The famous Manuka honey comes from bees that pollinate Leptospermum scoparium, or the manuka bush, which grows predominantly in New Zealand and Australia. Other species of this bush grow all over the world, but do not produce the flowers bees need in order to produce the famous Manuka Honey.
Mānuka flowers are 10-12mm across and generally pure white. Depending on the weather Manuka blooms between August and October for 2-6 weeks, and because other trees will bloom later, much of the nectar available to the bees during this period is exclusivly in the Manuka flower, which is good, because the Manuka flower would be the bee's second choice to many other sweeter nectars if available.
Manuka is well known for it's unique antibiotic and healing characteristics. This honey contains an exceptionally high concentration of a non-peroxide anti-bacterial compound methylglyoxal (MGO), which gives it an extremely high antibacterial quality.The higher the MGO, the more antioxidants it contains. When picking up a bottle of Manuka Honey, you may even see the MGO number listed on the front of the packaging.
Manuka Honey has been the subject of many studies proving the efficacy of it's ability to alleviate symptoms from digestive ailments, and upper respiratory issues like sinusitis, allergies and sore throats. The well known wound healing capabilities and it's high antibiotic properties Manuka Honey widely acknowledged in the medical community.
Generally a darker honey and it's sweet flavor lessens and gradually adds a small sharp tinge as MGO numbers increase above 10. Many use it as a nutritional supplement, but it also aids in cell repair and, when used regularly, boosts immunity.