There is nothing worse than dragging a cold around for weeks and being force-fed hot cups of Lemsip by your caring roommates, day-in, day-out. This week’s super-food is honey, but not any regular honey found on your local supermarket shelves. Mānuka honey comes from a plant of its namesake that can only be found in New Zealand and Australia.
Busy bees collect the nectar of the delicate white flowers of the Mānuka tree, also called tea tree, to create a rich dark-brown honey with delicious antibacterial properties.
Honey is known to have been used for medical purposes for generations all around the world. Unlike any others, the Mānuka honey doesn’t lose its properties when heated, which makes it much more stable.
Not all Mānuka honey is active, i.e. carries the beneficial properties. Look for the UMF, the Unique Mānuka Factor – it is the only quality standard certifying that the honey is unadulterated and has the unique non-peroxide antibacterial activity. It has to be 10 or over to have the antiviral properties needed for therapeutic use.
This cupboard must-have of the flu season can simply be found in Aldi, Santry Avenue, for €4.49. It can be used like any regular honey in recipes, but for a cold nothing will beat a cup of freshly-squeezed lemon juice, piping hot water and a spoonful of Mānuka honey.