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Children's Dental Health Month

Children's Dental Health Month

Manuka, Propolis & Sea Salt for Natural Oral Care

Do you know what the #1 reason for poison control calls involving children is? Ingestion of fluoride toothpaste. If that isn’t a reason to switch up your kid’s oral care routine, we don’t know what is! 

In case you do need more convincing or just love to learn, let’s take a look at the growing evidence between overall health and our oral health. Many issues, such as cardiovascular & respiratory diseases, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, dementia & more, have been linked to periodontal diseases.

Unbiased studies show that fluoride does not prevent any harmful bacteria. This knowledge and growing concern about fluoride exposure and toxicity has increased the popularity of natural oral care options. 

If you have explored the world of clean oral care, you’ve likely heard of oil pulling and various essential oils to incorporate into your routine. 

What you may not have heard of are the wide-ranging oral benefits of Manuka Honey, Manuka Oil, Propolis, and Sea Salt. In fact, you can replace your family’s entire routine with these ingredients!

Let’s start with the benefits of each ingredient:

Manuka Honey: This is probably the most surprising out of the group because of its natural sugar content. Yet, study after study shows that manuka helps reduce plaque by preventing the development of biofilms, which is what makes plaque so hard to remove. It also restricts bacteria formation preventing tooth cavities and other gum problems like periodontal disease, gingivitis, bleeding, receding gums, dry mouth, and bad breath. This is not for use on children under one-year-old. 

Manuka Oil: If you haven’t met Tea Tree Oil’s more powerful cousin, let us introduce you! Manuka oil is shown to be up to 33x more effective against most bacteria than tea tree oil. It has also been tested alongside peppermint oil against two of the most common oral pathogens and again found more effective. Manuka oil is generally considered one of the most antibacterial & antimicrobial oils in existence. 

Propolis: another amazing compound with the ability to prevent plaque formation! Plaque is considered to be the main cause of most oral diseases. It also fights bad bacteria and canker sores.

Sea Salt: many use a salt gargle for sore throats, but it can also help soothe bleeding gums and heal canker sores faster. It may also speed recovery after dental surgery. The thought is that a sea salt rinse can balance your mouth’s pH levels, making it an inhospitable environment for bad bacteria. 

Now that you know why to use these four key ingredients, let’s discuss how to use them.

There are a plethora of ways you can incorporate manuka honey, oil, propolis, and sea salt into your & your child’s routine. To some extent, how you use it will depend on just how DIY you want to go.  You can find a ton of natural oral care recipes online, such as these from our friend Stacy of No Fuss Natural.

Here we will explore a simple routine to use the products without full-blown recipes:

Step one: Add one drop of manuka oil to one tablespoon of coconut oil.**

Step two: Swish the oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes - or for as long as they can do it. Some swishing is better than none! Make it a game and see who can go longer.

Step three: Spit oil into a trashcan (it can clog your pipes!) 

Step four: using a clean finger, apply manuka honey to your teeth and gums and gently brush your teeth using a toothbrush

Step five: add a quarter teaspoon of sea salt and 5 drops of propolis to a cup of warm water.

Step six: gargle & swish the salt rinse. Spit out when done!

**Note: Oil pulling is best for older kids as you do not want to swallow the oil once done.

We’d love to hear what you do to a gold star at the dentist's office! Write us a note and let us know.

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Air Fryer Recipe Round-Up

Air Fryer Recipe Round-Up

Ahhh, the indomitable air fryer. If you don't get it, you've never had one. Some love it as a healthier way to fry your favorite foods, and some for its convenience. The air fryer can replace your toaster and oven, making it the hero of many kitchens, especially small ones. Plus, it saves you a ton of oil. 

From poached eggs to baked cakes, you can make almost everything with this popular appliance. Here is a round-up of our favorite air fryer recipes:

  • Fluffy GF Bagels - Gluten and yeast free, but you'd never know it. This bagel's texture is on point.

  • Sticky Buns - Your favorite breakfast treat, made better with manuka honey! You really can't beat that fresh-baked smell.

  • Shiitake Mushroom Jerky - Our version of this trendy snack will never go out of style.  Warning, though, you'll eat the whole batch at once!

  • Honey Apple Pie Bombs - Tasty handheld apple pies with no pastry experience necessary?! Yup, these are all that.

  • Air Fryer Sammies - Classic sandwich combos get upgraded with a sandwich cutter & the perfect level of toastiness. Your kids will ask for these on repeat.

  • Carrot Bacon BLT - The carrot bacon in this BLT is also great on salads, pizza & more! 
What is your favorite air fryer recipe?

 

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Air Fryer Molten Honey Lava Cake

Air Fryer Molten Honey Lava Cake

Gluten-Free & Ready in Under 30 Minutes!

Do you preplan your desserts, or do they happen on a whim? We never know when that post-dinner craving will strike. When it does, we’ll be ready with these fantastic lava cakes - just mix, wait and bake! 

As with many dishes, who invented lava cakes is in dispute. Some say it originated at a bake-off in 1966, while two pastry chefs each say they developed it in the 1980s, and another insists there was already a dessert like it in France before then. Many of us have a nostalgic connection to this dessert no matter where it began, as it became wildly popular in the 1990s. 

Lava cakes were named for their liquid chocolate center, and our recipe uses our favorite PRI Dark Chocolate Patties to create this ooey-gooey delicious core! Since the patties come in five flavors, you can pick your favorite! We tried caramel and coffee, which were both amazing!

The bonus of using manuka honey in your desserts is its impressive oral care benefits. Manuka Honey will help reduce plaque by preventing the development of biofilms, which make plaque harder to remove. It also restricts bacteria formation preventing tooth cavities and other gum problems like periodontal disease, gingivitis, bleeding, receding gums, dry mouth, and bad breath.

Of course, while brushing your teeth afterward is still recommended, you certainly wouldn’t get the same benefits from other sweeteners and other types of honey!

