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Comvita Manuka Honey

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£4.95 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk See more offers
4 Reviews

Manufacturer: Comvita / Type: Honey / Active UMF 10+

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    4 Reviews
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      23.01.2012 16:25
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      A present from the bees!

      ABOUT MANUKA HONEY: Whilst all honey is good for you, Manuka honey is (if you'll excuse the pun) the bee's knees of honey! There's lots of information about it online but, basically, lab tests have shown that it has remarkable antibacterial property, found only in the Leptospermum species (native to New Zealand). When you're buying Manuka, you'll notice something called a UMF (which stands for Unique Manuka Factor). Just think of it a bit like sunscreen - the higher the factor, the better it is for you. The UMF is also your way of knowing you're purchasing genuine Manuka with active antibacterial properties. The UMF starts at around 5+ and goes up to around 25+.

      SO, WHAT MAKES MANUKA SO GOOD? The amazing thing about Manuka is that it can be taken as a food supplement or used externally. There are now also lots of fantastic manuka-based beauty products (such as moisturisers, lip balms etc).

      What it does for you as a food supplement:
      It can help with digestive problems
      Help prevent or alleviate stomach ulcers
      Help prevent coughs and colds and soothe sore throats

      What it can do when used externally:
      Proven wound healing properties.
      Fighting any bacterial infection of external wounds.
      Helps moisturise the skin

      WHAT IT'S DONE FOR ME: Over the years, I've used Manuka (and, in particular, the trusted Comvita range) as a daily supplement to help ward off colds. I used to get about 4 colds a year until someone put me onto this. The first year I took it, I got one cold. Whenever I've stopped taking it, my cold-count has gone up! I've also used it on wounds - it's entirely safe but I did check with my GP first and he said he didn't see why I couldn't. I actually used the honey from a jar first but found it a little sticky so then swapped to Comvita's specific ManukaCare wound cream. Given that hospitals now use it to treat diabetic leg ulcers, I figured it had to be doing something pretty good.

      At the end of the day, I believe nature knows best - and when it comes with such a swathe of independent reports as to its effectiveness (including from the medical field - who are often reluctant to advise using anything other than man-made pharmaceuticals), then I reckon there's got to be something to it.

      Bottom line - it's not cheap, but if you only ever take one supplement a day, you could do worse than a spoonful of Manuka. If you're in fine fettle, start at around the UMF 10+ mark.

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        18.01.2012 22:48

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        good for you but an expensive habit!

        I was a manuka sceptic, until I saw this on a decent offer & thought why not give it a try. I picked a lower number because I'm generally not ill & its cheaper! The higher the number (from 5+ up to about 25+) the more antibacterial the honey. The good thing about manuka honey is that it retains its antibacterial value at high temperatures so you can put it in tea etc. Anyway I gave it a try & I have to say antibacterial or not it is one of the tastiest honeys I have ever had & i'm addicted for that reason. My other reason is that not long after I got it most of my family caught cold. I had other symptoms but never got a sore throat despite the rest of my family croaking like frogs so I do believe it works. It has a darker more bitter taste than your run of the mill runny honey. I believe the taste gets stronger the higher the number you take. If your really unwell try it in some hot water with fresh ginger & lemon.

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        02.06.2011 15:10
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        Has never let me down

        Comvita honey has been in my home medicine cabinet for the last three years. Usually I buy either the 10+ or 15+ UMF (unique manuka factor) versions (the strong, the more potent).

        For those new to the world of curing with honey, just a few words of explanation. Honey is an ancient healing substance, used by the Egyptians and Greeks, among others, on wounds. The hydrogen peroxide in the honey inhibits the bacteria's ability to multiply. To a degree, all honey does this, but Manuka honey is particularly potent as the bees in New Zealand who produce it feed on the manuka bushes. The antibacterial properties of this particular honey are such that it has been used to treat MRSA in hospitals around the world.

        I don't like taking antibiotics unless it's essential and I dislike my children taking them, too. We first bought the honey when we had a bout of impetigo in the family. Impetigo usually strikes on Friday nights in this house, when the GP's surgery is about to close for the weekend, meaning that we couldn't get antibiotics or antibiotic cream even if I'd wanted them. So we treated our nasty infectious bits with Manuka honey bought from our local Holland & Barrett. By the Monday morning we were fine for work and school.

        It's sticky to apply, there's no getting away from it, but it works. The little patches of red and golden skin ooziness just dried up. What I liked about it is that there was no hard crusty skin left when it had cleared up. That's the beauty of the honey.

        I then tried it on a series of ingrowing toenails suffered by my son. In both cases I took him to the podiatrist, who treated the nail and then suggested antibiotics from the doctor. I told her I wanted to continue with Manuka honey and she was a little concerned. In the end we compromised and she told me what to look out for with my son (who was twelve at the time). I promised to take him to the GP if there wasn't significant improvement, and to carry on with twice-daily salt soaks.

