-quite-enough honey.  Then there’s the fact that the high MGO content, responsible for its potent health benefits, is not found in other kinds of honey.

TURNER Manuka Honey UAF1000+

Is Manuka honey good for a lung infection?

Recent studies have shown that Manuka honey can kill bacteria responsible for causing a lung infection that other antibiotics were not capable of doing [1].  This is something to think about for those with a susceptibility to lung infections or even sensitivities or allergies to classic antibiotics.


What is UAF1000+, and how can it increase the value of classic Manuka honey?

UAF1000+ is a combination of potent antioxidants superfoods that will help enhance the antioxidant profile of the honey.  This will support fighting free radicals and supporting immunity better than other types of classic Manuka honey.

TURNER Manuka honey UAF1000+


Also Read: 3 Facts About Manuka Honey UAF1000+


How can I check the purity of Manuka honey?

To be sold with the use of Manuka honey on its label, it must be independently certified as raw and authentic Mauka honey by third-party certification labs.  Always look for the certification on the packaging, and then check the ingredients label to see the percentage of Manuka honey!


A wonderful choice that has the history to prove it

When you take a look at all of that laid out in front of you, it’s easy to see just why it’s so popular!  If you are looking for something that will deliver on all of its promises, organic Manuka honey will be the real deal. 


When shopping for your new favorite treat, you’re going to want to make sure that you are sourcing the traditional therapeutic honey that you think you are!  Since it is so popular, some are trying to “jump on the bandwagon.”   Stay infused from descriptions using “fortified” or “real,” as strange as that may sound.  When looking for actual Manuka honey products, you should be instead of looking for words like “raw” and “certified.”


Manuka honey is a powerful and restorative choice all the way back to the beginning when the Indigenous Maori used its tree’s healing properties.  If you are hunting for a way to make better choices, one of your pantry staples should be a jar full of raw Manuka honey.  Not only is it the authentic deal, but it’s also going to be an excellent choice for your health on the inside and the outside and an excellent treat for your tastebuds.