We will be using these words quite a bit in this section. Here’s a quick reference guide on their definitions.
Antibacterial is used to describe effectiveness against bacteria only.
Antioxidant is a substance that protects cells from the damage and development of chronic diseases.
Total Activity (TA) measures the levels of activities of the naturally occurring enzymes in the honey. The higher the measurement or rating, the stronger the antimicrobial and antibacterial activity in the honey. This demonstrates how good it is in fighting bacteria and other microbes like mould and fungi. Our TA rated honeys have been independently lab tested so you can be assured of their antimicrobial and antibacterial quality.
Total Activity (TA) Rated Honeys
Jarrah honey is widely regarded as the king of Australian honey. This is due to its exceptionally high antibacterial and antimicrobial activity and high hydrogen peroxide levels which can inhibit common bacteria such as Golden Staph.
Jarrah trees (Eucalyptus marginata) are endemic to Western Australia (WA) meaning that this large native tree can only be found in the pristine southern forests of WA. This southwestern region of WA is one of the world’s last remaining disease and pest free areas of the world. Jarrah trees, which can grow up to 40m high, usually flower every two years in the summer months and its nectar is collected by honeybees.
Flavour profile: Subtly sweet, malty
Australian honey producers view Jarrah honey as Australia’s worthy contender to the well-known Manuka honey from its neighbour, New Zealand.
* Antimicrobial activity measured in (w/v) phenol equivalent
Source: Manning, R J. (2011), Research into Western Australian honeys. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia, Perth. Report.
- Jarrah (as well as Marri/Red Gum) has significantly higher antimicrobial activity against bacteria as compared to New Zealand’s Manuka honey. In fact, a publication by the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food reported that the activity of Jarrah and Marri/Red Gum was about 90% greater than the average activity of New Zealand’s Manuka honey. The antimicrobial properties like Jarrah (and Marri/Redgum) makes it suitable as medical treatment for surface wounds such as ulcers, skin grafts, cuts and burns
- One of highest antioxidant levels in honey and in some testings have demonstrated higher antioxidant levels than Manuka and Buckwheat honey
- It has high fructose content compared to other honeys which are much higher in glucose. Taken in moderation, this makes Jarrah honey a preferred choice for those who are wanting to manage their glucose intake for health reasons such as diabetics or those who desire lesser sweetness
- Jarrah honey is low on the glycemic index (low GI) remains in a liquid state for an extended period of time and does not characteristically crystalise like other honeys due to the low glucose and high fructose content
- Jarrah honey has elevated levels of butyric acid and pre-biotics and pro-biotics which are beneficial for gut health.
Honey produced from the nectar of flowers from Manuka trees (Leptospermum scoparium)
Honey produced from the nectar of flowers from Jarrah trees (Eucalyptus marginata)
Country of origin
Product of Australia and New Zealand
Product of Western Australia
Earthy with slight bitter aftertaste
Subtly sweet, malty caramel
Creamy and grainy
Smooth (does not crystalise due to low glucose / high fructose content)
Derived from chemical called methylglyoxal which is measured by “Unique Manuka Factor (UMF)”
Derived from enzyme glucose oxidase which produces hydrogen peroxide when diluted. Measured by “Total Activity (TA)”
Antibacterial and antimicrobial, can be as medical treatment for surface wounds such as ulcers, skin grafts, cuts and burns.
Manning, R J. (2011), Research into Western Australian honeys. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia, Perth. Report.
Jarrah Honey Information Western Australia (2014), Western Australia’s Unique Jarrah Honey. www.jarrahhoneyinfo.com
Marri Honey (a.k.a. Redgum honey)
Like Jarrah, Marri trees (Corymbia calophylla) are also endemic to Western Australia and can be found on the coastal plain, Darling Range and in the Southwest. Not surprisingly, Marri honey shares highly antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities with Jarrah. It is also called Redgum due to the dark red gum it bleeds on its bark. Another notable feature of this tree is its urn-shaped fruits which were the inspiration for Australian childrens’ author May Gibbs’ “gumnut babies”, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. Marri honey is harvested annually so it is in good supply as compared to Jarrah which has a biennial flowering.
Flavour profile: Warm, full flavoured
Yarri Honey (a.k.a Blackbutt honey)
Yarri trees (Eucalyptus patens) is a large tree with heavy folliage can grow up to 45m and is found by rivers and streams in the Darling Range. Bush fires that occur blackens its trunk giving rise to its common name. It produces bountiful brilliant white flowers during the summer months.
Flavour profile: Rich, full bodied
Karri trees (Eucalyptus diversicolor) are also native to the southwest of Western Australia known as the Karri Forest Region. Karri trees, capable of reaching heights of 90m, are WA’s tallest trees and the third tallest tree in the world. In fact, you may have come across a Karri tree in the popular WA tourist attraction of Valley of the Giants. Its flowers however are more elusive as Karri trees flower once every 7 to 10 years. The infrequent flowering makes Karri highly sought after and limited in supply. Word has it beekeepers require binoculars to see if the Karri trees are flowering as the flowers are small and high up these majestic trees.
Flavour profile: Light, very mild
Not to be confused with the common suburban bottlebrush, One-sided Bottlebrush trees (Calothamus Quadrifidus) grows along the coastal plains near Lancelin, Western Australia. The myrtle usually flowers around the October-November period of the year.
Flavour profile: Smooth with caramel notes
- Banksia & Eucalyptus
All sourced from West Australian native and seasonal flora. These honeys are suitable as table honey and for cooking your favourite recipes. Try them as a healthier alternative sweetener for drinks and teas, breakfast spreads, baking, marinades and salad dressings.
Western Australia's Biosecurity
If you have ever visited WA, you may be acutely aware of how WA takes its bio security very seriously. Hands up if you have had your bak kwa confiscated. While we feel your pain (sadly it has happened to us too), it is because it is necessary to create safe and healthy natural environment which is free from pest and diseases. WA’s Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act strictly monitors and enforces limitations on goods coming across the state’s borders. Consequently, this has protected WA’s environment from invasive species and foreign diseases preserving the health and cleanliness of the environment, agriculture and livestock including our honey bees.
Importantly, Western Australian honey is 100% pure and unadulterated which is not the case for all honeys. Read more about this here.