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Tips For Better Gut Health Around The Holidays

Tips For Better Gut Health Around The Holidays

Tis the season to be merry, as they say! But the holiday season can be the most stressful time of the year. The combination of large gatherings, the stress of gift buying, and significantly different eating habits can be rough on our bodies. During the holidays, there are many things you can do to protect your gut and support your health, without missing out on all the best parts of the holidays. 

  • Reduce Stress and Make Time for Movement - Know your body and how to cope with stressful situations. Your digestive tract is also a muscle. Stress tends to slow the digestive process, including some time to relax or using the Moment to Myself Gift Box from PRI, time to exercise, and a simple walk can avoid heartburn and indigestion.
  • Hydrate -  Drinking an adequate amount of water is necessary for flushing out our system, keeping our bodies balanced and can help to keep your digestive system hydrated and moving.
  • Good Sleep - Sleep is a time to recover, get an adequate rest at least eight hours. Insufficient sleep can decrease the immune system, overall body and  muscle functionality.
  • Take Prebiotics and Probiotics - Prebiotics are also important for your gut health, these foods feed the healthy bacteria in the gut. Probiotics help restore and rebuild the healthy bacteria in your gut, essentially helping remove the impurities.
  • Improve Digestive Symptoms - Try to remember this season can create gastric distress that are associated with symptoms of constipation, bloating and reflux. To keep your digestive health in line, keep your fiber on your plate, don’t forget the fruits and veggies and try to eat more slowly to help avoid extra stress on your digestive system. Experts say that taking Manuka Honey is a popular home remedy to relieve digestive issues, the anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties can help heal and soothe digestion. 

Your gut is the foundation of your health and finding a good balance is vital. During this time gut health is often neglected. The holiday season should be spent enjoying time with family and friends, not worrying about your upset stomach. Give yourself the gift of good gut health, so you can enjoy this magical time of the year! 🎄

Resources:

https://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/nutrition-101/how-to-keep-gut-health-on-track-holidays

https://loveyourgut.com/news/gut-happy-holidays/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/manuka-honey-uses-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6




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What Moms Want for Christmas: The Kristy & Linda Edition

What Moms Want for Christmas: The Kristy & Linda Edition

You can almost hear the sound of sleigh bells ringing, right? Christmas time is full of surprises! And who exactly makes that happen? Moms. Not Santa! Your ever-supportive mom literally deserves it all. Whether your idea of the best presents are thoughtful and practical items she’ll fa-la-la-love and use all the time, or fun treats, we have you covered!

In 1987 while traveling to New Zealand, David the founder of the company PRI met Linda and a short visit led to a thirteen year stay including marriage and the birth of their children. When David started PRI, Linda was the behind-the-scenes force, keeping the business in the green while David sourced the best manuka in the land.

Linda is now retired from PRI but, as a mom of six and a grandma of thirteen, is still pretty busy and loves products that she can use on the go. Although she admits it's hard to choose from PRI products, her favorites are the Vitamin E Cream  great for dry hands and the Lozenges. Both can be slipped into a handbag and good to have on hand if needed. These items as well as the Lip Balm are great stocking stuffers. Linda always makes sure to have her cup of tea with Manuka Honey while reading so she recommends a gift set of tea, manuka honey and a good book!

Kristy, daughter of David & Linda, is now the company's CFO and a mother to three beautiful girls aged twelve, ten and three years old says “Between work and being a mom these days just fly by and this time of the year reminds us to spend that precious time with those closest to us”.

She loves to go for walks in the hills around their home, curl up with a book or sudoku puzzle. When Kristy gets out for family fun, riding bikes or hitting the beach, she always makes sure to have Manuka Honey sticks and Manuka Nuggets  to keep their energy up while adventuring. On the colder evenings, after getting her kids to bed, she loves to have a cup of Pukka Chamomile Vanilla tea with Manuka honey and two Raspberry Manuka Chocolate patties, her ultimate treat after a long day. The Moment to myself gift box  from PRI and Spa Gift Set by Honest Roots Farms are her ultimate choice this Christmas!
 
