Honey has long been one of the most popular choices for sweeteners and delicious breakfast spreads. But while regular honey can be found at a very decent price of $5-$10 per bottle, a jar of Manuka Honey can retail for as much as $100 per jar!
Why is it so expensive and what makes Manuka Honey different from regular honey? There are several reasons why, so let's get into it.
The Manuka Flower Can Only Be Found in New Zealand
One reason why Manuka Honey is so expensive is because the Manuka Flower is native only to New Zealand and you cannot find it anywhere else in the world. New Zealand has very specific microclimates that allows for the growth of the Manuka Flower. The Manuka Flower only blooms in the most isolated hills and forests in New Zealand, where you would be considered lucky to find the Manuka Bush.
Not only can it be rarely found, but it’s also very fragile. Changes in climate and weather, pollution, and other human interference can cause terrible damage to the plant. That's why people go to the most remote hills and forests in New Zealand, which are far away from human effects.
The Frequency of Manuka Flower Blooming
Unlike regular plants from which bees make honey, the Manuka Flower doesn’t bloom throughout the season. Bees have a very short flowering window of only 12 days to collect the nectar of the Manuka Flower and create the Manuka Honey for year-worth supplies.
Bees need to fly to the Manuka Flower 22,700 times to be able to gather enough nectar for a single jar of honey. Keeping in mind that much work and that short a blooming time, it’s no wonder a jar of Manuka honey is so expensive.
Manuka Flower needs very specific Environmental Conditions
Speaking a bit more about the ways the environment can affect the Manuka Honey production, if the Manuka flower gets damaged by the weather, the time to produce the honey from the Manuka flower will be brought into question. Once the plant is damaged in its full bloom, it can make the season and total harvest very limited in years of poor weather.
A bee pollinating the native New Zealand Manuka Flower.
The way the highest quality Manuka Honey can be made is if you can use the perfect alignment of controllable and uncontrollable factors to your advantage. The climate, soil fertility, plant species, and bee health are all the factors that must be in sync if you want the liquid gold to be of its best quality. The temperatures during the short Manuka bloom can't be too low or too high. The wind needs to be just right, or the ability for bees to collect enough Manuka nectar will be seriously jeopardized. Extracting high-quality Manuka honey, while maintaining the wellbeing and health of the bees is a specialized task for beekeepers. They will work quickly and efficiently to ensure the honey collecting process is as stress-free for the bees as possible.
Manuka Flowers With High Levels of The Compounds Unique to Manuka Honey
Manuka Honey is sourced from the indigenous manuka plant Leptospermum scoparium, i.e. manuka bush. This unique and complex food contains more than 2,000 individual natural compounds. This is almost twenty times more compounds than what ordinary pasture-type honey contains.
Only specific blooms of the Manuka bush create nectar that yields a high concentration of the Manuka's three key chemical markers. You won’t find Leptosperin, Methylglyoxal, and DHA in all the Manuka Blooms. Only when meaningful levels of Manuka’s unique properties are achieved, can you make it beneficial in wellness and beauty routines.
Health Benefits Associated with Manuka Honey
The health benefits of Manuka honey have been going through various testing ever since 1981. It contains health boosting properties. The honey can alleviate digestive ailments. Namely, people with acid reflux and fungal infections have been known to resolve their problems by taking Manuka Honey regularly.
An interesting fact about most honey is that it contains chemicals that produce hydrogen peroxide, which is what is responsible for honey being able to kill bacteria. However, every other type of honey except Manuka honey will lose its bacteria-killing properties if you extract hydrogen peroxide from it. The reason this happens is because of methylglyoxal, which contains specific antimicrobial properties.
Testing and Certification
Manuka Honey has gone through the necessary testing requirements imposed by the government of New Zealand. The tests are enforced by the Ministry of Primary Industries. This offers you security and guarantees that any Manuka Honey that’s imported from New Zealand to your or any other country, meets all the necessary standards and has the highest quality.
In addition to the first level of government testing requirements, members of the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) are subject to tests that provide even more confidence to buyers. Namely, they’ll always know that Manuka Honey they are purchasing is genuine New Zealand Manuka Honey of the highest purity and quality.
The key chemical markers tested in the UMFHA testing include Methylglyoxal, DHA, and Leptosperin.
- Methylglyoxal - labelled MGO; the antibacterial component of Manuka Honey.
- DHA - uniquely present in the nectar of the Manuka flower.
Leptosperin - uniquely present in the nectar of the Manuka Flower. Allows you to identify genuine Manuka Honey.
How to Use Manuka Honey
According to Healthline, Manuka honey has the power to potentially enhance wound healing, amplify the regeneration of tissue, and even decrease pain in patients suffering from burns. Furthermore, it's very successful in removing bacteria from the mouth. So, you can use it if you have periodontal disease.
Try adding a spoonful of manuka honey to your next cup of tea!
Got a sore throat? Grab a spoonful of Manuka Honey and notice the discomfort go away quickly. You can also use it for beauty purposes and solve your acne problems. Namely, there's a variety of face masks all enriched with manuka honey to help with problematic skin. When bacteria start growing in your pores, you may experience acne problems. That’s when you should think about incorporating Manuka Honey into your beauty routine.
Why Gentle Jane uses Manuka Honey
Manuka Honey has been proven to have a variety of benefits to the human body and health. The fact that it can be made at a very specific time of the year when the Manuka Bush blooms, makes it that more precious and worth every cent. Not to mention the location of the plant and the conditions that the bees need to produce honey, when you consider all the factors it takes to product Manuka Honey, it's no wonder a jar of Manuka Honey can go up to $100 a jar.
Because of all these factors, we've chosen to use Manuka Honey UMF 16+ to use in both our Comfort Cream and Soothing Stick. Its potent soothing properties make it a great and natural ingredient that also helps hydrate the skin.
When paired with the properties of CBD, both our Comfort Cream and Soothing Stick provide gentle soothing and moisturization.
With our Soothing Stick, the packaging makes it a fabulous option to hydrate on the go without getting your hands sticky.
Have you tried any products that use Manuka Honey? Let us know in the comments!