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Move over Manuka, say hello to Australia's Jarrah Honey!

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

The world of superfoods may very well have revolutionised our way of food consumption. Alongside it are the health trends that often pique our curiosity. “Liquid Gold”, if one has not heard of it, is a term often associated with honeys with emerging superfood benefits. The term is used in an affective correlation with the Gold Rush era as well as the higher price tag some ‘super-honeys’ in the world are retailed at. No matter what the reason though, one thing is for sure, the demand for honey is here to stay.

Honey glass bowl next to a sunflower on  table
Glass Bowl of Honey. Photo by: Mareefe

Honey is a natural sugar substitute. For centuries, it has been used for nutritional and medicinal purposes. What makes honey unique is its ability to have a long-lasting shelf life, by fighting bacteria growth due to the presence of hydrogen peroxide, acidity and lack of moisture. Factors in which are also responsible for its ability to assist in the healing process of minor wounds and burns.

“Jarrah Honey consistently produced very high levels of natural hydrogen peroxide, when compared and tested against other honeys”

Superfood and natural medicine trends as of late, have propelled Manuka Honey into the spotlight. Touted by experts as hosting benefits greater than your usual toast and tea variety, and for good reason!

However, the saturation of this honey in the market has also created a lot of confusion for consumers. For instance, there is “active Manuka” which contains peroxide activity, as well as “non-peroxide Manuka” which doesn't. Each type of non-peroxide Manuka is then further divided into various quality rating systems, labelled as NPA, UMF and MGO, making it even harder to distinguish one Manuka from another. The problem then becomes a matter of actually knowing which jar of Manuka qualifies as 'super food', and which doesn't. Confused yet?

Meanwhile, as scientific research into this area of superfoods has continued to develop, the discovery of another class of honey altogether has come to join the super-honey family, blowing even the best of Manuka's benefits out of the water.

Tall Australian Jarrah Tree of Western Australia. Eucalyptus Marginata
Eucalyptus Marginata - Jarrah Tree of Western Australia. Photo by: Terri Sharp

Move over Manuka, the new ‘super honey’ to enter the market is Australia’s own Jarrah Honey. This discovery came from the flowers of the Eucalyptus Marginata, a tree endemic to Western Australia. It is where the bees collect the nectar from, to make this delicious Jarrah Honey - a distinctive & smooth honey, with a caramel-like taste.

Jarrah Honey is measured in Total Activity "TA" rating ( 10+, 20+, 30+ etc. ). Which accounts for both Peroxide and Non-Peroxide activity. As of now, there is only one reference rating used in the market. How simple is that?

A 2011 study, by Department of Agriculture and Food, into Western Australian honeys suggested Jarrah Honey’s anti-microbial activity to be 90% greater than the average New Zealand Manuka Honey. Jarrah is a natural “peroxide” honey which also contains methylglyoxal components (found in Manuka) - both are antimicrobial components. Jarrah honey is also believed to contain other antibacterial phytochemicals which contribute to its antimicrobial properties. “So what makes it stand out?”

  1. Tests reveal it has one of the world highest antimicrobial activity levels ever found in honey. Thanks to its natural hydrogen peroxide forming natural enzyme. Benefits: the honey is able to fight off bacteria at a much higher scale. It can be consumed as a lozenge. It also helps in the healing process and relief of minor wounds and burns.

  2. Smooth, caramel-like taste Benefits: a natural substitute to sugar. Easy to consume with no medicinal after taste. See our Honey Cheesecake Recipe made with Jarrah Honey.

  3. It contains three times more antioxidants than Manuka. Benefits: one serve of antioxidant is equivalent to a spoonful of pure Jarrah Honey. It may also support skin cell renewal and help fight acne.

  4. Compared to other honeys, Jarrah has a lower glucose, high fructose and low GI Index. Benefits: in comparison, Jarrah honey does not immediately affect blood sugar (seek doctors for medical advise). The lower glucose and high fructose level is also the reason why this honey takes longer to crystallise.

  5. Much higher anti-microbial activity for the price Benefits: for similar anti-microbial activity scale, Jarrah honey is much more economical per gram than Manuka.

When stacked up against expensive honeys, Jarrah Honey’s stronger antimicrobial qualities consequently become better value for money. Its flavour is unbeatable too, it is sweet yet smoother than some other medicinal honeys.

Jarrah Honey of Western Australia Total Activity TA 30+ high antimicrobial properties

Our Wellshine Wellson Jarrah Honey is rated at TA30+, “TA” Total Activity is the standard rating system for Jarrah Honey. It is a measure of its antimicrobial activity. Our honey is independently tested through testing lab Eurofins, which is based in New Zealand.

Next time you’re at your local pharmacy, or independent grocer, keep an eye out for it on the shelves. If you’re looking where to buy, try our stockists page to point you in the nearest direction to one of our own jars.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (2019), Becoming a beekeeper in Western Australia, https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/plant-biosecurity/becoming-beekeeper-western-australia?page=0%2C1.

Irish J, Blair S, Carter DA (2011), The Antibacterial Activity of Honey Derived from Australian Flora. PLoS ONE 6(3): e18229. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0018229.

Manning, R J. (2011), Research into Western Australian honeys. Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Perth. Report.


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