What is Active Honey?
Active honey is honey with a rich antioxidant profile and strong antimicrobial properties. It is widely believed to help support a healthy immune system and fend off colds and flus – drinking a hot toddy with a spoonfull of ‘proper’ honey is a much used preventative measure against an impending cold – as well as being totally delicious.
Due to excellent marketing by the New Zealand Manuka industry, the use of active honey is already well established in the UK. However, some English honeys can also boast very similar attributes, without the downside of shipping the honey half way around the world in plastic containers.
Manuka does have one advantage; unlike English honey it is particularly relevant when used in sterile wound dressings where its unique active properties survive sterilisation. Fortunately sterility isn’t a pre-requisite for ingestion.
The testing methods of Manuka vs English honeys are different, but the levels of activity, and therefore benefits, are similar.
Our active honeys are best stored below 15 degrees Celsius, away from temperature fluctuations and out of direct sunlight. Whilst we give a Best Before date (a legal requirement), honey has an impressive shelf life – astonishingly it has been found, still edible, in Egyptian tombs.
Since high quality, healing honey is a natural product, the levels of moisture, fructose, glucose and other nectar derived natural sugars will vary from batch to batch. Crystallisation is normal, and part of the natural process. It does not affect the quality or beneficial properties of the honey.
The speed with which crystallisation takes place will vary according to the plants foraged by the bees. With some honeys the natural separation of the moisture from the glucose molecules can increase the likelihood of fermentation, and refrigeration helps guard against this.