Raw Manuka Honey is honey that has been taken out of the hive, and usually extracted from the bee hive frame. Raw means not processed. It has not been heated, and has not been pasteurized for example. Raw honey is not generally pure because it has small amounts of bee pollen, bee propolis, and wax in it. In this state, it will still have its live enzymes and vitamins. They would have been largely destroyed in a process using heat.
Honey sold in big supermarket chains looks different than raw honey. It has previously been heated. This made it less viscous so it would flow through pipes and tubes. It has been put through one or more filtering membranes to remove the so-called impurities. These impurities – pollen, bee wings, propolis, and wax – have nutritional value. The result is better looking honey. But the honey benefits which come from vitamins, enzymes, and other content have been markedly affected.
The honey comes from the Manuka Bush which is native to New Zealand; a small country southeast of Australia. The plant is also known as the Tea Tree and its Latin name is Leptospermum Scoparium. This plant grows in mountainous regions of New Zealand and the harvesting period for manuka honey is only six weeks in each year. This is because the Manuka Bushes flower only for this short time.
Raw Manuka Honey is eaten, as with any honey, by spreading it on bread or other food. The enzymes in raw honey aid digestion. Of course, if the honey is added as a sweetener to a hot drink or used in cooking it will lose its benefits.
The honey can be described as ‘raw’ or as ‘active raw’ honey. In its raw state it has much the same anti-bacterial qualities as other raw honey. Active raw Manuka Honey has a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). This UMF has been identified and studied academically. The studies conclude that this honey which contains UMF has a big boost in its medicinal value. Only a small proportion of all Manuka Bushes produce the special UMF honey. Honey which has the UMF is rated on a scale going up from from 10+.
The anti-bacterial properties of active Raw Manuka Honey are exceptional. Consequently, it is used in the treatment for infected wounds, burns and abrasions. The active honey seals the skin’s surface by removing the conditions (water) that the bacteria need to survive. The honey has unusually good penetration into skin surfaces. The area can then be bandaged to keep the Raw Manuka Honey on the wound, burn, or abrasion in place.
Because of its special qualities Raw Manuka Honey sells for a high price, especially if it is ‘active’ (rated UMF 10+ above). Raw Manuka Honey has a very distinctive ‘bush’ flavour which is absolutely delicious. To experience this wonderful taste you do not need to buy UMF because the taste of any Raw Manuka Honey is just as good!