Manuka – Manuka Honey
We have no intention of slowing down our research at PRANDINI’S GARDEN NURSERY CENTRE in researching for its health giving properties, both directly or indirectly.
In this card we introduce a shrub with origins in Australia. From the horn of the Tropic of Cancer, 15° – 45° inclusive obviously parall to the south and to be more precise, New Zealand, we must Australiauntil coming back to the most southern territory, the Indonesian aacipelego: il LEPTOSPERMUM SCOPARIUM, called MANUKA of the indigenous.
It is a medium sized shrub belonging to the Mirtaceae family, come The eucalipto, the myrtle, the feijoa Selllowiana (see) etc, in its country of origin it can a reach height of three metres; leaving it to grow spontaneously it tends to develop with a main trunk which from a young age is very flexible, it typically surges but can be potted and trained into various shapes.
The leaves are very small, and numerous, they are light silver green and very this, with the extreme tip being annoying to touch;; the internals of the plant grow closely together giving thplant a very dense and compact aspect.
If we want to compare the LEPTOSPERMUM SCOPARIUM, with an extract more common to us, we could correlate the growth, in a reduced form, the the general order of the oleandro ( Nerium Oleandro), while, regarding the leaves of the rosmary (rosmarino officinalis). Having it origins in tropical countries, they never adapt to the cold Winters of Northern Italy. However, Those which are grown in a shielded area, or face South and have an appropriate soil, can survive the cold temperatures without any problems. They enjoy a lot of exposure to the sun. even if they obtain beautiful examples in semi-shade. They don’t like shade.
LEPTOSPERMUN SCOPARIUM the milder the winters are, the less need to look after it. In the South, in Sicilia, in the coastal zones and with modest rainfall the grow very well. Again wishing to relate it to a more common plant. We can say it suffers the cold slightly more than the oleandro does.
The root system of the LEPTOSPERMUM SCOOARIUM is classed as a bundle of branches that is, they start from the bottom of the trunk and the numerous single roots which branch out and bundle together to form a dense tangle. It is not a very resistant root system b In that way you will have flowers which have bloomed buds in between and some which are still closed.
The flowers are simple, self pollinating, withut suitable for a plant of small to medium dimensions. The root surface is notably apt for the nutrition of a high number of beans.
With this characteristic root development, the LEPTOSPERMUM SCOPARIUM needs a soil having a texture which as a skeleton is quite highly mixed with fine soil. (Remember that, roughly speaking the soil’s texture represents its physical aspect, the structure is 2mm of superior particles and the fine soil is 2mminferior particle.
To avoid dangerous stagnant water, it is important to present a consistent structure which is very important to the dispersal of water whether it be rain water or non.
A difference with majority of the very large plants is that, LEPTOSPERMUN SCOPARIUM doesn’t need an exclusively acid soil or tending to be acid. It will grow well in basic semi acid , that is with a ph that is lower than 7.
FLORA AND FRUIT
At the end of the Winter season, together with the new growth and each leaf pit the Leptospermum Scoparium prepare small buds which at the beginning of the mild temperatures for more than a of originmonth in a staged way, they well bloom in large quantities rendering the plant an explosion of colour. The first flowers will be those at the base of the branch, then slowly, slowly will open to the top. The flowers are simple, self pollinating, with a classic very open chalice, with petals on one level and little more than a cm in diameter, with numerous stamen which for man, rise perpendicularly around a very showy ovary which terminates with evident anthers full of pollen, they have five petals which are almost sphere shape well distinguished between each other, The colour tends to be pink or bright pink they do not have a specific perfume but insects are attracted to them.
Horticultural varieties exist with double flowers that have many petals. And with a wavy edge, still wih a visible ovary and has the same tone of colour. If the double flower singularily appears very beautiful, together they give the plant a somewhat heavy aspect. At a difference to the more simple flowers which render it more pleasant.
Towards the end of Summer, the blooming finishes and small round berries appear, at first they are green and the towards maturing they are somewhat dark brown with the top part marked but not divided, the five segments are very visible which gives the a pleasant aspect. When maturing is complete the segments open to allow 4 / 6 seeds fall. They are little more than mm. Before Winter, following atmospheric conditions even the small berries open.
Neither the flowers or the seeds have any organoleptic qualities good for man, or at least they have yet to be discovered, that is the mature fruit with its characteristic colour, typical of the leaves and the dry branches, giving it an unpleasant aspect.