Don’t worry! Instead of getting the usual, there’s at least one thing here you’ll love to wrap up for your mom. The smallest and simplest gift can be a thoughtful way to show your love and appreciation during the holidays, you'll be sure to bring a smile to her face—and yours too! Indeed, the perfect gift does exist. 🎄
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Why it's important to get Manuka bottled in NZ

Why it's important to get Manuka bottled in NZ

Is your manuka honey real? 

Why manuka bottled “at the source” can help ensure purity & potency.

Trying to find the right brand & strength of manuka honey for your needs can be really, really confusing. There is so much conflicting and, frankly, outright incorrect information out there it’s easy to become discouraged! 

Over the years, we’ve provided various guides as to what the numbers on the bottles mean, MGO vs UMF, and more but there is one key topic we’ve discovered that just isn’t talked about much - where your manuka honey is actually bottled!

The short(ish) answer is that New Zealand has strict regulations for manuka honey and acknowledges that it has unique, testable compounds (read: MGO) which give it medicinal benefits. The FDA, on the other hand, states that no honey (or food in general) can have health benefits and doesn’t recognize MGO as a medicinal compound.  This is despite the fact that there are hundreds of studies that have been done showcasing the amazing benefits of manuka honey and it’s even medically approved for use for burn and wound treatment & more.

It’s quite frustrating both for your clarity as a customer and for us, as a small family business trying to spread the word about the magic of manuka honey!

How does this impact the importance of where the manuka honey is bottled? New Zealand MPI, the agency responsible for food safety, quality &  import/export regulations, requires each batch of honey to be independently tested and checks those results against the label showing the honey’s strength and if it is multi-floral aka a blend. These regulations apply to honey leaving NZ both in individual jars and in bulk. However, once the bulk honey leaves NZ it is no longer under the MPI’s purview, meaning it can be mixed with other kinds of honey, sweeteners, etc., and labeled as any strength or type.

Even before manuka honey became well-known as a powerful superfood & topical agent NZ has had strict rules for food export. Once manuka honey became well-known and given its higher price point and scarcity, these regulations became even more specific as fake manuka honey began to flood the market. While there are some downsides to bottling in NZ such as higher packaging prices and lack of many packaging options, we feel that it is an important way for you as a customer, and for our own peace of mind, to ensure that our honey is of the highest quality and is exactly what it says it is.

To further ensure as few middlemen are in the process as possible PRI works with family-owned beekeepers who have their own on-site extraction, creaming & bottling equipment. As the original importer of manuka to the U.S. market over 30 years ago, we’ve even worked with more than one generation of beekeepers because they are simply the best!

You may ask how this applies to our line of Australian Manuka Honey. Currently, Australia does not have any regulations on manuka however, we apply the same testing and labeling methods as on our NZ manuka. Due to the lack of regulations & the size of the country (re: more production), Australian manuka does come in at a lower price point but, as with any manuka, you as a buyer should be diligent about ensuring the manuka honey you are purchasing is authentic.  

 

At PRI, we are proud to offer test results for ALL of our manuka honey upon request. Simply send your batch number to orders@pri-nz.com

 

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Spooky Monster Green Smoothies

Spooky Monster Green Smoothies


Spooky Monster Green Smoothies

Serves: 1-2

Turn your favorite green smoothie spooky this Halloween! The kids will love how fun these monster mugs are, and you’ll love incorporating some healthy stuff into their Halloween treat routine. It is all about balance, right?

Just take your go-to green smoothie, or try our favorite recipe full of antioxidants, protein, vitamins, minerals, and, of course, the incredible antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits of Manuka Honey

Then use crushed cookies, googly eyes, and PB cups to create your very own monster!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 Cup Spinach
  • 2 Frozen Bananas
  • 2 Scoops Of Vanilla Protein Powder (Optional)
  • 1 Tbsp PRI Manuka Honey 15+ (Or More For Desired Sweetness)
  • 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tsp Matcha Powder
  • 4-5 Chocolate Creme Sandwich Cookies (Crushed)
  • Googly Eyes
  • Optional Toppings: Peanut Butter Cups

