Updated: Nov 10
Move over Manuka! Canada has its own superfood honey and its called Buckwheat Honey. Both honeys have science-backed benefits, but one is made so much closer to home. In this blog post, we'll explain where Buckwheat and Manuka honey come from, explain the science behind them, and compare their benefits.
What is Buckwheat Honey?
Buckwheat Honey is a very dark honey , produced in Ontario and Quebec by bees visiting buckwheat flowers. Farmers will often grow buckwheat as a cover crop improve soil fertility and out-compete weeds. The buckwheat plant also produces seeds that can be harvested and ground into buckwheat flour. But before the buckwheat plant produces seeds, it first produces delicate white flowers that are irresistible to bees.
Buckwheat honey gets its dark colour from polyphenols, the powerful antioxidants also found in red wine, dark chocolate, tea, and berries. Its flavour is rich and malty, with notes of black cherries and chocolate.
What is Manuka Honey?
Manuka Honey, on the other hand, comes from New Zealand and Australia, and is produced by bees visiting the manuka bush. Like buckwheat honey, it is also a dark honey.
Manuka honey is best known for its medicinal effects, particularly in the area of wound healing. Its flavour is woody and bold, sometimes with a savoury bitter edge.
The Science around Honey: Buckwheat vs Manuka
Manuka Honey is most widely studied for its antibacterial effects and wound healing capabilities. Starting as early as 1981, researchers were able to show that Manuka honey helps heal burns and wounds (Reference), and has been shown to be effective in fighting antibiotic-resistant infections (Reference).
More recently, scientists have started testing and comparing other types of honey, specifically Buckwheat Honey which is also dark and high in antioxidants. Researchers at Brock University showed that buckwheat honey had strong antibacterial effects against antibiotic-resistance bacterial (Reference). In a separate study comparing Buckwheat Honey with Manuka, scientist found that Buckwheat honey had greater antioxidant activity than Manuka, and exhibited equivalent antibacterial activity against the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Reference).
Buckwheat Honey: Just as Effective and More Affordable
If you're a Manuka honey fan, why not give its Canadian cousin Buckwheat Honey a try? When it comes to medicinal effects, it's just as effective. Plus, because it isn't imported from half way across the world, it's a more affordable alternative.
Plus, its tastes delicious! To learn more about our Buckwheat Honey, click here or check out our Blog on 4 Delicious Buckwheat Honey Recipes to Try this Fall!