These are the intrinsic qualities of the flower’s pollen which makes the Leptospermum Scoparium an ecceptional plant, worthy of massive attention.
USE AND HEALTH GIVING PROPERTIES
Captain Cook during his explorations in the Oceanic Continent, used to drink a herbal tea made from the leaves of the Leptosperumum Scoparium to prevent and cure scurvy. Apart from this testimony, nowadays, there are no specific studies of the properties and contents apart from Vitamin C of other peculiarities, in the leaves or anyway products of the Leptospermun Scoparium plant. Remember that scurvy is caused by a serious lack of vitamin C in the organism). The Leptospermum Scoparium in its country of origin is known as the Tea Tree.
But we don’t want to compete against the famous Camellia Sinensis from recommended working of the leaves to produce an excellent and tasty tea.
To have that which renders the Leptospermum Scoparium unique, we must trust the most famous insects in the world. The Bee. And the honey, the most important product obtained from the Leptospermum Scoparium, which apart from being an exceptional pharma food (see cranberry).We should consider it to also be a real medicine. This honey, easily found in the chemist’s or at least can be ordered. It is simply called Manuka honey. Before explaining the specifics of Manuka Honey, we want to make three premises.
- The first is that all honeys have health giving and curative properties, but in Manuka Honey,apart from the exclusive elements, the main actives are present in very superior quqntities compared to common honeys.
- The second is that the Ministry of Health bans its attributes as a supplement, we can class the Manuka Honey as, medicinal properties. And so from here on we will use only the conditional when we speak about the pharmacological properties attributed to Manuka Honey.
- The third is perhaps more banal, is that the huge majority of drugs derived from natural products or re-produced synthetically by copying them.
The ancient Maori have always used Manuka Honey not only as an energy source but also and above all as a medicine, and they were the first to discover its therapeutic virtues.
It is the richest of all the honeys, it has a very strong aroma, slightly bitter, it is markedly thixotropic and if shaken it takes on an almost solid aspect aspect, the thixotropia is a densing agent.
A number of intrinsic properties of Manuka Miele: The most simple and easily understood is the high production of oxygenized water. The bees during their incessant work, produce, a specific enzyme, glucose oxidase. This composition of protein, which is attracting considerable economic interest, we are more interested its biological actions which produce hydro peroxide which is simply as mentioned before oxygenized water. All treared products contain this enzyme, but those derived from the Leptospermum Scoparium and, especially the Manuka Honey, contains very high quantities. We can easily comprehend the Manuka Honey is a powerful disinfectant.
Another very interesting element is a discovery dating back a few decades – MGO or Methylgyoxal, an organic substance with powerful bactericidal effect. You can start to guess the enormous medicinal potential cantained in Manuka Honey.
Studies at the University of Waikato, in New Zealand, have highlighted even isolating the MGO and the hydro peroxide of the Manuka Honey, the antibacterial power remained un mutated. This means apart from MGO’s known properties, there are others as yet unknown. With this information also the pharmaceutical industry has highlighted Manuka Honey to be an important germicide and disinfectant, not of economical interest. In commerce, in its place of origin at the desk and online in all parts of the world, to sell an infinity of products made from Manuka Honey: from toothpastes, soaps and beauty products, to the most pharmaceutical plasters, cough syrups, medications for gastroenteritis, and for treating gauzes. Manuka honey does not have to be transformed to obtain the benefits it encloses; a topical use, applied as well as with its disinfectants and antibacterial properties, wound care, irritation, eczema warts and has had positive feedback on bed sores, on skin inflammation that hasn’t responded to antibiotic treatment.
Ingested it has positive effects on airway, sorethroats and coughs, against ulcers, it would have beneficial effects against Helicobacter pylori that causes so many gastrointestinal disorders and would also be effective against the awful strains of resistant bacteria MRSA ( Acronym for Methicilin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). The indiscriminate use of antibiotics has led to the development of some strains of Staphylococcus bacterium becoming resistant to certain types of antibiotics (to simplify: those of the Penicillin family), the use of Manuka Honey would have highlighted a positive response where antibiotics failed. Another bacteria, very resistant to antibiotics is pseudomonas aeruginosa. This small airbound bacteria is considered an opportunist, in that it strikes hospitalizes people and is usuall transmitted by injections, poor cleanliness and hygiene , badly sterilized instruments, open wounds, high humidity etc. And can strike different parts of the body, from the skin to the respiratory system, circulation etc. Manuka honey would have achieved positive effects against these types of a curious note: Pseudomonas is usually made up of many bacterias, some affect the human body, others vegetation . A form of this bacterium, the PSA (Pseudomonas syringae actinidiae) towards the end of the first decade, and is still hitting, of the 21st century it struck and until today is still violently striking the kiwi cultivation in Italy.