Instructions:

  • Crush cookies in a zip-loc bag or food processor until you have cookie crumbs, then set aside. 
  • In a high-speed blender, blend one cup of spinach with one cup of almond milk until the spinach gets broken down as much as possible and you have a green liquid. 
  • Then add frozen bananas, vanilla protein powder, manuka honey, peanut butter, and matcha powder. 
  • Blend until smooth and then transfer to a jar. There should be no spinach bits in the smoothie. 
  • Pour the smoothie into a glass and then top with cookie crumbles. 
  • Then add the googly eyes to the top or “glue” them to the side of the glass with melted chocolate. 
  • You can add peanut butter cups for the ears or place them on top for a Shrek-like monster!
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Manuka Honey For IBS: Can It Help?

Manuka Honey For IBS: Can It Help?

Ranking the 16th most searched question about Manuka honey, in this blog post, we answer the question: “How to use Manuka honey for IBS?”.

First, let’s talk about what IBS is. Short for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS is a disorder of the large intestine & affects nearly a quarter of Americans, causing symptoms ranging from bloating & abdominal pain to loose stools & undesired weight loss.

IBS can have many triggers, including: 

  • Stress
  • Food allergies
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Leaky gut
  • Parasites
  • Yeast overgrowth
  • Antibiotics
  • SIBO
  • Poor thyroid function
  • Poor hydration.  

Conventional medicine would say it is irreversible, but clinics specializing in treating the root causes of IBS have successfully reversed many cases. Those with IBS must manage their symptoms through various diet and lifestyle changes, so how can Manuka honey help?

Among many other things, Manuka honey can:

-Reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.

-Act as a prebiotic by stimulating the growth of good bacteria.

-Actively fight against disease-causing bacteria in the gut. 

All honey does contain fructose, which can be an IBS trigger for some. It's essential to ingest the honey raw as the raw enzymes make the sugars easier to digest. 

You can take up to 1-2 tablespoons per day but space it out and take a little before each meal so you can harness its prebiotic effects. If your IBS is severe and you find you tolerate the honey well,  try a high MGO Manuka such as a 500+ or even 1000+ MGO. These strengths are typically for external uses; however, certain severe internal conditions can also benefit.

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Dark Chocolate Orange Oats

Dark Chocolate Orange Oats

When was the last time you enjoyed the classic combination of dark chocolate & orange? For us, it was always in the form of an orange-shaped chocolate in our Christmas stockings. 

We developed our new orange Manuka Chocolate Patties to enjoy the feeling of Christmas morning year-round, and now it’s taken over our breakfast table! 

Did you know that oatmeal is one of the best ways to start your day? Packed with nutrition and full of a soluble fiber called beta-glucan. This fiber helps control blood pressure & sugar levels, and insulin response and increases the growth of good gut bacteria.

Dark chocolate has been a popular superfood for many years, yet its benefits keep emerging. A recent study posted in the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that dark chocolate is more effective in treating colds than vitamin C. 

If you’ve been following along, you know that the active component of manuka honey, MGO, has a fantastic variety of antibacterial & anti-inflammatory health benefits.

That’s all a long way to say that this recipe is PACKED with everything you need to get your day started right!  Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Cup rolled oats
  • 1 Cup of milk of choice 
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1/4 Cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1.5 Tbsp cocoa powder or cacao
  • 1 Tbsp PRI Manuka Honey (add more to taste)
  • 1 Scoop chocolate protein (optional)
  • 3 Orange Manuka Chocolate Patties
  • 1 Mandarin orange
  • Garnish: Sprig of fresh mint, pomegranate arils (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Add all the ingredients into a bowl or saucepan except for the chocolate patties and mandarin oranges. Stir until well combined.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, so it doesn’t stick to the sides. You can optionally cook in the microwave.
  3. Once cooked, immediately transfer to a bowl and top with Orange Manuka Chocolate Patties. Let the patties melt from the hot oatmeal, and then stir to create chocolate swirls. Top with mandarin oranges, pomegranate arils, fresh mint, or whatever you prefer!
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Is Honey Safe to Eat While Breastfeeding?