Serves: 1-2

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Sift the oat flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Then add in almond milk, manuka honey, and vanilla. Stir until the batter is well combined and the honey is incorporated throughout. Let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes to bubble up.
  3. Grease a ramekin with oil or spray and then fill it halfway with the batter. Then place in one or two manuka chocolate patties and fill to the top with the rest of the batter.
  4. Air fry for 12-14 minutes at 360°F. The cook time depends on the individual air fryer, so you check on it around the 8-minute mark. The longer you cook it, the less gooey it will be.
  5. Remove from the air fryer and let cool. Top with ice cream or powdered sugar, and enjoy!
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Positive Solutions > Resolutions

Positive Solutions > Resolutions

The New Way to Start the New Year

It's that time of year again, and we're sure you're thinking: "oh great, here's another brand talking about resolutions and how to be 'better' next year if we buy their products 🙄”.

Here's the thing, though, we're not going to. Well, we will do the first part, just differently from how you think. Bear with us here.

At PRI, transparency is one of our four core values. Often, that means transparency in sourcing, labeling & your ability to see your honey’s test results quickly. In our blog and social posts, it might translate into what words we use to describe our product’s abilities and ensure we are always sharing studies. It also means openness in sharing our beliefs & values to better connect with our partners and customers.

In our constant quest to be more transparent, we have many conversations about the meaning of words. Some words or phrases are defined in the dictionary in one way but used by the general public or brands in another way. Some examples you might be familiar with are “all-natural” or “made with organic ingredients.”

For instance, many products only need to contain 95% organic ingredients to be certified organic! 

After having those conversations, & rereading last year's blog post about our top tips for making realistic resolutions, we had a moment of clarity about two things. 

1 - Our tips culminated into one core feeling:  Positive Solutions > Resolutions.

2 - We've always known that we don't need to go on the newest diet, track every bit of food put into our bodies, or cause massive amounts of stress trying to cut out our favorite foods simply because someone said it was terrible for us. 

The missing first step.

Even so, we were still missing a critical first step: The need to approach WHY we want to change the things we want to change about ourselves. 

Which of our desired changes come from toxic societal influence or past trauma, and which will genuinely serve us in the long run? Once we've done that, we can look at what remains as a puzzle (not a problem) that we can only solve by creating positive solutions and showing kindness to ourselves. 

So, in 2023 our quest is to be vigilant: 

Vigilant against unrealistic resolutions.

Vigilant against negative self-speak.

Vigilant against the constant seeking of a perfection which does not exist.

Vigilant against applying restrictions to ourselves that don't honor our bodies, our souls & our heritage.

Vigilant in our defiance of fear. 

So how do you practice this in everyday life?

We asked our CFO Kristy and some of our friends to share their thoughts on resolutions, honoring yourself, and tips about using positive solutions to become the best version of yourself possible.

Here is what our CFO Kristy Oakley had to say about unrealistic resolutions & how to make real change instead: 

“Resolutions - realistic or not - I don’t make them. I never have and never will. My family and friends that have made them rarely keep them long and then feel bad or guilty for not. This is unneeded pressure and guilt for a change you THINK you need to make and declare to the world.  

Real change happens in those quiet moments by yourself when no one is looking, and you have come to a place where you are ready and able to make whatever change that may be. 

If you are not ready, it can be a constant struggle despite many best attempts! 

Don’t let what you think others think you should change be a goal. Start with loving yourself where you are right now. When going out into the world, you have to be happy with who you are right now….not who you were, not who you will be, but who you are today in each moment. 

In this mindset, amazing things can happen, and realistic goals can be made and achieved. You are your greatest cheerleader! 

This is a challenging task, as loving yourself can be one of the most complex hurdles to jump. And sometimes, it is a daily challenge. I remind myself constantly! 

My daily tips:

1 - Be aware of those around you, and help make someone’s day by just noticing them 

2 - Smile even when you feel crappy(surprisingly, this actually helps bring happiness into your day!)

3 - Be thankful even if just for waking up to a new day or that first cup of tea or coffee ...it has a knock-on effect, you will see!”

Body-Positive Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & owner of Beautiful Eats & Things says: 

This phrase “Vigilant against applying restrictions to ourselves that don't honor our bodies, our souls & our heritage” resonates with me. It reminds me that you don’t have to deprive or restrict yourself from things that bring you joy as a way to make positive changes. It also reminds me to be proud of who I am and where I come from.

Everywhere we turn, we face unrealistic body goals and unsolicited health advice encouraging us to fit society’s unattainable beauty standards. This year, challenge yourself to put YOU first and learn to appreciate YOU. This includes doing things that make you feel good—such as saying a few positive affirmations each morning before starting your day, giving yourself permission to eat and enjoy a meal instead of worrying about calories and weight gain, or simply telling your body, Thank You. Remember that you are enough, so start celebrating everything that makes you uniquely YOU!”

Lisa Fennessy, the founder of The New Knew, is on a mission to make non-toxic living the norm. Here’s her experience with defying fear and how you can too:

I was terrified when I stopped dying my hair. I spent a lot of energy worrying about what I would look like and what others would think. I wavered, I wondered,d and I second-guessed myself again and again and again. Basically, I was living in a state of fear. 

Fast forward 2 years, and I had myself a cute gray shoulder-length bob, an attitude of gratitude, and a new frame of mind, and I loved the way I looked. 

Going from a state of fear about gray hair to absolutely loving my gray hair taught me so much. It blew my world open because something I 100% believed in was no longer true to me, and all of a sudden, I had power over it rather than it having power over me. 

I'm forever grateful for this experience because not only has it gifted me freedom in a way I never knew possible but it's invited me to examine other areas of my life a little more closely and to be able to separate fear from wants, fear from desires and fear from getting in the way of me living the biggest expression of myself. 

