The History Of Pure Manuka Honey

NZ Manuka honey has a unique history and it all begins with the humble Manuka plant. The Manuka plant has been well known to have medicinal qualities and Manuka health benefits have been used historically within the indigenous Maori people as Rongo, or medicine. 

The entire plant was used. Seeds, flowers, bark, wood, leaves and ash. Known for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic qualities, it was used to treat cold symptoms, wounds and digestive issues.

Bark was boiled down in the water to be used as a sedative and even mouthwash. The leaves were steeped and drunk to reduce fever and combat colds. Captain Cook even encouraged his crew to drink the leaves as a tea because he liked the bitter taste. 

The Manuka plant as honey 

The Maori people have a long and ancient history gathering honey sourced from the many native NZ bees. These bees preferred the glorious native trees of New Zealand such as the Manuka tree. While we have 28 native species of bees, traditionally they are not used for commercial purposes. 

Bee’s naturally want to gather pollen and nectar to make honey as preparation and storage for winter when there are not as many flowers out. When it’s removed, the bees will produce more. 

In 1839, Mary Bumby transported two hives from London over a strenuous 6-month trip. This was roughly the first introduction of bees to NZ. Honey made from the Manuka plant was not so popular. This all changed when in 1980, Dr Peter Molan confirmed the antibacterial properties of genuine Manuka honey in NZ (this was already known throughout the indigenous Maori population). 

The UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) rating for genuine Manuka honey was then developed by the National Beekeepers Association New Zealand. This Manuka honey UMF rating was designed to declare the strength, potency and how pure the Manuka honey is. A higher UMF rating means more Manuka honey benefits. 

At PURITI we offer the highest and best Manuka honey in NZ. Unlike other honey brands, we pride ourselves on transparency and high-quality Manuka honey. PURITI honey utilises modern production techniques and testing. We have the highest testing standards that go above and beyond our legal requirements and the MPI definition. 

What makes pure Manuka honey in New Zealand so beneficial?

PURITI Manuka honey is high in an antibacterial compound called methylglyoxal. This makes it beneficial for wound care dressings, cosmetics and to be used as a superfood. MGO refers to the quantity of methylglyoxal (MGO) and is operated on a grading system that directly correlates with the UMF Manuka honey rating. The higher the UMF certification, the more MGO is in the honey. 

For example, a 250g jar of PURITI 10+ contains a 300+ minimum MGO level. The UMF minimum requirement stipulates a level of only 263 is necessary, but at PURITI we have higher standards.

There are many different types of honey, but honey taken from the Manuka plant has a higher nutritional content. When used topically, It’s antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have been studied for a significant number of years and PURITI is known as one of the best known Manuka honey brands in New Zealand. 

Manuka Honey NZ - PURITI - The History of Manuka Honey


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