Honeybush and Manuka Honey

HoneybushHoneybush is a caffeine-free herbal tisane grown in Cederberg, South Africa, similar to its natural cousin, Rooibos.  It is refreshing and cleansing with hints of honey with a liquor tending bright orange.  It is as healthy as it is tasty. It is high in antioxidants, and has a wonderfully sweet, slight astringent flavor with overtones of honey.  The overall taste is unique and has been compared to apricot jam. Although it is traditionally enjoyed hot, it makes an incredible summertime refresher over ice.

For a truly mouth-watering, refreshing experience, hot or iced, prepare Honeybush with some Manuka honey.  Add one heaping tablespoon of Honeybush to your teapot and a half-teaspoon of Manuka honey.  Add six ounces of water just off a boil.  Steep it for five minutes and pour off using a strainer into a pitcher for serving or directly into one or more teacups.  Capture the aroma and then savor the extraordinary taste.

Manuka honey is produced by introduced European honey bees (Apis mellifera) feeding on the Manuka or tea tree (Leptospermum scoparium and/or Leptospermum polygalifolium), which grows uncultivated throughout New Zealand and southeastern Australia.

The tea tree is known to be antibacterial and antifungal, and it has been used for decades as a source of things like mouth washes and disinfectants.  Manuka honey is thought to harness the properties of the tea tree, combining them with the already naturally antibacterial properties of honey. In addition to tasting good, this honey can be used in wound dressing to prevent infection or fungal colonization.

The color of this honey is quite dark, and it is very rich with an intense flavor. It can be used just like regular honey as a sweetener and is a very popular table honey in New Zealand.

Not all honey is the same. The antibacterial quality of honey depends on the type of honey as well as when and how it is harvested. Some kinds of honey may be 100 times more potent than others.

The honey used to treat wounds is a medical-grade honey. It is specially sterilized and prepared as a dressing. So the jar of Manuka honey in the pantry should not be considered part of a first aid kit. Wounds and infections should be seen and treated by a health care professional.
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By ITMA Certified Tea Master Chas Kroll

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