Is Honey Safe to Eat While Breastfeeding?

Answering your Most Searched Questions about Manuka Honey

In this edition, we celebrate World Breastfeeding Month and answer the question: Is honey safe to eat while breastfeeding? 

The short answer is: yes, you can eat as much honey as you wish. In fact, it is considered a galactagogue, (5) meaning a food (or herb) that aids in milk production.

Many ask this question since there is a concern about botulism in babies until 1 year old. At this age their digestive system lacks enough acidity in the stomach to kill botulism causing bacteria. Symptoms may begin as early as a few hours or 12-36 hours after consumption. Symptoms in infant botulism include constipation, blurred vision and muscle weakness.  (1) 

However, you cannot transmit botulism via your milk so you just need to ensure that any babies under the age of 1 don't have direct access, so it's best not to use it directly on your skin and to wash your hands after consuming.

There are actually many benefits to taking manuka honey while breastfeeding besides supporting milk production. Due to manuka's unique benefits like providing both a natural energy boost without the crash AND more restful sleep (4) depending on when you take it, supporting your immune system (3), and much more.

It can also be a great help if you have a sore throat, cold, or flu since many OTC medicines often contain ingredients that are contraindicated while breastfeeding. Additionally manuka honey has been found more effective against these symptoms than OTC medicines! (6) (7)

Resources:  

 (1)https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/botulism/fact_sheet.htm

(2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7178798/

(3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8347116/

(4)https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04207281

(5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9246572/

(6)https://ebm.bmj.com/content/26/2/57

(7)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4264806/

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International Bath Day

International Bath Day

There is nothing like a lengthy soak in a bath of warm water to melt the stress away, so make sure to set a date with your tub as often as possible. And to make it extra soothing, you can add Manuka Honey, Manuka Oil, and Sea Salt; all ingredients which will leave the skin feeling smoother, softer, and brighter. The combined antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory & pH balancing benefits can help remove toxins, and dead skin cells, and cleanse your skin’s pores deeply keeping your skin moisturized and nourished. Here are some of our favorite recipes to take your bath from average to “oh my goodness, I feel so much better!”

  • Rejuvenate with Fresh Mint and Herbs
  • Need a mental and physical refresh? Whip up this recipe for Calendula and Mint infused herbal bath salts, which will calm your mind and soothe your body. These bath salts feature our Bio-Gro Certified Sea Salt, full of trace minerals to infuse your bath with relaxation. These bath salts were created by our friend Colleen. Click here for the recipe - https://www.growforagecookferment.com/herbal-bath-salt/

  • Simply Rejuvenating Bath Soak 
  • When you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, but you know you need a dip in the tub, you can spruce up your bath with just two ingredients that are nutrient-dense, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory (as well as being known relaxants,) that will help you de-stress and feel better. 

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups of Pacific Sea Salt
    • 3-5 drops of Manuka Oil
    • Stir the salt into a hot bath to dissolve, and then let the water cool to your preferred soaking temperature. Add in the drops and soak to your heart’s content.
  • Silky Smooth Manuka Bubble Bath
  • When you are feeling spent, it might be time to spend some time in a luxury bath full of delicious ingredients that will leave you feeling silky-smooth and ready for anything that comes your way!

    Ingredients:

    • 1/3 cup sweet almond oil
    • 1/3 cup PRI Manuka Honey
    • 1/2 cup unscented body soap
    • 1/4 cup vegetable glycerin
    • Optional: a few drops of a favorite essential oil (though the honey smell is divine as is!) In a mixing bowl, combine all of the above ingredients until smooth. Use right away or keep stored in a lidded container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. To use: pour 1/4 cup-1/2 cup under running water. Enjoy!

    And if you need a quick option - simply scoop a couple of tablespoons of our Manuka honey directly under the warm running water as you fill the tub. Then soak the day away, while you relax and allow your skin to enjoy the healing power of the honey.