Want a few tips to do the same? Here's what helped along the way: 

  1. Use the buddy system. Doing something scary for the first time? Find someone to do it with. There is strength in numbers, and this will hold you accountable.  
  1. Change your reality. I never saw women my age with gray hair, so I started following them online and on social media. This normalized gray hair in my feed and, in turn, had a positive effect on my mindset. Something that looked so hard all of a sudden didn't seem so hard or abnormal anymore.  
  1. Failure is not failure. Many of our journeys are not linear. I decided to go gray, and then I dyed my hair again. Was that a failure? NO! That was ultimately me getting one step closer to resoluteness. Go easy on yourself and know that vigilance can look like many things.”

50+ health, fashion, and lifestyle content-creator & founder of Life with Gloree B, Gloria Bissessar says: 

“In this virtual world where people usually show what is considered exciting or what may appear to be perfect lives, it is easy for us to want to be all those things, but the truth is, many aren't showing the less-than-perfect parts of their lives. 

This new year, I plan to show those less-than-perfect parts of my life so that others get a more realistic view of who I am. It is important to let others know that it is okay to have an extra inch or two on your waistline or to be struggling with accomplishing a goal. Instead of being consumed with what is not "perfect," let us focus on the good parts and maybe set smaller goals that can bring us closer to the bigger goal.  Let us celebrate all of our wins, from the smallest to the biggest, but most importantly, let us stop comparing ourselves to others. Embrace what is unique or different about you, and know that we are all special in our own way! Be kind to yourself and always be proud of doing YOUR best!!”

In 2023, we hope you’ll join us in vigilantly seeking positive solutions and giving ourselves grace. 

 

 

 

 




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Australian Pavlova Recipe

Australian Pavlova Recipe

Celebrating Australia Day with a traditional dessert of… possibly...Australian origin. Why do we say possibly? There is much contention between Australia and New Zealand as to which country actually invented this delicious dish!

What is not a contentious fact is that this dessert (& several other dishes) were named after the beloved Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. She toured both Australia and New Zealand in 1926. Australians insist that the dessert was invented in a Perth hotel and named after a customer declared it “as light as {Anna} Pavlova.” Those in NZ say that a hotel chef in Wellington was inspired by Anna’s billowing tutu!

Either way, this dessert is found at pretty much every Australia Day celebration, so we’re topping it with our Australian Manuka to help combat the effects of the sugar on our oral and digestive systems and make it even more delicious!

Australia is home to 83 of the 86 known Leptospermum species worldwide, including the Leptospermum Scoparium species. Only one species is found in New Zealand, with the NZ species originating in Australia.  

Exceptionally high levels of MGO have been discovered in Manuka honey samples sourced in Australia (Cokcetin et al. 2016). The levels of DHA and MGO found in some Australian honey are comparable to or higher than those observed in New Zealand Manuka honey.  

Typically Australian Manuka is lower in cost due to there not being as many regulations as NZ. However, Since Australia doesn't have mandated testing, buyers should be more cautious when choosing which brand to purchase. Our Australian Manuka goes through the same testing process as our NZ Manuka, and each jar features a QR code that links to the test results for that batch so you can be sure that you are getting only 100% authentic Manuka honey.

Australian Pavlova Recipe
*For best results, use a stand mixer*

Makes 1 Pavlova

Cook Time: About 3.5 Hours

  • 5 egg whites (medium pasture-raised eggs) at room temperature 
  • 1 cup fine sugar (pulse sugar in a food processor to make it finer if you don’t have it)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract 
  • 1 pinch of PRI Microplastic-Free Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar 
  • 1 tsp cornstarch 

Toppings: 

Instructions:

  1. The night before making the recipe or a few hours before, place eggs on the counter to bring them to room temperature. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 300ºF, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7-8 inch circle on the parchment to guide you in the size of your pavlova.
  3. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and beat on high in a stand mixer with vanilla and cream of tartar. After the egg whites begin to froth up, slowly add one tablespoon of sugar at a time while still beating until a thick marshmallow meringue starts to form. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and sift in cornstarch with a silicone spatula, be sure to do this gently, so you don’t lose the fluffiness of the meringue. Continue to mix on the highest setting until stiff peaks form. It should start to stick to the whisk attachment.
  4. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and use a silicone spatula to create the shape of the pavlova you desire. We used vertical swoops for a nice nested nest texture. Scoop some out of the center, giving you room for fruit and whipped cream.
  5. Next, place it in the preheated oven, immediately lower the temperature to 250ºF and bake for over an hour or until it starts to crack slightly, don’t let it brown too much. Immediately turn the oven off and leave the door closed for an hour to let the meringue set and dry out for that perfect crispy but soft melt-in-your-mouth texture. Next, open the door a crack for another hour to let it dry out to perfection.
  6. Finally, assemble the delicious toppings! Gently place the pavlova on a cake stand, and top it with a generous layer of whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Drizzle PRI Australian Manuka Honey over it for the perfect Australia Day dessert! 
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Dairy-Free Jello Custard Christmas Trifle

Dairy-Free Jello Custard Christmas Trifle

What screams the holidays louder than a Trifle? If you live in New Zealand, home of Manuka honey and birthplace of our co-founder Linda, not much! 

Our CMO, Dominic, hails from England, the birthplace of the modern trifle. Since Dom is married to the CFO and founders’ daughter Kristy, that makes this recipe a verified P.R.I. family favorite!  

Now that the Noll family history lesson is over, we have to admit that we did tweak this a bit from your more traditional recipe by making it dairy free. Since an estimated 70% of people are lactose intolerant, it felt necessary. After all, everyone at your table deserves to enjoy all the delicious holiday goodies!

We also made it non-alcoholic by not soaking the sponge cake in sherry. If all of your party members are of drinking age, we recommend soaking; it is delicious! Simply cut the pound cake, lay it in a baking dish and add sherry until it is moist but not wet. Let it sit while you make the rest of the dessert. If boozy desserts are your jam, you might want to check out our Irish Porter Cake recipe too! 

