Mānuka – Remarkable Properties
Mānuka (Leptospermum scoparium) grows as a shrub or small tree up to 6 m tall, in forest edges or areas of reverting pasture. The flowers are small and designed to be pollinated by native bees and flies, but the honey bee also works this flower to produce this remarkable honey.
Our ancestors used Mānuka for a range of medicinal purposes – the bark was boiled and the infusion drunk or applied externally to relieve pain. Infusions of the bark, capsules and seed were also applied to burns and wounds, or for treating mouth, throat and eye affliction, and to reduce fever. Mānuka was also used to treat wounds on horses and other domestic animals.
Mānuka Honey is now world-famed for its unique properties.
New Zealand’s food regulations do not allow us to promote the benefits of
Mānuka Honey for human health, but Mānuka Honey has been the focus of
extensive scientific research that tells a compelling story of well-being and healing! Just google to find this out for yourself.
Science has shown that methyglyoxal (MG or MGO) is the compound occurring naturally in Mānuka Honey that makes it so special. That’s why we measure the MG in our Mānuka Honey and use this as our rating system. It’s clear, honest and directly based on what Mānuka Honey actually contains. We reject the use of other fabricated rating systems or trademarks that do not refer directly to MG or MGO.
Our Mānuka Honey is an amber honey, with that distinctive medicinal and earthy taste, but it is lighter on the palate than some other Mānuka Honeys. Use Mānuka Honey daily as an elixir or tonic, for drinks and in your cooking for that special dish.
Tāwari – A Rare Honey
Tāwari (Ixerba brexinoides) is unique: unique to New Zealand; the only species within its genus; and only found in a few parts of the North Island. We find great groves of tāwari deep within Te Urewera, our vast pristine native forest. Here, tāwari grows to over 10 metres high, and has been described by botanists as one of the most beautiful of New Zealand’s native plants, striking in the beauty of both its flowers and foliage. So much so that the delicate white flowers of the tāwari were one of the few used by our ancestors for necklaces and garlands to be worn on festive occasions.
The tāwari flower is usually pollinated by bats and moths attracted at night to the white flower. Plentiful nectar is produced at the base of the flower, and it is from these divine pools of nectar that the honey bee, during the day, produces one of the finest honeys of New Zealand.
Rewarewa – Beyond Mānuka
Our tāwari honey is a light honey, not too sweet on the palate, and silky smooth in texture. It comes with hints of butterscotch and sometimes liquorice that linger just enough to give it a punch of interest. Use our tāwari honey to complement soft or full-bodied cheeses, on raw fruits, for topping ice-cream or pancakes, or for culinary delight in your desserts.
Rewarewa (Knightia excelsa) is our indigenous honeysuckle tree that gives an outstanding honey rich in taste and beneficial properties. Rewarewa grows in groves in well-lit parts of our forest, and stands above the forest shrubbery as a fine tree of up to 30 metres in height. The flowers are clustered together on stalks with about 50-80 flowers in each cluster. The flower is designed for pollination by birds such as tui and bellbird, so it gives a bounty of nectar which our bees find to make this delicious honey.
Traditionally, the nectar of the rewarewa tree was collected by our
ancestors for a sweetener as it contains about 45% sugars – a true honeysuckle! The inner bark was used for bandaging over wounds to check bleeding and help healing.
Research has found that Rewarewa Honey has a range of properties from antibacterial to anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. Rewarewa honey has a beautiful deep reddish amber colour and a rich, full-bodied taste. Use daily straight from the jar, or in drinks. Rewarewa is especially favoured by chefs for use in savoury and dessert dishes to create culinary delights!
Pua-a-Tane - Wild Forest Honey
Pua is the Maori word for flower, blossom or seed and so denotes the essence of life, flourishing and fertility. Tāne is our God of the Forest. He descends from Rangi, our Sky Father, and Papa, our Earth Mother. In our stories of origin, Tāne begat all life in our forests, including all trees, birds and insects, so we see our forests and all in it as his offspring or reflection.
Thus our fusion of honeys from our forest trees has been named by our elders and forest experts as Pua-ā-Tāne – as a reflection of the essence of the life and bounty of our forest.
Pua-ā-Tāne is ideal for all uses of honey – as a daily elixir for good health in drink or straight from the jar, as a spread on toast or bread, for flavouring and enhancing sweet and savoury dishes in your cooking. We use Pua-ā-Tāne every day for our cool and hot drinks - with lime or lemon, tea or coffee, keeping us in great health throughout the year.
Other Honeys of Te Urewera
From time to time we are able to harvest other honey from our forests. Our hobby hives brought in a bumper rata crop in 2012, and in 2013 we were blessed with mahoe honey that was our first honey to market in New Zealand under the Manawa brand. We gained many followers of our honey from those special harvests but have not had the good fortune to strike these varietals again as yet. Such is the nature of the bounty from our forests – different seasons can deliver us surprises – sometimes of delight, sometimes of disappointment. We have learnt to go with the flow that our forests give us and will bring to our customers our rare and unique honeys when they come into our hives.