        I applied the honey with a disposable, blunt, plastic spatula and watched carefully. {Look away now if you're squeamish or eating something}. The horrible pus in the toe seemed to come out very easily every time we soaked it. The red line of inflammation on the toe started to recede. After two or three days there was no question that the toe was healing well (obviously the podiatrist's good work had helped here, too).

        Again, as the toe healed there was little rigid scar tissue. The skin was soft where the tissue had been at work.

        I took him back to see the podiatrist and she agreed that it had worked well and there was no need for the GP to look at it. Unbelievably, about fifteen months later we had another toe incident. This time my son was about to go on a five-day school trip overseas. I took the precaution of getting antibiotics just in case things didn't heal up well (didn't want the teachers having the responsibility for a nasty infection). My son forgot to take the antibiotics with him, so for five days it was just him and the mighty Manuka. Back home, I held my breath and crossed my fingers and half-expected he'd come with a gangrenous foot.

        He was just fine. The Manuka honey (and, to be fair, the seawater) had done the job).

        I have also applied honey to a nasty boil. It seemed to work well and almost as quickly as anything the chemist or GP might have given me.

        Other applications have been for sore throats: try it with some lemon juice, but don't get the honey too hot as I have heard this reduces its 'powers'; and for spots, which it gently zaps.

        Caveat--I would never recommend anyone treat themselves/their family if they are concerned about a serious infection. Get medical help. We are all fit and well, with good immune systems, which is why I've been happy to use the honey.

        Manuka honey is not cheap. We pay around £15 for our +15 Comvita (currently £18.49 at Holland & Barrett). My husband always winces but I refuse to economise. You get what you pay for. I always have a jar in my cupboard. We have actually also invested in a tube of Manuka cream as well, as it's slightly less sticky and easy to apply and we use it for a range of things, including windburn and sunburn. But for really horrible 'toe incidents' I will probably stick to the jar of honey. I trust it and it hasn't let me down.

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          01.07.2010 16:19
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          Medicinal honey that tastes like tea tree oil

          *This has been on Ciao before, because I'm STILL tallulahbang*


          ~*~Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?~*~

          In life, there are lessons to be learned. Chief amongst these is that you can't avoid death or taxes. Hot on the heels of that age old truism is that there is no gift on the face of this earth that would please my Aunty Anne. My mother appears frequently in my reviews, on the basis that detailing her regular transgressions is a kind of catharsis for me and I thought it was about time that more of the mentals from my family saw the light of day. It's like therapy, but better: I get paid (albeit not very much) for sharing my pain. And let's not neglect the fact that strangers get to laugh at my nearest and dearest. That's always pleasing.

          It's not related to the review, but while we're here, I'll share with you the fact that my mother has taken to bringing a flick-knife on her visits to Tesco's. She claims it's because bad Mr Tesco leaves too much stalk on the vegetables, forcing her to pay for waste. So, the continuation of her endless (and pointless) fight against 'the man' is to saw away at the fresh veg, before parcelling it up and bringing it to the checkout. Upon noticing that other over-60s had not the foresight to come similarly tooled-up, she offered to do the same to their fruit and veg. So, be aware that in Belfast there exists a renegade band of pensioners, led by one knife-wielding, twinset-wearing maniac. Hasta la victoria siempre, indeed.

          What really makes me fear that I'll get a phone call at work asking me to come and bail her out, though, is that she has also taken to clandestinely reorganising whole aisles. She shifts everything around so that it's at the wrong price label, and then when it comes to checkout time she plaintively bleats that she thought the food would be cheaper and that it must be mislabelled on the shelves. Tesco customer policy being what it is, they always give her the stuff at the lower price. When you factor in that last week she persuaded a checkout girl to quit on the spot to take up a career in lion-taming, you have the reason why I never, ever, go shopping with my mum.


          ~*~The honey is sweet, but the bee has a sting~*~

          Depending on the parameters you apply, my aunt is actually madder than my mum. She's two years older, for a start (two whole years of a head start on the ingrained brand of eccentricity that they've perfected between them) and she's a spinster. Now, I cast no aspersions on single ladies, but, 40-odd years of living entirely on your own sends you mad. Properly mad. She's like a Father Ted character who made a break for it and just kept going. Should you need evidence of this, recently she did a round trip of 250 miles just to go to three different masses, because 'I love hearing a nice mass' (also, she wanted to go and get her new car blessed with holy water, but she won't admit to that lest we laugh at her).