Dairy-Free Christmas Trifle

Jello Layer:

  • 4 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
  • 3 cups raspberry cranberry juice
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1-2 tbsp PRI Manuka Honey
  • 6 oz. raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils

Custard Layer:

  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy coconut cream
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup PRI Manuka Honey 
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • pinch of salt

Other Ingredients:

  • pound cake or angel food cake (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 - 10 oz. dairy-free whipped topping tubs (use Truwhip brand or make your own coconut whipped cream by whisking coconut cream, honey, and vanilla)
  • 12 oz. fresh raspberries 
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds
  • fresh mint leaves
  • optional: meringue kisses

Custard Instructions:

  1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside.
  2. Pour coconut milk and almond milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium/low heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together Manuka honey, whole egg, egg yolks, cornstarch, and salt. Place the bowl near the stove for easy access to the milk mixture.
  4. Once the milk begins to simmer, stir well to distribute the heat. 
  5. Then turn off the stove and use a ladle to slowly add the hot milk to the egg mixture while whisking simultaneously. Continue to do this until half the mixture has been whisked in, then pour the rest into the bowl and continue to whisk well until incorporated.
  6. Pour the mixture back into the pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Continuously whisk the mixture as it begins to heat. You’ll notice thickening after 5-10 minutes of whisking. Once it starts to thicken, turn the heat to low and stir well until desired consistency. The custard should be thin but not runny. 
  7. Remove the custard from the heat and stir in vanilla bean paste. 
  8. Cool the custard by placing the bowl inside the ice water bowl and stirring until the mixture cools down. Then cover with plastic wrap and poke holes in the film and refrigerate overnight to thicken.

Jello Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, bring 2 cups of raspberry cranberry juice and 1 cup of pomegranate juice to a boil.
  2. In a large bowl, pour 1 cup of raspberry cranberry juice and sprinkle four unflavored gelatin packets into the juice to cover the surface. Let it sit for a minute to bloom.
  3. Pour the boiling juice into the large bowl with bloomed gelatin and stir well until dissolved. Then add the Manuka honey and stir until it is fully incorporated. This should take about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the jello mixture into a large trifle dish and then place in raspberries and pomegranate arils. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to set overnight.

Assembly Instructions:

  1. When ready to assemble, remove the trifle dish from the fridge and pipe or spoon the custard into an even layer.
  2. Next, slice the poundcake into large or small cubes and fill the next layer with the cake pieces.
  3. After the cake layer, spread whipped cream across the top and create a mound shape.
  4. Finally, top with a large mound of fresh raspberries. Then sprinkle pomegranate arils and sliced almonds. Finish off with a few mint leaves. Top with store-bought or homemade meringue kisses to take it to the next level!
  5. Serve and enjoy!
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Manuka Honey Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk + Three Delectable Ways to Use it This Holiday Season

Manuka Honey Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk + Three Delectable Ways to Use it This Holiday Season

We might have buried the lede on this one. Not that we meant to, of course. For the record, we would never purposefully make such a delicious creation so hard to find.

Remember when we made that Dairy-Free Boba Recipe that tastes like store-bought boba? We couldn’t have made it without one key component - dairy-free sweetened condensed milk or, as some might say, “mylk.”

Your standard sweetened condensed milk contains over 160 grams of refined sugar per cup, making it both amazingly delicious & definitely not for regular consumption. Plus, an estimated 70% of people are lactose intolerant, so it’s important to find options everyone can enjoy - especially around the holidays! 

Since honey contains more fructose than glucose, it is naturally sweeter tasting. This means you can use less honey than sugar in your recipes to achieve the same level of sweetness. We typically swap one cup of sugar for ½ a cup of honey.

What makes it even better is the addition of Manuka honey! Manuka honey is unique because it’s the only honey in the world containing high levels of Methylglyoxal, aka MGO. MGO is the main medicinal component and makes Manuka a powerhouse of antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory benefits. 

Since MGO  is not killed off by heat, it’s a great way to sneak some health benefits into your desserts. Not only will no one complain, but they might even appreciate the deeper, more complex flavor that comes from using this fantastic sugar alternative.

Now, back to the tasty stuff! Read on to learn how to make an upgraded, dairy-free version of Sweetened Condensed Milk AND three new, delectable, effortless recipes you can create using it! Scroll down, or click below to view each one:


1-Base Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

2-Manuka Honey Caramel Sauce

3-The Creamiest Hot Chocolate

4-Chocolate Fudge Truffles

Dairy Free Manuka Sweetened Condensed Milk

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Shake your coconut milk. It should be liquid and not solidified. It should take about 5 minutes. Stir often to prevent the milk from burning.
  2. Once it starts to bubble to the top, reduce the heat to a low simmer. 
  3. Pour in the Manuka honey while whisking continuously. Once the honey is well incorporated, ensure the flame is on low and set a timer for 10 minutes.
  4. When the timer goes off, check the mixture and give it a good whisk. It should start to have a golden color on top. Let it cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. It should look like it will caramelize at the 20-25 minute mark. The key here is to remove it once the milk has reduced, but it doesn’t turn to caramel. You must use your best judgment and keep your eye on the stove at the 20-minute mark.
  6. Remove from the stove and carefully pour the condensed milk into a glass jar with a lid. Use an oven mitt, and be careful, as the glass will be scorching. Close the jar and let it sit on the counter to cool, then place it in the fridge to thicken.
  7. Use in coffee, pastries, desserts, and more!
Manuka Honey Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. To make the caramel sauce, bring the Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk to a boil and then reduce it to a low simmer. If using the optional ingredients, also add those now. Stir often to prevent it from burning on the bottom. Depending on your stove, it should take about 15-25 minutes. If you’re making the condensed milk to make the caramel sauce, keep the condensed milk on the stove for an extra 20-25 minutes on a low simmer until reduced, and you have a thick golden brown caramel.
  2. Use an oven mitt, and be careful, as the glass will be extremely hot. Top the lid and let it sit on the counter to cool, then place it in the fridge. Use in dessert, ice cream, coffee, rice cakes, and more!
Hot Chocolate

