Tea so often seems to be the answer to my problems and now it turns out it even has the potential to heal me.
Manuka is the Maori name for Leptospermum scoparium, a shrub native to New Zealand. It is also called Tea Tree but shouldn’t be confused with the Australian Tea Tree plant which is used to produce the essential oil of the same name. The shared name comes from the fact that Captain Cook tried making tea from both plants while on his travels.
Manuka produces the famous Manuka Honey which has a host of anti-microbial and health giving properties and even has it’s own research unit at Waikato University to study it’s medical applications. Most incredibly the honey has been shown to help heal serious wounds and injuries when it is directly applied to the affected area. The honey contains hydrogen peroxide which is known to be anti-microbial but can cause damage to tissues. The antioxidant properties of other compounds in the honey offset this leaving only the benefits of the hydrogen peroxide.
It is not as common knowledge that the leaves are also used to make a tea which shares many of the beneficial properties of the honey, in particular the anti-bacterial ones. So when I was recently cursed with a sore throat I decided to forgo my usual plethora of medicines and see what effects Manuka might have.
My first impressions of the tea were that it was delicious and reminded me of something that I couldn’t and still can’t place my finger on. The best approximation I could come up with is spicy lavender. It’s a little herbal, a little astringent and strangely enough a little like rooiboos tea.
It was soothing to drink and after several pots my throat did seem to feel a little better. So whether through the power of Manuka, the placebo effect or my sore throat just clearing up naturally I am cured!
I would thoroughly recommend Manuka tea but I am yet to declare it the cure to all ills. Either way it’s a delicious herbal tea and certainly won’t do you any harm.
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