          She also likes to hum and read stuff aloud, my aunt. Doesn't sound like much, but when you're doing a 70 mile drive and she has hummed John Denver ditties with irritating little snatches of malapropism inbetween bouts of reading out street names and car number plates, it can be the difference between living and you wilfully driving the car into a ravine to avoid the following:

          "La la la la-senses...like a night being honest...like the fountains in springtime... ...Bruce Street. Bruce Street? I knew a Father Bruce once, but I don't think that's him...UBZ 5023...that's a bit like your mother's licence plate, isn't it? Apart from the first two letters and all of the numbers are different...la la'

          To keep the religious theme going, my aunt is about as demanding to buy presents for as a newborn baby Jesus. Unless it's one of the three prescribed things she tolerates, you don't get admission to the...um...stable (that's where the analogy falls apart. She lives in a house.) However, despite the jaw-grinding minor irritations and barely concealed eccentricities, we all love her very much. And, when birthdays and Christmases roll around, we try and convey that through the medium of stuff we've bought. Invariably, we fail. Over the years I've bought perfume, books, cosmetics, clothes, handbags, vouchers, ornaments, furniture, CDs, foodstuffs. If it could possibly be giftwrapped, I've bought it. All of it has been met by her picking it up, looking at it with the disdain of a cat that's just been presented with supermarket own brand tuna, declaring that it's nice, telling me about the present that Joanna from the choir got her and which she absolutely loves and obviously this is just as nice, but, say, just out of curiosity, did I happen to keep the receipt?


          ~*~Nothing but money is sweeter than honey~*~

          Eventually, after 25 years of trying, I came to the realisation that it was best to just bite the bullet and buy from one of the three madly disparate present categories that she'll accept: antiperspirant deodorant (I have no idea why. She's not an excessively sweaty pensioner or anything); religious gewgaws (if it's got a crucifix on it, she'll have it) and honey.

          Christ, the woman loves honey. She's like a much less tubby, brown and aggressive grizzly bear (the bad analogies just keep on coming). In fairness to her, it is impressive stuff for which bees should be much commended. After all, as Eddie Izzard rightly pointed out, earwigs don't make chutney and spiders don't make gravy. Kudos to the bees, therefore.

          As you might imagine, given that she doesn't like most consumer goods, my aunt now has a honey collection that puts Winnie the Pooh to shame. However, one that had escaped her notice was Manuka Honey.
          I first experienced the stuff after a colleague recommended it to treat a bad case of laryngitis. After having no voice for 3 days, I dissolved a few teaspoons in hot water, drank it and repeated every few hours. By the end of the day my voice had come back and my throat was on the mend.


          ~*~Tiggers don't like honey~*~

          Manuka honey, you see, is made by bees who feed from the Manuka plant. This is better known as the tea tree and has the same strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that the oil has. And that brings us to the first downside. The honey is very dark in colour and smells and tastes of tea tree oil. Really, really strongly. I don't like honey at the best of times, but this stuff is very medicinal in taste. You'd never want to spread it on toast, unless you were the kind of person who thought that a shot of Dettol nicely livened up a cup of tea.


          ~*~They took some honey, and plenty of money, wrapped up in a five-pound note~*~

          The other downside is the cost. It's over a tenner for a reasonably little jar. Manuka honey is not widely available, due to there only being a few places (solely in New Zealand) where the purity can be guaranteed. Its purity is important, because if the bees have used any other pollen (I think that's what bees feed off. My knowledge of apiculture isn't what it once was) the Unique Manuka Factor will be compromised. The Unique Manuka Factor (or UMF, which is what the onomatopoeically unaware producers insist on acronym-ing it to. Everyone knows that 'umf' is what you say when you've just sat down in a comfy armchair after a hard day at work) is what makes this honey special. The higher the UMF, the more health benefits the stuff has. So much so that Manuka honey has been trialled to test its wound-healing capabilities and the Honey Research Unit are billing it as the best thing since penicillin.

          Given, therefore, the need for purity and the fact that not very much of the stuff gets made every year, the cost increases proportionately with the UMF (the acronym's close enough to have me humming 'Unbelievable' (if, by the way, you're not between the ages of 25-45, that joke will mean nothing to you. Never mind, eh?)). Honey with a UMF of 15 can cost anything up to 25 quid. Anything higher than that and you're probably looking at remortgaging the house. Fret not, though, a UMF of 10 or above is enough to give health benefits and be readily available in all large supermarkets and health food shops.


          ~*~I eat my peas with honey; I've done it all my life. They do taste kinda funny, but it keeps 'em on the knife~*~

          For that kind of money, you'll be wanting some guarantee that it works. You'll have to take my word for it, I'm afraid, as the product website has several large disclaimers stating that they cannot claim it as a medicine lest the big bad departments of agriculture & food and medicines & healthcare come and sue their honey-producing asses. It does work, but it's not magic. If you have a sore throat it'll make you feel better, but it won't cure the flu. Nor would I advocate using it as your sole remedy if you've just, for example, removed your spleen via your bellybutton with a specially shaped knitting needle. Hospital's your best bet in that scenario, I'd say. The internet is awash with testimonies from people who claim they take a spoonful every day and it's cured their cancer/heart problems/suppurating wounds/venereal disease. Then again, the internet is also awash with people who claim that Jesus and Elvis have a flat share right next door to them, so there's bound to be some overlap. Realistically, if you have any illness caused by bacterial infection, particularly in the upper respiratory or digestive area, this stuff will probably do you good. Use as directed on the label: keep the container in the dark when not is use and take a couple of teaspoons neat or dissolved in water every day.

          Otherwise, unless you are also desperately seeking a present for the eccentric, hard-to-please pensioner in your life, just buy normal honey.

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