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk of choice (we used oat)
  • ½ cup Manuka-sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Toppings: mini marshmallows, whipped cream, cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan, pour in milk, Manuka-sweetened condensed coconut milk, chocolate chips, and vanilla.
  2. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Stir often to help the melted chocolate incorporate into the milk. Reduce to a simmer.
  3. To get an extra frothy and well-mixed hot cocoa, carefully use a milk frother in the saucepan or immersion blender.
  4. Transfer the hot cocoa to a mug and top with mini marshmallows, whipped cream, and cinnamon dusting.
Chocolate Fudge Truffles
 

Ingredients:

  • 7 oz Manuka sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder (plus more for rolling/dusting)

Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan, bring sweetened condensed coconut milk to a slight boil.
  2. Once boiling, remove from heat, sift in 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, and gently stir until well combined.
  3. Once combined, pour in another 1/4 of a cup of cacao powder, and continue to stir.
  4. Add 1 tbsp at a time of the remaining ¼ cup of cacao until you achieve your desired consistency. The batter should be thick but not too dry. Once you have a fudgy dough, place the dough in plastic wrap and freeze until solidified, at least 30 minutes. Then roll into balls and dust or roll in extra cacao powder. Store in the freezer and enjoy fudgy goodness!
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Cold Relief Tip: Ditch the OJ & Reach for Dark Chocolate Instead!

Cold Relief Tip: Ditch the OJ & Reach for Dark Chocolate Instead!

A 2013 review of 29 clinical trials involving more than 11,000 people showed vitamin C supplementation did not consistently affect the duration or severity of the common cold. 

The authors of the study state: "The failure of vitamin C supplementation to reduce the incidence of colds in the general population indicates that routine vitamin C supplementation is not justified."

So what should you reach for when feeling ill? Research says Zinc! There have been many conflicting studies about Zinc over the years until more recently when scientists discovered that the key is to take zinc within 24 hours of experiencing symptoms. Furthermore, the studies showed that supplementation of Zinc for five months reduced the frequency of colds and antibiotic use. 

Zinc can be taken as a supplement, in lozenge or liquid form; however, many report a lasting bad aftertaste and upset stomach with these methods. Additionally, the most bioavailable form of Zinc is in food. Foods high in zinc include meat, legumes, nuts & seeds, and our favorite: dark chocolate.

Of course, eating more fruits and vegetables and ensuring you are getting the vitamins and minerals you need, including vitamin C, are essential to your overall health and will affect how often you get sick. 

Instead of juice, eat the whole fruit. Fruit juice contains high sugar content without fiber and other nutrients needed to process the sugars slowly. Additionally, eating whole fruits and vegetables is the best way for your body to absorb nutrients. 

Based on these factors and the effectiveness of Manuka honey for cold & flu symptoms, our Manuka Honey Dark Chocolate Patties are a great way to supplement some of your DV of zinc and Manuka honey to reduce symptoms and get you well faster! Dark chocolate lovers & vegans will enjoy the delicious dark chocolate bars from  Solomon’s Gold.

You can also incorporate dark chocolate & Manuka into tasty snacks your whole family will love! Here are a couple of our favorite recipes:

#1 - Chocolate & Honey Rice Cakes: top them with seeds & nuts for even more zinc!

#2 - Coffee Sweet Potato Nice Cream: because dessert can be nutrient-dense, delicious, AND decadent.

#3 - Chocolate Caramel Popcorn: perfect for movie night or an afternoon snack!

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Everything You Need To Know About Propolis

Everything You Need To Know About Propolis

1. The Basics
2. The Compounds that Make it Special
3. What is a Certified CL level
4. Propolis Tincture Vs. Propolis Extract
5. Uses of Propolis:
    5a - Burn & Wound Treatment
    5b - Acne & Other Skin Concerns
    5c - Oral Health
    5d - Cold & Flu Symptoms
    5e - Diabetes Management
    5f - Brain Health
    5g - Gut Health
    5h - Upper Respiratory Infections
    5i - Natural Antibiotic
    5j - Candida
    5k - Nail Infections
6. How to Use Propolis & Our Top 5 Propolis DIYs
7. Disclaimers & Known Interactions

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1. The Basics

Propolis is a bee-made resin using plant resins, a bit of honey, and a little bee saliva. They use it to fill in small cracks in the beehive. It also helps maintain the hive temperature, prevents predators from entering, and protects against dangerous microbes and fungi.

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2. What Compounds Make Propolis Special?

Over 500 compounds have been found in propolis so far!! Many of them have anti-inflammatory benefits, but which compound is the superstar?  Flavonoids. 

Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant that has beneficial anti-inflammatory effects, and they protect your cells from oxidative damage that can lead to disease. Propolis is a super concentrated form of antioxidants. 

So, beyond the concentration, what makes the antioxidants in propolis different from, say, the ones found in blueberries? The bees do, of course! 

The mixture of plant resins, honey, and bee saliva adds antibacterial and antiseptic properties that simply cannot be matched!

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3. What is Certified CL Level?

The certified CPL level ensures that you get a high, consistent level of flavonoids per gram of the finished product. Because propolis must first be broken down with alcohol and then with water, and all propolis has naturally varying levels of flavonoids, we must blend and test them to achieve consistent levels. This means you always know you are getting therapeutic levels of flavonoids in every bottle of  P.R.I. propolis.

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4. Propolis Extract Vs. Propolis Tincture

Propolis extract is water-based, while the tincture is alcohol based. You might have read that extracts are more potent than tinctures; however, with our certified CL levels, you will get the same potency no matter which base you choose. 

In its base form, Propolis can only be broken down with alcohol. The extract is then put into large vats and continuously beaten with water until the alcohol dissipates.  

We recommend the tincture for external uses like cuts, bites, acne, and wounds, but the extract is much more versatile and an excellent choice for small children and those who cannot consume alcohol. 

Additionally, if your recipe is oil-based, such as face oil, use the tincture, as the extract will not blend with the oil. 

