What's In Store and Talking Medicinal Honey….
I’m sitting here with a mouth full of almond, buchu honey and cinnamon wondering whether I might be developing a new obsession with honey.
Surrounded by various jars scattered all around my desk together with a paper entitled ‘Antimicrobial properties and isotape investigations of South African honey’ – I have evidence that I might be headed there.
Kim Morgado from The Honey Bear who is without doubt Jozi’s greatest expert on all things ‘honey’ has sent us some ‘medicinal’ honey mixes after a fascinating chat I had with him a few weeks ago at his charming home in Sandton where he intensified my fascination with nature’s most wondrous elixir.
He also is the one who gave me a copy of this study done that he was involved in with Wits, published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology that proves the efficacy of South African raw honeys as effective antibiotics.
Actually, the conclusion of this study goes as far as to say, “In conclusion, the in vitro antimicrobial efficacy results from this study highlight the potential for using selected SA honey samples as an effective antimicrobial agent in wound healing. Some SA honeys further demonstrate the potential to be utilized to heal potentially problematic burn wounds in patients…..Finally, there is no doubt that this study, highlighting antimicrobial activities which have some superior activity, and in some cases superior to the manuka honey, puts South Africa on the map towards providing high standard therpeutic honeys.” (Antimicrobial properties and isotape investigations of South African honey F.Khan, J.Hill, S. Kaehler, M. Allsopp and S. van Vuuren.
Honey has a mystical and magical quality for me. The idea that something so beautiful, so sweet, so dreamy and decadent is produced by nature is evidence for me of a grander design and intelligence. Actually the way nature produces food is always all that for me – evidence of an intelligent, abundant and loving universe, which is why I’m as passionate about the connection between food, farming and the cycle of life as I am. To my mind honey is like pudding given from the Gods.
I’m mystified too by how many different types exist in nature’s perfect candy store. The fact that honey from bees that have pollinated the wild indigenous boekenhout plant, comes out as this caramel like toffee without any alteration from a human hand is just incredible for me. Then there’s the fact that such limited quantities exist of boekenhout honey because it’s such a fragile plant – it only exists in rocky outcrops where there is little grass, it is ridiculously sensitive to frost and only really survives in valleys where the plant is protected from extreme elements. It’s a miracle when the plant survives according to Kim, then when it actually lives long enough to flower and for the bees to pollinate, the honey that comes from this rare plant is just about the most unusual and most delicious honey I know of. That’s all incredibly special. Sacred even. I do not believe that you can manufacture any artificial toffee that could be as incredible as boekenhout honey and the fact that it is so rare and that there is never any guarantee from year to year that there will actually be any available just intensifies its value for me. It’s a miracle alone, that nature just being nature – can produce something so beautiful. I think.
Then there’s the difference between honeys based on what fauna the bees have been pollinating that is also so remarkable. That the nutritional properties, flavour, texture and colour of honey varies so much depending on this fascinates me. There is as much variation to honey as there is to the rest of natures biodiversity. No 2 honeys are alike.
Being a store focused on only organically or naturally farmed produce – we can only sell honey from bees pollinating wild indigenous fauna and flora. We will not purchase honey from hives placed in conventionally sprayed crops or that are near conventionally sprayed crops.
The best of it then that we are getting based on this is Buchu Honey – said to be the most diabetic friendly honey from indigenous wild occurring buchu, Buffalo Thorn Raw Honey that comes from one of the most powerful mythological and medicinal trees in Africa and said to be the best type of honey for chest complaints, skin infections, boils and wounds and Boekenhout Raw Honey, of course the most dessert like and proposed best for healing wounds.
We also have 2 ‘medicinal’ mixes he has made for us both that I’m particularly excited about.
The one is called ‘Coughs, Colds and Flu Honey Infusion‘ and the other is a mixture of Almonds, Buchu Honey and Cinnamon and is called ‘Insulin Resistance Honey Infusion’. Use this one as a sort of medicinal nut butter. The combination of the diabetic friendly buchu honey, cinnamon spice to improve insulin resistance and almonds to further lower the GI makes this a delicious honey, nut butter. It’s very rich though so you won’t use tons. I’d pair this very well with fruit or cheese too.
Some more information on the different labels for these honeys is attached with some pictures in the article on the blog below.
And please – if you have littlies with niggly coughs in this dry weather, please think of rather using the natural honey cough mixture with raw ginger, propolis, olive leaf, echinacea, onion, rosehip and vitamin c rather than the revolting ones from the pharmacy loaded with sugar and artificial colorants. The natural medicinal ingredients in this honey mix will soothe their coughs and itchy throats while boosting their immune system so that they can fight the infection. I’m super excited about natural remedies like this.
Otherwise – other store news is that loads of brocoli just arrived from Aloe Dale – it sells out in a flash so if you want to book it out – go online and place your order either for collect or delivery. We’ve got turnips in and new beetroot and pumpkin packs from Ambersky Organic farm too and much more.
We also the coastal honey in from Umhlali that you love. This is very dark and almost treacle like runny honey with again, character peculiar to the salty, humid north coast areas. Trevor, the bee-keeper collects honey from hives scattered around neighbouring farms and from wild hives that need relocating. There are 2 types, the solar extracted apparently has more propolis. We have the coastal raw bush honey one available at the moment and alot of it as you generally clear us out of it very shortly after it comes in.
I was chatting to our favourite soon to be Jozi Real Food Revolution chef – Paul otherwise lovingly known to most of you as The Secret Jozi Chef about his endeavour to find a milk tart recipe that is friendly for diabetics. He’s going to try the Buchu honey, excited to see how that may turn out after that wondrous Boekenhout honey cheese cake he did that made jaws drop. If you missed that recipe, find it on the archives at Jozi’s favourite food blog – www.thesecretjozichef.co.za. Stay subscribed to his FB page updates to see what next gorgeous thing he is cooking and hear news of whether he manages a great milk tart recipe with honey – I know he will:)
Lovely chatting to you again.
Onwards and Upwards with The Jozi Real Food Revolution,