Obviously, like all honeys, Manuka Honey is also an excellent energizer and sweetening agent. In order not to lose the benefits that all honeys have, when used as a sweetener in cakes and drinks, the temperature should not exceed 40/45 degrees °c, since at higher temperatures the beneficial properties evaporate.
There are many wesites online, both Italian and foreign, which suggest Manuka Honey and products based on Manuka Honey. Let’s not say if they are worthwhile or not. But regarding Manuka Honey we must make an important observation:- In the manuka Honey’s countries of Origin it is very expensive, a kg of honey UMF15 + costs about 250 euros. Obvious that it is often mixed with more common honeys.
For this reason the already mentioned the Univrsity of Waikato has registered worldwide the brand UMF, acronym for Unique Manuka Factor followed by a number and sign+. This certifies the purity of the product, and is issued by authorized laboratories after having analysed the consignment’s purity and antibacterial nature.
As we have seen, isolating the honey from the MGO, (Methylgyoxal), and from hydrogen peroxide, (the oxygenized water), the antibacterial properties of Manuka Honey remain unchanged. UMF n + takes into account all the antibacterial properties known and not present. The number following the acronym UMF represents the Bactericidal property (including the MGO factor) compared to the bacterial activity of a phenol percentage solution, the + sign means that it may be higher, but never below the percentage Marked. The most common assessments of UMF range from 5 + to 20 +. UMF is the only registered trademark worldwide that certifies the authenticity of Manuka honey. On the market there are other sidle: Honey “ACTIVE ” means that hydrogen peroxide is present, but this is a common to all the honeys also even if quantities are diverse.
Another abbreviation is the aforementioned MGO followed by a number and sometimes also by the Sign +. This is nothing more than the abbreviated form of Methylgoxal (Methyl-Gy-Oxal), the potent antibacterial recently discovered, and there is no record, the number represents the present quantity expressed in mg/kg, the plus sign, if place, has no Meaning, and does not certify the purity and antibacterial qualities.
Remember that PRANDINI’S GARDEN CENTRE PROVIDES AGRONOMISTS, TO HELP SATISFY YOUR EVERY DEMAND WITH A NEW CULTIVATION OF LEPTOSPERMUM sCOPARIUM
Provides agronomists to help satisfy your every demand with a new cultivation of Leptospermum Scoparium.
POTTING PRUNING AND CULTIVATION
In the countries of origin, still today there are immense glades colonized by the Leptospermum scoparium that grow undisturbed. Pruning are therefore directed exclusively to the containment of vegetation and landscaping and it is advisable to complete them after flowering and by the end of July. . Postponing the intervention, the new vegetation may not be able to lignify in order to survive the winter cold and to be able to form the floral buds for the the following year’s flowering.
These plants colonise even in poor sandy soil, where they can get enough sustenance to grow. However fertilizing with a ternary fertilizer, with additional microelements allows the plant to flourish. At the end of Winter to facilitate flowering, choose a fertilizer with a high potassium ccontent, rather than one with high tenor of phosphorus.
Remember that by tenary fertilizer we mean one made up of nitrogen (N) phosohorus (P) and potassium (K), available in various formulas and packaging but should always be listed in the described order and the number to the side refers to percentages, generally in a simplified way.. Nitrogen is used for growth phosphorus to strengthen and potassium for various formulations. The Leptosperum scoparium, in their original zones, especially in New Zealand and in the southern regions of Australia, grows and develops autonomously, so it is hardly attacked by fungi and insects. Rarely but in specific climatic conditions, colonies of aphids or caterpillars of different species could be formed, easily disappearing by using any insecticide, even the not so harmful and non-phytotoxic pyrethroids.
Watering must be frequent until the plant is free growing. As already mentioned in other cards, it is not possible to say when and how many times to water, this depends on too many variables: wind, sun, exposure, type of terrain, climate, etc. So we can only say if a plant is more or less drought resistant and the enthusiast has to adjust accordingly. Leptospermum Scoparium is a drought-resistant plant. Very important, however, must be the structure of the soil that must be such as to treat moisture as much as possible, but must not allow the stagnation of water. The said is indispensable for the success of the cultivation of Leptospermum scoparium, unlike the stagnation could cause root rot and consequently to the irreversible decay of the plant.