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    Everything You Need to Know About Manuka Honey

    Everything You Need to Know About Manuka Honey

    1. The Basics
    2. What Is MGO: Manuka Vs Regular Honey
    3. Uses Of Manuka:
    3a: Burn & Wound Treatment
    3b: Acne & Other Skin Concerns
    3c: Oral Health
    3d: Sore Throat
    3e: Digestive Health
    3f: Influenza Vs Manuka
    3g: Allergy Symptoms Vs Honey
    3h: Manuka For Pets
    4. Monofloral Vs Multifloral Manuka Honey
    5. Australian Vs New Zealand Manuka Honey
    6. What To Look For When Purchasing To Ensure You Are Getting Real Manuka Honey
    7.Different Manuka Labels And What They Mean (MGO, UMF, K-Factor)
    8. How To Read The Test Results (+ The Other Key Compounds In Manuka)
    9. How To Choose The Right Strength For Your Needs And Recommended Dosage
    10. Other Ways To Incorporate Manuka + Our Top 10 Food & Beauty Recipes To Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!

    Want us to cover a topic you don’t see here? Reach out on Instagram, Facebook or Telegram or go old school and give us a ring, Monday through Friday at (805) 684-0624

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    1. The Basics 

    ​​Manuka Honey is made in New Zealand & Australia by bees who pollinate the Manuka tree and contains MGO, short for methylglyoxal,  a compound not found in other types of honey. This compound gives Manuka honey unique health benefits.

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    2. What is MGO: Manuka vs Regular Honey

    There are many different types of honey, each with its own unique characteristics but the most common question we get is: how is Manuka honey different from regular honey? 
    To answer that, we first need to determine what “regular” honey is! Let’s say it can fall into two categories:

    1- Multifloral, processed & pasteurized honey, often mixed with other sweeteners

    2- Raw honey, from multi or monofloral sources excluding Manuka
    Assuming we can agree that any raw honey is far superior to the first category,  let’s dive into the differences between manuka honey and other raw honey types. 

    The biggest difference, of course, is the MGO! Yup, you’ll hear that abbreviation a whole lot around here & find it prominently displayed on the front of our jars. That’s because MGO stands for methylglyoxal and it is what gives manuka its magic. Not found in any other honey, MGO has a range of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits. 

    Now you might say that regular raw honey also has these benefits and, technically, you would be correct. However, with these honey types, the benefits come from peroxide activity. This activity doesn’t do much for the human body. Since too much peroxide is bad for us, we have an enzyme called Catalyse which quickly breaks peroxide down into water and oxygen making its effects very short-lived.

    Your body's defenses do not attack MGO, so you can take full advantage of its benefits inside and out! 

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    3. Uses of Manuka

    There are so many benefits to manuka honey both when used externally and internally and we’ve listed some of our favorites below.  As always, we’ve included study links, but also encourage you to do your own research! There are far more amazing uses and studies related to manuka honey than we could ever cover here.

    3a:  Burn & Wound Treatment - Historically, honey has been recognized around the world for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help promote healing, tissue regeneration, and reduce pain.  It has even been found effective against many antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Combined with its humectant effect, this makes manuka honey uniquely superior to many traditional treatments. Read more here.

    3b: Acne and other skin concerns - More & more studies are finding what traditional medicine knew all along: That honey is efficacious in treating a range of skin disorders from acne to eczema & psoriasis. You can add manuka honey to your daily skincare routine to improve your skin’s appearance by fighting bad bacteria and inflammation, and keeping your skin healthy, moisturized, and nourished. 

    3c: Oral Health : 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.

    3d: Sore Throat: Recent studies have shown that manuka is more effective than OTC products against sore throat & cough due to its unique anti-bacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to inhibit the development of strep throat and even stimulate immune cells! 

     3e: Digestive Health: Manuka has been found to act as a prebiotic by stimulating the growth of good bacteria, while at the same time its antibacterial effects actively fight against disease-causing bacteria. It has shown promise in treating a range of digestive issues from IBS and ulcerative colitis to C. diff. 

