Green Queen Recommends: The Best Honeys In Town For The Cold & Flu Season

6 Mins Read

Humans have a long history of consuming (and loving) honey. In fact, the earliest evidence of humans eating honey comes from a cave painting in Spain depicting individuals gathering honey dated from between 8, 000 and 15, 000 years ago. Besides being sought after as the earliest available sweetener, honey has been used since ancient times in Babylonian, Egyptian, Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) philosophies to help treat a wide variety of ailments including healing wounds, curing indigestion, and alleviating colds and coughing.

What’s so great about honey? Its proven anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, a result of its low moisture content. Honey has also been shown to help reduce acid-reflux and heartburn, not to mention its usage in helping to prevent hay fever and seasonal allergies.

honey comb

Of course, the most common use for honey this time of year is as a go-to at the first sign of a sore throught or cough and for good reason. In fact, a study published in The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine supports the much-debated conclusion that honey helps to suppress coughing and improve sleep. Honey was shown to be as effective as many over-the-counter cough medicines that contain dextromethorphan, which is the active ingredient in popular coughing brands such as Robitussin, NyQuil, and Dimetapp. This is why the World Health Organization, the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and Canadian physicians all recommend honey for a common cough or sore throat. We should note that some physicians do not recommend honey for children under the age of one as there is a small risk of botulism.

harvesting honey

There are many different types and variations of honey. Many people swear by manuka honey, so called because it is produced from the manuka bush of New Zealand. This is due to the special compounds it contains, which are believed to grant manuka honey increased anti-bacterial properties. Local honey has long been valued for its ability to help relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Of course if you are going to consume honey,  raw honey is preferable, as it contains far more antioxidants than the processed variety, plus its active ingredients stay intact.

Now, the only question is: where can you find the best honey in Hong Kong? Luckily, we have a plethora of options both local and imported to suit any and all variety of tastes. Below we share our top picks.

bee keeping

Bee’s Nest Pure Honey

Bee’s Nest Pure Honey is produced locally at their farm in Tai Tam Village, on the South side of the island by a devoted Hong Kong beekeeper. It’s no secret that we are huge fans of this homegrown brand, who arguably set the local honey trend in motion! They produce award-winning raw mono-floral honeys, meaning that the honey is produced from the nectar of a single plant, and currently includes Ivy (native to Hong Kong), Longan and Lychee. They offer three jar sizes: 130 g for HKD 150, 220 g for HKD 190 and 450 g for HKD 500.

Find their honeys at various shops around Hong Kong.

ForME HONEY

A new player on the locally produced honey scene is ForME HONEY, the company is headquartered in Wan Chai but their honey is harvested in Tuen Mun. They offer Winter Honey, 150 ml (215 g) for HKD 129, which as the name suggests is harvested in the winter months and comes mostly from local ivy flower nectar, said to be especially effective for treating sore throats and other winter related health concerns. Spring Honey is also 150 ml (215 g) for HKD 129, and is made from lychee and longan nectar, both of which make it more fruity. They also have Comb in Honey, 40 ml for HKD 68 and a wonderful selection of spice infused honeys including Vanilla Lavender, Cinnamon Turmeric and Lemon Ginger Infused,  all 150 ml (215 g) for HKD 159. ForMe HONEY also has handy individual squeeze sticks for when you are on the go.

Order via their webshop.

hexapi honey bee hives

Hexapi Honey

Offering raw, organic (certified to EU standards) hailing from from Germany,  Hexapi Honey has a wide range of honeys. They offer traditional honeys such as Organic Chestnut Honey and Organic Forest Flower Honey, 50 g for HKD 75 and 250 g for HKD 250. In addition, and as an alternative to jam, they offer a selection of honeys infused with berries, all made without refined sugars in flavors like Blueberries & Organic Honey, 250 g for HKD 218 and Aronia & Organic Honey, 250 g for HKD 199 (Aronia are a type of superfood berries that are extremely high in antioxidants). You can also try their more whimsical flavors like the Nutella inspired Chocolate, Nuts & Organic Honey, 250 g for HKD 225, made with raw honey, hazelnuts, organic cocoa and bourbon vanilla. Finally, in their superfood honey collection, it’s worth giving their Bee Pollen & Organic Honey a whirl, an uber healthful combination of raw honey and bee pollen (250 g for HK 320).

Order via their webshop.

KIWI Manuka HK

Unsurprisingly, KIWI Manuka HK offers pure manuka honey and manuka honey products. Manuka honey actually has its own grading system that uses a standard called UMF, Unique Manuka Factor, which measures the concentration of the beneficial compounds in the honey that Manuke honey is famous for. Manuka honey with a UMF between 10 and 15 is said to be ‘activated’, whilst a UMF above 16 is graded as ‘superior’. KIWI Manuka HK stocks a very large selection of honeys starting from UMF 5+ Grade Manuka Honey, 250 g for HKD 155, all the way to UMF 20+ Grade Manuka Honey, 250 g for HKD 890. They also have non-Manuka New Zealand Multi-Flower Honey, 500 g for HKD 100, and a blended version: Manuka Honey Mixed (30%), 250 g for HKD 115. For those looking to enjoy the benefits of manuka honey on the go, there are UMF 10+ Manuka Honey Relief Snaps, box of 12 is HKD 30 and Manuka Honey and Propolis Lozenges,  which come in a selection of flavors including strawberry and mint- a box of 12 is HKD 59.

Order via their webshop.

bee gathering honey

Kinoa

The French have a long tradition of high quality food and French honey is no different. Lucky Hong Kongers looking for France’s organic bounty can find all sorts of wonderful products at online health food and grocery shop Kinoa, which also stocks a selection of certified organic honeys- all certified AB (Agriculture Biologique) Organic. By law, this means that they are cold-extracted (this also helps to retain as much of the honey’s nutrition as possible), that the bees have access to organic farms and wild forest areas exclusively (so they can pollinate flowers free from pesticides and far away from industrial facilities). Their selection includes Acacia Honey, 250 g for 92 HKD, Lavender Honey from Provence, 250 g for HKD 184, and Flower Honey- great value at 1 kg for HKD 149. We also love their Honey and Eucalyptus Gums, which combine honey, propolis and eucalyptus, as well as pine and rosemary camphor, to help fight even the toughest colds.

Order via their webshop.

 

Photo Credits: ForME HONEY, Hexapi Honey,  honey dipper via photopin (license),  Mayor Bee via photopin(license).

Love our content but keep missing the latest?

Sign up to receive Green Queen Weekly in your inbox, aka Asia’s Best Eco Wellness Newsletter