Product Type: Comvita Food
Newest Review: ... 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 ... more
A Taste of Honey
Comvita Manuka Honey
Member Name: Joker25
Comvita Manuka Honey
Advantages: Cures bacterial illnesses and placates spinster aunts
Disadvantages: The taste and cost
*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.
Summary: Medicinal honey that tastes like tea tree oil
More reviews in the field of Other Food
- Who ate all the pies...who ate all the pies....
- red or brown? red, please!
- Great value sandwich
- Teriyaki without the chicken...
- I'm A Lover Not A Hater!
- Some birds on my crumble
- (ASDA) Beans beans are good for your heart...
- Satisfying but healthy hot pot!
- Look At You Sitting On The Shelf, All Sweetness & Light
- Holland's Cheese and Onion Pies - Once Tried But That Was Enough
- Frü Sicilian Lemon Cheesecake
- Bien Manger Agar Agar Kit Batch
- Azteca Whole Nopalitos
- Algosud Spirulina Seaweed Tablets
- Algosud Spirulina Seaweed
- Algosud Spirulina And Organic Ginseng Tablets
- Sainsburys Frozen Chicken Korma and Pilau Rice
- Sainsbury's Low Price Creamed Tomato Soup
- Bernard Matthews Wafer Thin Turkey Ham
- Hershey's Reese's Cups