    3f: Influenza vs Manuka: A recent study showed that manuka honey may be just as, if not more effective, against the flu than the popular OTC drugs. Tested against a common flu strain and also against other types of honey, manuka showed the highest potency and ability to actually inhibit the growth of the virus. Additionally, it has been found more effective than traditional treatments such as antibiotics in treating symptoms of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTIs)

    3g: Allergy Symptoms: Despite what you may have heard, studies show that honey cannot cure your allergies. Even local honey and yes, even our honey! That said, the unique antibacterial & anti-inflammatory properties of manuka honey are shown effective against a range of allergy symptoms and related diseases making it a great natural allergy relief alternative to OTC options. Read more here.

    3h: Manuka for Pets: Many pets can appreciate the same benefits from Manuka honey that we do. It's used widely to treat burns, wounds, hot spots & other skin issues on all sorts of animals, especially dogs, cats and horses. Dogs can also take advantage of its benefits internally for oral health, as a prebiotic, for added immune protection & much more. Read more about its uses, as well as how much to give your pet based on their size, here.

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    4. Mono vs Multi-Floral Manuka Honey

    While most monofloral honey (i.e. clover, orange blossom, etc.) is pollen tested to prove its’ source, Manuka honey regulations are even more involved.  

    In order for Manuka honey to be certified as Monofloral, the nectar must be predominantly Manuka and when tested the honey must contain a higher level of two of the four naturally occurring markers. Monofloral Manukas tend to come in higher strengths as the concentration of Manuka is higher.

    Multifloral Manuka is created when honeybees forage from the Manuka flower and other floral sources. To be classified as Multiflora Manuka, the honey must contain mainly Mānuka nectar and meet four naturally occurring markers.  Here is an example markers test.
     
    What does this mean for you? If you wish to obtain the optimal benefits that Manuka offers, Monofloral is your ticket. However, if you’re looking for smooth, tasty honey that still has more naturally occurring benefits and is cost competitive vs other raw honey, Multifloral is for you!

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    5. Australian vs New Zealand Manuka Honey

    Manuka was discovered in New Zealand and thought to occur only there until much more recently. We now know Australia is host to over 80 species of Leptospermum, including the exact same plant - Leptospermum Scoparium - as is found in NZ. 

    Due to the larger variety of manuka species, Australian manuka honey has a different flavor and color profile & is less likely to crystalize. There is also less government oversight, a larger territory, and a longer Manuka flowering season, all factors which contribute to its lower price point. 

    The key factor is that both our Australian & New Zealand manuka lines are independently tested for and contain the active ingredient, MGO (methylglyoxal), giving Manuka its unique potency. You can see test results for both lines via the QR code on the jar lids. 

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    6. What to look for when purchasing to ensure you are getting real Manuka honey.

    By now you know that no matter what the label says (UMF, K-Factor, NPA) what you need to look for is the MGO concentration. If you cannot find the MGO amount…well, buyer beware!
     
    On our New Zealand Manuka Honey Labels, we are required by the NZ MPI  to include the following statement:  “The 100% raw Manuka Honey in this jar was independently tested to ensure it has an MGO content of over 200+ mg/kg. This honey is compliant with Manuka Honey standards set by the NZ Ministry for Primary Industries. Product of New Zealand.”
     
    While this is not currently required for manuka honey exported from Australia, we still put it through the same independent testing that our New Zealand line must go through, and, just like with our NZ line, you can access those test results via the QR code on the jar’s lid. Being able to access test results is important to ensure you are purchasing genuine manuka honey.
     
    It is also prudent to look for where the honey was jarred. For instance, our jars read: “Sourced, packed and independently tested in New Zealand exclusively for and distributed by: PRI…” 
     
    Some brands export manuka from NZ in bulk containers and then mix it with other honey before jarring since there are no regulations for manuka in other countries, while others jar in NZ but hide their MGO content in order to sell you low-strength manuka at a higher price. This is why it’s important to look for both the MGO content and where the honey is jarred. 
     
    As the original importers of manuka to the U.S., we brought in manuka before they even knew what MGO was!! Having been there are all stages of knowledge about this amazing natural product, we have always strived to provide the most transparency possible. If you’d like to learn more about this & why our new labels are so important, click here.

