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Blog / Pacific Resources International

Leatherwood Honey Frozen Fruit

Leatherwood Honey Frozen Fruit

Leatherwood: the official honey of summer. Yeah, we know...bold statement. But would we lie to you? Never. 

One of the most unique tasting kinds of honey out there with strong floral and citrus notes and a hint of...well something we just can't put our finger on but the flavor combo paired with fruit is a taste experience you do not want to miss. 

Considered one of the rarest kinds of honey in the world Leatherwood is, of course, made by the bees and brought to us with the help of some VERY patient beekeepers. The Leatherwood tree only grows in remote regions of Tasmania and takes 80-100 years to bloom! 

Now, on to the delicious stuff... our favorite way to bring all the summer vibes to your next picnic, bbq, party, or when you just need a tasty, healthy treat on a hot day: Leatherwood Frozen Fruit.

It's really simple - 

Step 1: Pick your fruit (we chose watermelon and blueberries, but you really can't go wrong)

Step 2: Slice your fruit & mix in the Leatherwood honey, making sure each piece is evenly coated.

Step 3: Lay it on a baking sheet and freeze

Step 4: Enjoy! Eat it straight, atop your ice cream, and add it to your water or other favorite beverage...the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

Our family is really lucky to have access to some of this amazing honey and to be able to offer it at a reasonable price. We can't wait to hear what you create!

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Manuka Vs Influenza

Manuka Vs Influenza

Ditch the side effects for a dose of nature

Dreaming of hot chocolate, cozy fires & even cozier slippers…hopefully minus the sore throats, congestion, coughs and fevers that seem to also come along with the colder weather.

Unfortunately, the most common drug class for OTC cold & flu remedies including products such as Tamiflu contain questionable ingredients and around TEN common side effects ranging from nausea and vomiting to mood changes! 

Luckily for us all, nature already has the answer and more and more studies are being done to prove it. A recent study published in the Archives of Medical Research titled, “Anti-influenza Viral Effects of Honey In Vitro: Potent High Activity of Manuka Honey,” tested several different types of honey on the common H1N1 influenza strain. Researchers that conducted the study stated: “In conclusion, the results obtained showed that honey, in general, and particularly manuka honey, has potent inhibitory activity against influenza virus, demonstrating a possible medicinal value. Further investigations are required to identify the active antiviral components in Manuka honey and to determine its synergistic effects with known antiviral drugs.”

The study also showed that when manuka honey was added to the use of OTC medications, manuka significantly increased the antiviral effectiveness of both compounds. This might be necessary especially in extreme cases and is important to note. 

Manuka honey has been shown to increase the release of Cytokines, especially during an inflammatory response. Cytokines help white blood cells identify and eliminate damaged or infected tissues. 

If you are having a particularly sore throat or upper respiratory issues, physicians from Oxford University's Medical School and Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences analyzed existing evidence to see how honey affects the symptoms of URTIs. Concluding, in the article in the journal BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine "Honey was superior to usual care for the improvement of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections,” also stating "Since the majority of URTIs are viral, antibiotic prescription is both ineffective and inappropriate. However, a lack of effective alternatives, as well as a desire to preserve the patient-doctor relationship, both contribute to antibiotic over prescription."*

It’s easy to incorporate manuka into your care routine. Fun fact about manuka is that when its heated, the MGO, or active component in manuka, is not killed so you can add it to your tea! If you prefer a cold treat when ill, check out our Throat Soothing Popsicles Recipe.

And, because being sick doesn’t always mean you get to lay in bed, we have all your on the go Manuka solutions such as our own alcohol-free cough elixirs, lozenges, throat soothing lollipops & honey sticks. 

** Please note, we are not medical professionals and you should not consider this medical advice. You know your body and when you need to seek medical attention, listen to that voice! And, in the meantime, eat Manuka, drink lots of water & get some rest ❤️

Resources: 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24880005/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6594701/

https://ebm.bmj.com/content/26/2/57

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/22/health/antibiotics-surgery-cancer-england-uk-intl/index.html



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Psoriasis Awareness Month: How Manuka Honey & Manuka Oil Can Help

Psoriasis Awareness Month: How Manuka Honey & Manuka Oil Can Help

Those who have it, know how difficult psoriasis is to both manage and live with. As there is currently no cure for psoriasis, those who have been diagnosed with this autoimmune disease not only have to endure internal & external pain but also live with skin lesions that can make them feel self-conscious. If you are one of the over 7 million people in the U.S. affected by psoriasis and want to learn more about how manuka honey can help, along with other management tips, click here.

If you want to know more about what psoriasis is, read on!

Like many autoimmune diseases little is known about the cause of psoriasis however, enough is understood about our immune response to understand how & why it manifests the way it does. When you have psoriasis your T cells, which normally help your body protect against threatening foreign substances, are overactive. This overactivity causes them to attack not just disease-causing substances but also healthy skin cells. 