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5. Uses of Propolis

Ancient cultures used propolis to treat wounds and abscesses on the skin and mouth. It was even used in the first and second World Wars to prevent infections and speed healing. Since then, we’ve found many more wonderful uses of propolis. Here we will attempt to cover them all:

5a - Burn & Wound Treatment 

As mentioned above, propolis has been used on wounds for quite some time, but our knowledge of how it works and its applications have expanded. Researchers tested propolis against several dangerous microbes and have found it very effective against aggressive bacteria.

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5b - Acne & Other Skin Concerns 

Propolis’ complex anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties make for an excellent natural acne treatment and preventative. Propolis is now in many skincare products & has proven to help lock in moisture and regenerate the skin. One study showed that propolis could reverse UV damage to the skin. Additionally, a combination of Olive Oil, Beeswax, Propolis, and Honey has been found very effective against diaper rash. 

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5c - Oral Health 

Over the last several years, the link between overall health and our oral health has become impossible to ignore. This knowledge and growing concern about fluoride exposure and toxicity has increased the popularity of natural oral care options. Did you know that children ingesting fluoride toothpaste are the #1 reason for poison control calls? (1) (2) Unbiased studies show fluoride doesn’t prevent any harmful bacteria, now is the time to switch to a natural oral care routine. Propolis has shown to be a fantastic natural addition to oral care that will actively fight harmful bacteria. Recent studies show it can also help protect against oral disease, reduce plaque and treat canker sores. 

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5d - Cold & Flu Symptoms 

The antiviral and antibacterial properties of propolis have made it a common natural treatment for cold & flu symptoms worldwide. It has even recently been studied against COVID. While further studies must be done, initial studies show that propolis may be part of a very effective treatment. 

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5e - Diabetes Management

Propolis was first acknowledged in 1988 to act in an anti-hyperglycemic capacity, thus stabilizing blood sugar glucose. Since then, many more studies have shown that propolis may inhibit enzymes that increase blood sugar. 

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5f - Brain Health

Propolis is showing great promise in treating many brain conditions ranging from detoxification, oxidative stress,  neuroinflammation, brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy models, depression, cytotoxicity, cognitive improvement, and brain infections. These benefits are thought to be caused by propolis’ unique and highly potent anti-inflammatory properties.

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5g - Gut Health

Studies on propolis and gut health abound, showing great promise in the treatment of many conditions as well as general maintenance. A rich source of probiotics, propolis acts in our gut, much the same way as it does in the hive, creating an intestinal barrier and preventing toxins and bacterial dislocation from the gut to the blood. Propolis also has shown great success in treating GI diseases such as oral mucositis, oral microbiota, ulcerative colitis, and gastric ulcers.

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5h - Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTIs)

Many studies have been done on children and adults, showing that propolis is highly effective against URTIs. URTIs are ubiquitous, especially in children; some have become antibiotic-resistant. Current drugs for treatment are high in cost and have serious side effects in children. Propolis is shown to work on antibiotic-resistant infections. 

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5i - Natural Antibiotics

While we’ve touched on this above, it is essential to note this use, especially since more bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Probiotics are crucial while on antibiotics. Propolis is a powerful probiotic and natural antibiotic in one! Not only shown to protect against the spread of harmful bacteria, but propolis can also prevent it from taking hold to begin with. Studies indicate that this is because propolis can break down and prevent the spread of biofilms, which harmful bacteria use to take hold and spread. 

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5j - Candida

While this could fall under gut health and skin health, we thought it necessary to highlight, given that candida is found in most of the population. There are different types of candida, such as Candida albicans, which typically manifests in the genitals and mouth, and Candida tropicalis, which occupies the intestinal tract. Studies show that propolis is effective against many candida types.

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5k - Nail Infections

The most popularly prescribed treatment for fungal nail infections is resistant to seven common nail funguses AND not nearly as effective as propolis on the non-resistant fungi.

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6. How to use propolis and our top 5 ways to use it!

Propolis is best taken in the morning. While there are no official dosage recommendations, ½ - 1 dropper daily is ideal. Place the propolis under your tongue and allow it to dissolve. Those who dislike the flavor recommend placing the propolis in a glass of juice. Drink slowly.

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6a - Antibacterial Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

Ingredients:

Put all ingredients in a bottle and shake before use. Avoid swallowing. If swallowing is a concern, such as with young children, simply remove the manuka oil from the recipe.

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6b - Propolis & Manuka Oral Spray

Ingredients:

Combine all ingredients in the spray bottle and shake. Spray as needed for sore throat, fresh breath, or after meals when you can’t brush.

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6c - Propolis & Manuka Diaper Rash Treatment

Ingredients: 

Mix all ingredients. Clean and thoroughly dry the affected area. Apply ointment to the affected area and allow it to dry slightly before diapering. Honey & propolis are safe to use externally on children of all ages, provided they do not have an allergic reaction to bee products.

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6d - Steroid Free Nasal Spray

Ingredients:

Shake or blend all ingredients. Use it in your Neti Pot or a similar device. 

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6e - Three Ingredient Facial Oil

Ingredients:

Add essential oils and propolis to the dropper bottle. Fill the rest of the way with the Manuka in Sweet Almond Oil. Shake well before each use. 

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7. Disclaimers and Known Drug Interactions 

As always, we strive to provide you with the best information backed by scientific studies. However, we are not doctors and cannot recommend any treatment for specific concerns. It’s important to talk to your doctor about any concerns you might have. 

That said, here is what we think you need to know:

Propolis has no known severe, serious, moderate, or mild interactions with other drugs. Take caution when combining propolis with medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs). Propolis is thought to slow blood clotting, though more studies need to be conducted on the topic.

Allergic reactions (skin or respiratory symptoms) may occur, particularly in people who are allergic to bees or bee products.

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Skin Care with Manuka Honey

Introduction

Manuka Honey is known for its amazing benefits for your health. It is also a great ingredient in your skincare routines. The antibacterial properties help prevent breakouts, calm skin with eczema, and help replenish your skin's natural  complexion with its antioxidants. 