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    7. Different Manuka labeling and what they mean (MGO, UMF, K-Factor)

    With so many different manuka labels, it can be hard to figure out which manuka honey to purchase & which brand you can trust. What do all of those abbreviations even mean? 

    Let’s start by looking at what the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries says: 

    Honey labeled as mānuka for export must be tested by an MPI-recognised laboratory to make sure it meets the new mānuka honey definition.”

    The mānuka honey definition is made up of a combination of 5 attributes (4 chemicals from nectar and 1 DNA marker from mānuka pollen).”

    Now that we know what is required for manuka honey to leave the shores of NZ, let’s look at some different terms you see on various manuka honey labels and what they really mean:

    #1 - MGO. Short for methylglyoxal, MGO is the key medicinal component in manuka honey. Per MPI requirements all genuine manuka labeling should be based on this marker and indicated on the label. We put our MGO number right up front, so you don’t have to search for it. 

    #2 - UMF. Short for “Unique Manuka Factor”. UMF is a grading system, based on the NPA level of the honey & developed by a privately funded club: The UMF Honey Association. They will grant a license to a company's product if it is tested and found to meet the specific UMF standards & give permission to use their logo on the label. This logo does add more cost to the end product and according to the new rules laid out by MPI, UMF can only be used as a purity grade, not an activity grade so you still need to look for the MGO number on the jar. 

    #3 - K-Factor. This labeling does not indicate the medicinal quality and/or activity of manuka honey. The company that uses this labeling states that their definition of k-Factor is built around 5 key factors: “Traceability from hive to home, raw & unpasteurized, non-GMO verified, produced & packed in NZ, and free of antibiotics, glyphosate, and pesticides.” None of these tell you anything about the activity (MGO) content and antibacterial ability of the product, nor will you find the MGO level anywhere on their jars. 

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    8. Beyond MGO -  the other key compounds in manuka. Plus, how to read your test results:

    MGO may be the hero with the most star power, but it couldn’t even exist without these other key compounds, along with four markers the NZ MPI looks for and are required for the export license
    • DHA (Dihydroxyacetone) - This gives Manuka Honey its antibacterial properties, the higher the concentration, the stronger the antibiotic effect. MG is derived from the compound DHA.
    • NPA: short for “non-peroxide activity”, this is the original term to describe Manuka’s unique activity and is the same as UMF.
    • HMF: This is a marker used to ensure the honey is properly stored and has not been heated in any way. 

    But don’t worry - when you are reading your test results you don’t have to keep track of all of them! You really just need to look at the MGO and DHA numbers. For full instructions and an example test result, click here or learn via video.

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    9. How to choose the right strength for your needs. 

    Let us help you save some money honey…or, honey money? Not sure, but either way, we’re all tightening our spending right now and the reality is…you don’t need the highest strength to get the benefits.

    In fact, your body can only use so much at a time anyway! Here is a chart to help you choose the right one for your needs & lifestyle:
     
    What is a good strength for Manuka Honey?  See the uses and Manuka Honey ratings table below.

    MGO Strength

    Suggested Use

    PRI Manuka Honey Blend 50+

    Everyday Sweetener! If you use honey a lot but want it to have some extra benefits, this is a great low-budget option.

    PRI 60+ Manuka Honey

    Everyday Sweetener. Another great lower budget option for honey enthusiasts.

    PRI Manuka Honey 100+

    Everyday Immune Support.

    PRI Manuka Honey 200+ and +300

    General and Digestive Health Maintenance, Skin Health.

    Manuka Honey 500+

    Best for specific health concerns like digestive & inflammatory conditions, cold & flu season, and helping to soothe specific skin conditions such as Rosacea, Eczema, and Psoriasis.

    PRI Manuka Honey 1000+

    Extreme skin conditions, inflammatory conditions, upper respiratory infections, MRSA & much more!

     

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    10. Other ways to incorporate manuka + our top 10 recipes to get your creative juices flowing  😋

    Drink it, dip it, blend it, bake it, take it - incorporating manuka into your daily routine couldn’t be easier!   

