Answer: It depends.
If you’re a kind person who constantly looks around for tree-born and naturally-produced honey, you might have heard of manuka honey. Manuka honey has some exceptional and unique antibacterial qualities, so it is not just used in food items but is also extensively used in beauty and skincare products.
Because manuka honey is plant-based many people often ask if it is vegan.
Is Manuka Honey Vegan?
The answer to this question is no. Manuka honey is not entirely vegan because bees make it, BUT it is much better than raw organic honey. Let us tell you why – manuka honey is made of manuka flowers. From a single type of flower, the nectar is collected by the bees. Something to note here is that the bees collect the honey before they consume it back, so technically, the process does not harm or kill any bees. However, the process does exploit them.
The choice is yours, as it depends on your definition of veganism. So as long as you’re okay with any product that does not involve animal killing and is made by animals, not from animals, you can have it.
What Is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is not raw honey. It is made when the bees inject the bloom nectar (extracted from the manuka plant), digest it, then cool and fan the substance to deliver. It is made when bees pollinate the tea tree (also known as Leptospermum Scoparium bush).
It is primarily produced in New Zealand and Australia. It has been proved that manuka honey treats infectious wounds and other conditions. Since ancient times it has been used to cure multiple conditions. It was in the 19th century when it was first discovered that manuka honey possesses naturally antibacterial qualities.
The methylglyoxal compound is one of the main antibacterial components present in manuka honey. This compound changes an additional compound known as dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA is found in vast amounts in the manuka flower’s nectar. The higher the amount of MGO, the more powerful the antibacterial effect will be.
Manuka honey is local to New Zealand. Recently, it has gained much more recognition and exposure worldwide due to its exceptional characteristics and properties.
Benefits of Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is famous for its positive effects on the skin and the body. Manuka honey is majorly used in healing minor burns and wounds. Research has shown that manuka honey is highly effective when it comes to treating conditions like:
- Digestive health
- Soothing a sore throat or a cough
- Skincare that includes dermatitis and eczema
- Injuries and wounds
- Hair problems
A study has suggested that manuka honey helps prevent gingivitis and periodontal diseases by diminishing plaque build-up. Other studies also indicated that manuka might help prevent inflammation in the esophagus from chemotherapy and radiation.
Why Is Manuka Honey So Expensive?
When you compare manuka honey with any other typical honey you buy from your local grocery stores; you’ll notice that manuka honey is relatively expensive.
One of the reasons is that it comes from a Leptospermum Scoparium tree, a limited resource. Manuka honey also has unique properties, which are measured and tested thoroughly before exporting. Depending on their UMF (Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association) grading numbers, MGO levels, and strength, these wellness and health properties are available in different quantities.
The manuka trees are not abundant in New Zealand. They grow above sea level in high country farmlands, making it quite difficult for beekeepers to access them. Helicopters are usually used in the process of collecting honey. Beehives are also transported from one location to another at high prices, making the process costly.
Not only the collection of honey is challenging, but the harvesting process also becomes quite a big deal since manuka flowers are not always in bloom. They only bloom for two to eight weeks per year. Manuka trees are greatly dependent on the temperature and the weather conditions. Those are rare and limited times when these flowers are in bloom.
Almost 2800 tonnes of are produced annually of manuka honey, compared to 1.9 million tonnes of regular honey. Now all these 2800 tonnes of honey have to be supplied in high demand, which makes the prices high.
5 Vegan Honey Brands to Try
Maybe not as evident as meat, eggs, and dairy, honey is an animal outgrowth, and it’s not considered vegan.
Here we have variations of five different kinds of vegan honey that you can surely try to make your life a little sweeter.
Bees are not harmed while making this delicious vegan honey. Purely organic tapioca fiber and stevia leaf extract are used to create this delicious honey replacement.
The products used in making this honey are crisp apples with wildflower flavors to attain a distinctive and flowery taste. One can have it with vegan cheese or mix it in your daily tea or coffee and on a slice of bread for breakfast.
Several Varieties/Vegan Honey Company
They have these three fantastic flavors of honey which are:
- Chai honey
- Lavender honey
- Blueberry honey
You can never get something more striking and delightful for your taste.
This amazingly rich and thick honey is generated for vegan biscuits and vegan yogurt, and it’s made up of brown rice syrup, agave, and maple syrup. It gives the sweetest and thickest texture and tastes heavenly.
Bee Free Vegan Honey
This syrup is made for dipping plant-based chicken nuggets.
The ingredients used in making this delicious sweet syrups are apple juice and vegan sugar cane.
Manuka Honey vs Raw Honey
All over the world, honey is available in different types and from various sources. However, every type has a similar flavor and texture. Manuka honey is one of the most talked-about and popular honey for some valid reasons. Raw honey has also enjoyed its value in people’s lives for quite a long time.
One might find many types of raw honey in the market, such as lavender honey, rooftop honey, alfalfa honey, etc. But since manuka honey is everyone’s favorite, let’s talk about it.
What exactly is the difference between manuka honey and raw honey? Let us get in and compare the two most famous types of honey.
The fascinating thing about manuka honey is that its nectar comes from the manuka plant. This is why its color is dark and more pigmented than the shade of raw honey. It is also a bit thick in texture. The manuka bush is rare and only grows in Australia and New Zealand.
Talking about raw honey, it is a kind of honey that is extracted from the honeycomb directly. This honey is not even heated to get off all the impurifications and is not filtered in any way. So it’s unhygienic.
Now that you know all the information about the manuka honey, you know what to do. If you’re not a strict vegan, you can consume it since it’s plant-based and only involves bees in the process. But if you’re a strict vegan, you better avoid the product.
When buying manuka honey, keep in mind to be on the lookout and have the original jar. Remember, it’s costly, so do not get fooled!