It is a highly medicinal plant/tree, with loads of antibacterial/antiviral/antifungal properties. The oils are probably already familiar to you - used in personal hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing the home and wound healing. But the honey that comes from bees that pollinate the Tea Trees is AH MAAAAAYYY ZZINNNNGGG!!!! Manuka has been medically proven to assist in the healing of wounds including burns and other nasties - by adding Manuka Honey with a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) of 10+ it is considered medically potent enough to assist in this healing - preventing bacterial and fungal growth and allowing a warm and wet environment for which the damaged skin and tissue can heal. It has been used for a helluva long time by natural healers and it's satisfying to see Western Science catching up.
My Naturopath recommended it for helping to heal intestinal and gut issues my family all suffer from. At first I wasn't sure about it, it looked expensive and I am not at all a fan of regular honey. As a kid my Aunty tried feeding Hot Lemon and Honey Tea during a bad case of the flu - and I swear I almost hurled. Not a fan of hot honey and besides - most Manuka honey is actually raw - so we don't want to ruin the beneficial enzymes and goodies by scalding it in boiling water!
So, I purchased some Manuka honey from the local Supermarket, just to give it a try and see if it was all that it was cracked up to be. I wanted it to be as close to the medically useful UMF as I could afford, without being overblown expensive. So I chose a UMF of 8+ for around $10 for 500g. That makes it about twice as much as regular store bought processed honey - but I wasn't after regular honey, I wanted it specifically for its antimicrobial/baddy fighting properties - so I took the plunge.
FIRSTLY: It is DELICIOUS!!!! I would like to compare it to musicians for a second lol. Regular honey, could be likened to Carol King...it's good and all, it hits the spot. But is generally mild and mellow in essence. Manuka honey on the other hand, has so many highlights it is more akin to Whitney Housten or Celine Dion. There are many steps and stages to it's form, so many more that it fills your palate completely with high and low tones! It was like my tongue was dancing, tasting this amazing product for the first time!!!!!! I mean it - its gooood. lol
Now that being said - some people prefer Carol King to Celine Dion. You need to be in the right mood to experience each of them in their element. So I can see there is a place for Manuka, and also for regular honey. And right now I'm on the Diva honey tangent ... and I am experiencing it's many medicinal benefits.
Here is a recipe I created for my own children during a recent common cold we've all experienced. 4
COOL LEMON AND MANUKA HONEY DRINK
# Half a lemon
# 4 Cups of Spring Water
#1 Tblspn Manuka Honey (Higher UMF the better. I used 8+ UMF)
1) Pour the fresh water in a blender.
2) Cut a lemon in half, using a juicer or your hand and a fork to press in the flesh, dig that juice out of that lemon! If you drop any seeds in, use that fork to dig em out! :)
3) Add the honey. You may add more honey to sweeten and adjust to your preferred taste, but the single tablspn is the bare minimum for myself to enjoy the Lemonade.
4) Place cap on blender and blitz away - the lemonade should become a bit frothy and cloudy. The whole idea is to mix the honey through evenly.
5) Now taste and adjust to sweeten further if required. Drink up!
I tend to store this mixture at room temperature in the cupboard rather than in the fridge. One reason is because room temperature beverages are easier for the body to immediately digest than cool. Another is that lemon and honey are preservative by nature. And the other is because both kids whinge when it's too cold :). The other lemon half goes in the fridge for later.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! It definitely helped see us through our bout with the cold this week - and tasted delish! Without any added preservatives or nasties - just all honest to goodness benefit!