Here are a few of our favorite treatments using our Manuka Honey & Sea Salt.

ACV & Manuka Scalp Treatment:

This apple cider vinegar scalp scrub helps get rid of product build-up and removes dead skin cells that might be weighing your hair down. Scalp Scrubs are easy to make, and by getting rid of the impurities that can plug hair follicles. The apple cider vinegar helps promote hair shine with the added boost of manuka honey. 

  1. ¼ cup coarse or fine sea salt
  2. 1 tablespoonapple cider vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon coconut oil melted (fractionated is best)
  4. 1 teaspoon Manuka Honey
  5. 15 drops essential oil of your choosing

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all the ingredients into a tub or jar that is easy to get the mixture out of. Use about a tbsp or two and massage on your scalp for a few minutes, you may let it sit on your hair as well and then rinse and wash and condition hair afterwards.

Manuka Honey Shampoo

This simple shampoo has only two ingredients! This is a great natural alternative to your normal shampoo. We recommend using this one with the ACV scalp treatment listed above. 

  • Manuka Honey
  • Filtered water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Make the shampoo "single serving" basis to prevent spoilage. Here's the basic ratio, but you can adjust it as desired: 1 Tbs. raw honey and 3 Tbs. filtered water. If necessary, slightly heat the mixture over very low heat to help dissolve the honey. Yes, this is really watery... that is how it is supposed to be.
  2. Wet hair, then massage a few tablespoons of the honey shampoo on the scalp. Massage well to distribute over the scalp. Don't worry about getting the mixture on the ends of the hair, just the scalp area. Rinse well. Follow up with conditioner (if desired)

Breakout facial

Struggling with breakouts on your face? This facial helps reduce the blemishes, soothes the skin and leaves a healthy glow afterwards. The added benefits of Manuka Honey and its antibacterial is amazing for breakouts. The sea salt is a great natural alternative to dry them out, and the yoghurts probiotic helps nourish the skin.


2 tsp yogurt

¼ tsp sea salt

1 tsp honey


INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Apply facial mixture onto face avoiding the eye area, this would be eyelids and the sensitive under eye area. Layer this mixture on quite thick and leave on for at least 20 minutes. Rinse facial off and apply your favorite facial moisturizer!


Pore facial

This facial helps reduce visible pores. Greek yogurt boasts two and a half times the amount of protein in regular yogurt. Protein, whether in the skin products we use or in our diet, helps in repairing skin tissues, making it more radiant and young-looking.Oatmeal can soak up the excess oil on your skin and help treat acne. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help to treat dry skin and remove dead skin cells. Oats also contain compounds called saponins, which are natural cleansers. They remove the dirt and oil that clog the pores and exfoliate the skin. egg whites help close pores and get rid of build up.


⅓ cup oatmeal

1 tbsp yogurt

1 tbsp honey

1 egg white

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Apply facial mixture onto face avoiding the eye area, this would be eyelids and the sensitive under eye area. Layer this mixture on quite thick and leave on for at least 20 minutes. Rinse facial off and apply your favorite facial moisturizer!

Matcha green tea facial

An easy two ingredients, yes two ingredients! Facial. Matcha green tea is great for the skin

 Matcha is anti bacterial and contains incredibly high levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is helpful in reducing inflammation and to even skin tone. The antioxidants are also known for reducing acne and increasing skin elasticity. The Manuka Honey is an added bonus with its antibacterial properties and will help with any blemishes. 


2 tbsp Matcha green tea

2 tbsp Honey

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Apply facial mixture onto face avoiding the eye area, this would be eyelids and the sensitive under eye area. Layer this mixture on quite thick and leave on for at least 20 minutes. Rinse facial off and apply your favorite facial moisturizer!

Soothing Face Mask

Great facial for anywhere on your body! This is great if you’ve had a little too much sun exposure during the day. Aloe Vera gel has dried on the surface of the skin, it provides a protective barrier that helps keep moisture locked in. It's cooling effects reduce acne inflammation and assist in healing, removing redness and soothing dry or angry skin. Manuka Honey is known for its medical benefits for wounds and burns. 


2 tbsp Aloe Vera

1 tbsp Manuka Honey


INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Apply facial mixture onto face avoiding the eye area, this would be eyelids and the sensitive under eye area. Layer this mixture on quite thick and leave on for at least 20 minutes. Rinse facial off and apply your favorite facial moisturizer!




DISCLAIMER

These are all natural ingredients without preservatives, if you do end up with leftovers please store in an airtight container with a lid and store in the fridge. Use these facials at least once a month. We do not recommend using it more than once a week or it may cause skin sensitivity. If an allergic reaction does occur please consult a Doctor right away, or call 911 for severe allergic reactions. If you feel you may be allergic or sensitive to any of these ingredients please do a patch test on the inside of your forearm before applying any of these to your skin. 

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What are the benefits of Manuka Honey

What Are The Benefits of Manuka Honey?

Manuka Honey is honey made in New Zealand. It is produced by the bees that pollinate the manuka bush and is the only honey that exhibits non-peroxide activity due to the Methylglyoxal (MGO) component only present in Manuka Honey at high concentrations. It is an instinctively occurring component of Manuka honey which makes it more special. The amount of MGO in your Manuka honey is directly related to its potency and the higher the MGO content, the higher the grade of the honey.

Manuka honey has become increasingly popular and has been invading the market since. It has long been discovered to have antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Honey producers have a scale for rating the potency of manuka honey. The rating is called UMF, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor. It is a complete and advanced grading system that includes measurement of MGO levels. It ensures the highest quality Manuka honey and guarantees the chemical marker levels stated on the label.

Manuka Honey can be paired with any food of your choice, but aside from being a delicious natural sweetener, it has a lot to offer. The beneficial effects of honey on human health have long been recognized. With its antimicrobial properties, it has been traditionally used to enhance wound healing, promotes oral care, relieve sore throats and improve digestion.

