Manuka Mysteries True or False

The Manuka tree has been around for centuries, dating back to early Maori settlers in New Zealand who used it for everything from fever and muscle aches to skin care. However, there is still a level of confusion about this seemingly mysterious gift from nature. Having harvested it for over four decades, Manuka honey is no mystery to us here at Comvita.

True or false: Manuka honey can only come from New Zealand

TRUE! Real Manuka honey is made by bees that pollinate the Manuka flower, which is native to New Zealand and blooms just 2-6 weeks per year. Manuka honey can only be produced in areas abundant with native Manuka blossoms, which is why our hives are located in some of the most remote, untouched parts of New Zealand. From the rugged central North Island volcanic plateau, to the bush clad hills of Northland, our bee hives are spread across the country – with some areas only accessible by helicopter. Having our hives located in these extraordinary places makes it possible for us to produce the premium and rare Manuka honey, independently certified with a range of UMF® ratings.

True or false: Manuka honey tastes the same as other floral honey

FALSE! Our honey undergoes a creaming process after extraction to even out the crystals and texture. Manuka honey is sweet and delicious, with more colour and intensity of the distinctive taste at higher UMF® numbers. Like a good wine, Manuka Honey grows in UMF® and darkens over time.

True or false: The UMF® rating on Manuka honey is important

TRUE! Comvita’s UMF® strength ranges from 5+ to 20+, with 20+ indicating the highest level of beneficial compounds. The higher the number, the higher the concentration of these compounds, the more targeted the usage for common wellness remedies, which is why higher UMF levels also tend to have a darker color and distinctive taste (some might call it medicinal).

True or false: Heat can diminish the properties of honey

TRUE AND FALSE - Some properties of Manuka honey can be affected at high temperatures, but some low heat during processing, does not negatively impact the properties of honey. We guarantee the UMF® level of our UMF® Manuka honey for the life of the product.

True or false: Babies shouldn’t take Manuka honey

TRUE! We do not recommend that honey be given to children under the age of one. This is a World Health Organisation (WHO) directive, and is not specific to Comvita or New Zealand honey. However, Manuka honey is a great way to sweeten up snacks for older kids and provides soothing qualities which is why Manuka honey is a key ingredient in Comvita Lollipops, Lozenges and Elixirs.

True or false: You should only take Manuka honey when you’re sick

FALSE! While it is ideal to help soothe your throat (especially in herbal tea or lemon water concoction), you can enjoy Manuka honey every day. It can be added to healthy recipes, tea, toast, fruit, yoghurt, oatmeal, or smoothies; you can enjoy a spoonful in the morning or before a workout.

True or false: Comvita makes the best Manuka honey

TRUE! Comvita is REAL Manuka. We’ve been nurturing bees and harvesting honey since 1974 - and our founder Claude Stratford had already been beekeeping for over 50 years by then. Our practices are sustainable to honour the natural state of Manuka honey, and make sure this extremely rare nectar is available for generations to come. Comvita Manuka Honey products are UMF® graded, which means they are tested both by Comvita and by independent laboratories to meet strict quality standards for Manuka honey. We trace every single drop from hive to shelf. The earth provides incredible resources to those who are willing to honour, and we respect nature’s wisdom above all.

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