Of Note

Two favorite products: Rooibos Tea & Active Manuka Honey

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea is red tea from South Africa, and we’ve carried it since 2001. We love all our organic rooibos teas (we have bulk red tea and red tea in tea bags; we have some red tea in tea bags in combination with other plants and herbs too). One tea box says, “Since the turn of the century, rooibos has been treasured as an elixir for the mind, body and spirit.

In 1904 Benjamin Ginsberg, a Russian immigrant came to South Africa and found the local mountain people drinking… rooibos… naturally high in super oxide dismutase (SOD), an outstanding antioxidant and prime preventer of free radical damage. It is also rich in quercetin, well known for increasing capillary strength, improving circulation and protecting against infections.” Give it a try hot or cold. It’s flavorful and seems to rival green tea in terms of health benefits.

Active Manuka Honey

Speaking of products from abroad, in this case from New Zealand, do you know about Manuka Honey?  We know all honey can create hydrogen peroxide and has anti-bacterial activity, and all honey – in varying degrees – is effective topically and taken internally in the healing of major wounds, cuts, burns, abscesses, skin ulcers, bed sores, eye infections and varicose ulcers. Honey promotes tissue re-growth and reduces scarring. The anti-bacterial properties vary between the different types of honey – the floral source – and even within types. This variation is determined by the level of hydrogen peroxide activity in each honey.

How does manuka honey differ from other honeys? Well, the manuka plant is a great healer, and a great germ-killer, and these properties migrate from the plant right on into the honey. Having said that, not all manuka honey is created equal. So how do you know what's the good stuff? Well, it gets pretty confusing, since there are all sorts of competing assays to show which honey is strongest. To start with, there are UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) ratings. A UMF 10+ honey is strong, a UMF 15+ honey is very strong, and a UMF 20+ honey is as strong as they get. UMF is the most trusted and established measure of manuka activity, but it's also a trademark, and some honey companies balk at paying the licensing fees to use it. So now there's also an MGO (Methylglycoxal rating), as well as "Active Manuka Honey" (which can mean anything). At the end of the day, just make sure to buy your manuka honey from somebody you trust.

According to Dr. Molan, University of Waikato, New Zealand, back in 2006, the trademarked “Active Manuka Honey” was found effective against Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria believed to be responsible for duodenal and stomach ulcers. Patients who took the trademarked “Active Manuka Honey in clinical trials experienced symptom relief. It was not determined whether the honey eliminated the bacteria, but researchers have been looking into whether “Active Manuka Honey” is more effective than other honeys for the conditions mentioned above, since its non-peroxide anti-bacterial activity is more resistant to being broken down by the body fluids. [Note that Dr. Nolan used the UMF trademarked manuka honey because that’s what he was studying, so it’s not to say that the non-trademarked manuka wouldn’t work beautifully too.]

I keep a jar of manuka honey in my medicine cabinet and have used it for a sore throat, for an infected cut, and on burns. Many of you have told me that it’s saved the day for you too. Mother Nature is pretty incredible, isn’t she?

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