Here are some benefits of Manuka Honey:

  • Enhance Wound Healing

Honey has antibacterial components that help wound healing and improves the production of special cells which aids in tissue regeneration. It has anti-inflammatory measures that can easily alleviate pain and inflammation.

  • Promotes Oral Health

It is very important to keep your gums healthy. To avoid plaque formation, you have to minimize the formation of bad bacteria in your mouth.

It has been studied that manuka honey attacks harmful oral bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum inflammation. Chewing or Sucking of Manuka honey candy has great results on the reduction of plaque and gingivitis.

  • Fixes Digestive Symptoms

Honey is good in digestion. It contains enzymes that speed up digestion. It has methylglyoxal that provides anti-bacterial properties that helps in curing bacterial infections in the stomach. It strengthens the immune system to lessen the future occurrence of any stomach related disease.

  • Skin Care

Acne is most common among teenagers; it often causes blackheads or pimples and nobody likes to deal with it. Honey is a well- known for its potential to fight acne.

Because of its anti-inflammatory effects, Manuka honey can help reduce inflammation thus improving skin’s appearance.

 Making a face mask with honey and lemon juice is an effective way to fight acne.

  • Relieves Sore Throat

With its antiviral and antimicrobial properties, honey is known to give sore throat relief by attacking the cause of soreness and reducing the inflammation and soothe throat pain. It has become a popular elixir for cough because it relieves itchy throat.

 Overall, Manuka honey repeatedly proves to fight off many stubborn health issues as well as enhance a speedy recovery.

 

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Why Shouldn't We Rely On Pollen Counts For Manuka Honey

Why Shouldn't We Rely On Pollen Counts For Manuka Honey

 

Don’t Be Misled By Marketing Hype: Noted Industry Experts Say “Pollen Counting” Not A Reliable Way To Determine Authenticity Or Effectiveness Of New Zealand Manuka Honey.

Showcasing yet again the reality-altering power of “creative marketing,” several brands in the rapidly-growing Manuka honey category are trying to validate the purity and effectiveness of their products by relying on pollen counts and other grading systems as a supposedly authoritative form of testing.

For consumers seeking high-quality Manuka honey products from New Zealand that can enhance their cuisine and potentially improve their health, a high pollen count would, on the surface, seem to make perfect sense. Honey. Bees. Pollen. What could possibly be wrong with that equation?

As it turns out – a great deal.

 

Why We Shouldn’t Count on Pollen Counts    

 

According to John Rawcliffe, General Manager of New Zealand’s respected Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) Honey Association, developing a fool-proof definition of Manuka honey has proven easier said than done over the years, but pollen counts (the measurement of the concentration of pollen trapped in honey) are certainly not the answer.

Agreeing with that assessment three years ago, Dr. Adrian Charlton of Britain’s Food and Environment Research Agency food laboratory – where over 500 scientists work to protect the public from adulterated and mislabeled food – noted that pollen analysis is subjective and invariably less accurate than other forms of testing. At the root of this recurring inaccuracy: human error and the addition of extra pollen by unscrupulous manufacturers hoping to instantly transform ordinary honey into “fake Manuka” bearing a much higher price tag.

Dr. Charlton also noted that industry leaders should rely on the world’s scientists and testing laboratories to work out the best methods for testing since there still is no official definition for Manuka honey – an obvious explanation for the many questionable products on the market today both in the U.S. and around the world.

Most experts today believe that true Manuka honey should – and hopefully soon will – be graded on the concentration of MG (methylglyoxal), UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) or leptospirin. The New Zealand Government will mandate in 2017 new requirements for true Manuka labeling based on the MG, UMF and leptospirin concentration.

 

The Magic of Manuka

 

With roots in the therapeutic wound dressings of the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand, Manuka Honey has been embraced worldwide as a coveted food, beauty and healing resource. Manuka is a monofloral honey, which means it is created by bees that feed solely on the nectar of the white flowers that adorn the Manuka bush, native to New Zealand’s North Island.

In addition to its rich culinary attributes, Manuka Honey is widely believed to help treat minor wounds and burns, and some studies have shown it may help reduce systemic inflammation; reduce ear, eye and sinus infection symptoms; reduce gastrointestinal problems; lower cholesterol; and aid in the treatment of diabetes.

 

Industry Abuzz About Creating One Cohesive Testing Standard

 

Like many items in the “natural products” arena, Manuka money is rather easily susceptible to misleading or even downright false labeling, advertising and marketing – unfortunately putting the onus on consumers to separate fact from fiction when considering their next purchases. And given that many consumers in America (and elsewhere) are relatively new to Manuka honey – a rather exotic product from the other side of the world – it’s no wonder that companies are hoping hype-driven terms such as “pollen counts” will attract customers in an increasingly competitive retail environment.

Commenting on the issue of labeling and rating Manuka honey, perhaps journalist Bree McCauley of Mother Earth News put it best: “I found that Manuka honey can be artificially manipulated to achieve the high numbers you find on some jars of Manuka honey — the numbers customers think they are looking for, not knowing that a high number does not necessarily mean it is more effective. It follows then, that defining honey solely based on one, easily-tampered-with component leaves out other important and unknown factors and sets honey up to sometimes dangerous manipulation.”

 

Speaking Out: The Company That First Brought New Zealand Manuka Honey To Our Shores

 

Not surprisingly, the authenticity of Manuka Honey is of considerable importance to the Southern California-based Pacific Resources International (www.shoppri.com) – which four decades ago became the first company to introduce New Zealand Manuka Honey to American consumers.

Commented Pacific Resources International’s founder and CEO David Noll recently, “It obviously troubles us greatly when consumers are misled about a Manuka honey product because it not only means they’re overpaying needlessly but won’t be experiencing the true culinary and healing benefits of authentic New Zealand Manuka honey. As an importer that only sells genuine New Zealand Manuka Honey that’s been independently tested for potency and purity, we’re glad industry authorities are rejecting pollen testing as a legitimate practice, and we look forward to working closely with our friends and colleagues in New Zealand to ensure complete transparency throughout the industry going forward.”

 

 

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