Everyone’s skin cells are constantly dying and regrowing, a process that would normally take about a month. For someone WITH psoriasis though, this takes only a few days causing painful, red, itchy, scaly patches of build-up on the skin. 

This cycle doesn’t tend to stop without some sort of treatment and can be more or less severe depending on many factors. These factors are different from person to person but can include stress, change in the weather, cuts, burns or scrapes, seasonal allergies, and dryer weather such as in dry desert climates or during winter.

While there are not many studies directly related to the use of Manuka Honey on psoriasis, it is thought to have great promise in treating psoriasis lesions. Unlike other honey, Manuka contains a unique component known as MGO; MGO has been shown to be a great aid in anti-inflammatory & antibacterial treatments. In addition to this, there is an overwhelming number of anecdotal reports on the effectiveness of Manuka Honey in reducing the severity of psoriasis outbreaks (by regular internal use) and the management of skin lesions/ external pain (when applied externally).

Manuka oil is shown to have many of the same benefits when used externally. Additionally, both the oil and honey have been shown effective against Staphylococcus Aureus, which has long been associated with atopic dermatitis. 

Given there are no known side effects from using Manuka oil or honey in conjunction with other treatments or on their own, why not give it a try and see if it can be beneficial to your symptoms? In fact, here is a special code just for you for 15% off any PRI Manuka Honey or Oil with the code SKINHELP.

Here are some great and easy ways to incorporate manuka products into your routine:

  1. Add manuka oil and/or honey to your current moisturizer, body, or face wash. Adding to your shampoo and conditioner can also be a great help if you have scalp psoriasis 
  2. Apply manuka oil and/or honey directly to your skin. (Note 100% Manuka oil needs to be diluted before external use. This can be done with any of your favorite carrier oils; simply add 10 drops of manuka oil to 2 Tablespoons of carrier oil.) We also have a pre-diluted 10% manuka oil (carried in almond oil) which is great for use right out of the bottle! If using Manuka honey, simply apply to the affected area and cover before bed!
  3. Add manuka honey and/or oil + Epsom salts to your bath. The salts will help you shed dead skin, while the manuka will help kill bad bacteria & fungus while locking in moisture. You can also add ground-up oats for some extra love.
  4. Help remove irritating dead skin and soothe inflammation with the most gentle exfoliating technique ever: honey tapping! Using only honey and your hands or a spoon honey tapping is a great way to exfoliate sensitive skin.
  5. Take at least one tablespoon of manuka honey per day to help fight internal inflammation.

And, make sure to catch some sun! Ultraviolet B rays have also been shown to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis and  as little as 10 minutes in direct sun can be enough. 

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7694078/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5562472/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atopic-dermatitis-eczema/symptoms-causes/syc-20353273#:~:text=Atopic%20dermatitis%20(eczema)%20is%20a,irritating%20but%20it%27s%20not%20contagious

https://www.psoriasis.org/scalp/



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The Buzz On Bees In New Zealand

The Buzz On Bees In New Zealand

Bees. Superheroes to every human - and really to every animal -  around the world. Essential to our survival, bees along with many other important pollinators, are responsible for at least a third of the crops we use every day. In New Zealand specifically, they team up with the mighty manuka shrub to create the most magical, medicinal honey in the world - manuka honey!

While native Maori peoples had been using all parts of the manuka shrub both medicinally and to create their homes and tools, there were no bees in NZ to make honey until 1839. This was the year Mary Bumby, sister of a Methodist missionary, brought two hives ashore and introduced European Honeybees to New Zealand. 

Brought over specifically to make honey, these bees also quickly became vital to crop pollination across the country, especially since most NZ crops are non-native. Used to pollinate everything from apples to the clover in dairy fields. Over 100,000 honeybee hives are used each year in New Zealand just to pollinate kiwifruit vines alone.

Over the years, the popularity of our favorite bee product - manuka honey - has seen a major increase. The number of hives has grown from around 300,000 to over 700,000 just between the years 2000 and 2019 more than doubled the value of pollination services in New Zealand. 

While PRI has always focused on sustainable beekeeping practices, this increase has made it more important than ever to ensure that we value and protect our honeybees to ensure not only their health but the health of our world and future generations. 

These practices are an important qualifier for PRI’s beekeeping partners. By restoring healthier bee populations and using managed care for bees, in a manner that respects their natural processes, we can help improve ecological agriculture and pollination. PRI supports research and preservation efforts to provide “best practices” education for beekeepers and farmers. Our beekeepers’ goal is first and foremost to meet our needs in a way that will also improve life for future generations. 

As part of the SAVE the BEE initiative,  a sustainable-beekeeper-only partnership committed to protecting honey bees by increasing public awareness of the role honeybees play in a healthy food supply, a portion of every purchase of our jarred honey is donated to help the bees. 

Want to know how you can help your local pollinators? Start by planting a bee garden and going chemical-free in your yard. Use this free resource to find plants native to your area, along with how many different types of pollinators will enjoy them!

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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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    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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