    Whether you simply add a tablespoon a day as part of your wellness routine, incorporate it into your favorite foods, make your own skincare recipes or add it to your beverages the possibilities really are endless. Here are our top 5 edible recipes and our top 5 body care recipes to get your creative juices flowing:
     
    #1 - Strawberry Honey Lime Mimosas: why not add benefits to your bubbles?
     
    #2 - Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Using Scraps: upgrade your ACV shots with the power of MGO!
     
    #3 - Sweet Potato Mocha Ice Cream: we cracked the code and made a nutritious ice cream that doesn’t make us miss our Ben & Jerry’s. 
     
    #4 - Lemon Twist Dessert Hummus: already a delicious & nutritious dessert, we made it even better with our Lemon Twist Manuka Honey. 
     
    #5 - Honey Boba Tea: tastes just like the boba you love only this one is dairy & refined sugar-free. 
     
    BODY CARE
     
    #1- Manuka Honey & Propolis Salve by GrowForageCookFerment: toss your Neosporin, this simple salve has all the same pros, with none of the cons. 
     
    #2 - Manuka & ACV Cuticle Treatment: protecting your cuticles is key to having healthy nails. This treatment also protects against fungus and has only 4 ingredients!
     
    #3 - Manuka Exfoliator: the single ingredient method to gently exfoliate. Technically not a recipe but absolutely necessary information!
     
    #4 - Moisturizing Bath Soak: This one is so easy, we’ll just drop it here. Dissolve two tablespoons of manuka into a cup of warm water, add to the bath, and enjoy.
     
    #5 - Manuka Honey Facial Spray: spray the dry skin away with green tea & nature’s best humectant - Manuka honey!
     
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    Australian Vs. New Zealand Manuka

    Australian Vs. New Zealand Manuka

    What is the difference?

    The quick: 

    Manuka was discovered in New Zealand and thought to occur only in NZ until much more recently. We now know Australia is host to over 80 species of Leptospermum, including the same plant - Leptospermum Scoparium - as is found in NZ. Because of this variety, along with other types of flora, Australian Manuka honey has a different flavor and color profile & is less likely to crystallize. Many prefer the taste of this Manuka. It also tends to be lower cost due to several factors. Read on if you want, not just the quick….. but also…

    The dirty:

    If you were to Google “Australia Vs. New Zealand,” you’d see many posts about which country is better to visit, which place to live, and a lot of information about their longstanding cricket & rugby rivalries.  What you won’t find much about is what we consider it’s most interesting & dare we say, dramatic rivalry, Manuka honey! 

    Many might liken this not-so-friendly competition to the plight of Champagne, France, and America’s favorite celebratory tipple, champagne. Still, this story goes far beyond names & geography, reaching straight into the realm of the gods.

    The Manuka plant is the stuff of  Maori legend, a child of the gods - Tane Mahuta and Tawake-toro- and placed under the care of the Maori people, a treasure they must protect. 

    Due to this rich cultural history and the economic importance of Manuka honey in NZ, the NZ government has created stricter rules relating to the testing, labeling, and export of it. The NZ agency, MPI, adds their objection to "Australian Manuka" that not all species of Manuka are the same. MPI worries there could be consumer confusion and  fake or low-strength, falsely labeled Manuka flooding the market of non New Zealand Manuka honey. It is also essential to honor the Maori people and their language, beliefs, and history, which gives extra meaning even to the word “Manuka.” 

    While Australia does not currently have the same cultural heritage with Manuka or  restrictions/requirements on Manuka honey it is also important to note that, no matter what they end up calling Manuka from Australia,, the plant holds the same benefits. Finding other sources of this fantastic medicinal compound will create more opportunities in the communities where it is being produced, tested, and jarred.

    As a consumer, the critical factor to note is that any Manuka honey you purchase should have the active ingredient, MGO, level on the jar & accessible test results. 

    Both our Australian & New Zealand Manuka lines at PRI meet the NZ MPI’s requirements. You can see test results for both lines via the QR code on our jar lids, so no matter which country your honey comes from, you know you are getting the real deal.

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