Active honey

Medical grade honey rediscovered

Honey has been used for thousands of years for it's nutritional value, delicious taste, and healing properties. Only recently has medical science caught up and started to acknowledge honey and especially active medical grade honey for its amazing health benefits. Below are some examples of medical grade honey usage.

First Aid honey for cuts, wounds and burns

  • Inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria at the wound site
  • Provides a moist wound healing environment
  • Assists to lift debris and dirt away from the wound site
  • Helps to minimise scab formation and scarring
  • Provides a protective barrier between the dressing and the wound
  • Helps prevent sticking and irritation of the dressing to wound site
  • Antioxidants reduce damage caused by free radicals at the wound site &
  • Stimulates cytokine release which reduces inflammation and speeds up the wound healing process1

For oral and throat care

  • Relief of the symptoms of sore throat
  • Relief of symptoms of sore gums
  • Relief of mouth ulcers
  • Maintenance of healthy digestive function
  • Relief of indigestion &
  • Contains naturally occurring sugars

Uses of active Jellybush Honey

  • High in Antioxidants
  • High in Hydrogen Peroxide Releasing Enzymes
  • High in ULF (TM). – The Unique Leptospermum Factor Activity

Jellybush gets its name from the thick gel-like nature of the honey that the bees gather from Leptospermum flowers. Active Jellybush Honey contains both hydrogen peroxide releasing enzymes and the Unique Leptospermum Factor (ULF).

Both of these plant properties, the hydrogen peroxide releasing enzymes and the Unique Leptospermum Factor (ULF) have been researched by honey institutes in Australia and around the world and have been proven to have antimicrobial properties. Active Jellybush Honey also contains phenolic compounds such as flavanoids which have known antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.2

The antioxidants within the honey are also able to reduce the effects of free radical damage.

These natural properties impart potent cleansing qualities to the honey with proven health benefits when taken internally or applied externally to the skin.

Not all Jellybush and Manuka honeys are active. Choose a honey that has been tested for activity.

Activity rating of Jellybush Honey

Active Jellybush honeys are tested at independent laboratories before packaging to ensure that high levels of hydrogen peroxide releasing enzymes and the Unique Leptospermum Factor +ULF(TM), activity are present.

At Tyagarah Apiaries the Active and Medicinal honeys are above the 15+ range of activity as they are not mixed or diluted to standardise for activity.

Seasonal variations in colour and texture of Jellybush Honey can occur due to the flowering of other plant species at the same time but the activity is always guaranteed.

20+ WOUND & ORAL CARE 800mg/kg
15+ MEDICINAL USE 550mg/kg


The ULF rating system

Please take the time to read and understand the importance of the 'ULF' rating system for Jellybush Honey. While Jellybush Honey has received increasing press coverage, often the difference between ordinary Jellybush Honey and Active Jellybush Honey is not distinguished.

The ULF (TM) rating is an indicator as to the strength of the antibacterial effect. A rating of 10 or more is considered to be suitable for therapeutic purposes. This honey is referred to as 'active', although much ordinary Jellybush Honey is still marketed as being active despite not having the required minimal rating.

The ULF rating is your guarantee that this medicinal honey has been tested and verified for its antibacterial activity.

What does the word 'active' mean?

The word 'active' refers to the ability of Australian Jellybush honeys to kill or inhibit the growth of many bacteria and fungi. This 'activity' or antimicrobial quality is determined by specific laboratory tests.

The two types of 'activity' of Jellybush honey or Leptospermum honey are:

1. The Hydrogen Peroxide Activity
The first and most common form of antibacterial activity is due to the slow release of hydrogen peroxide with the help of the enzyme glucose oxidase present in honey.

There is a great variation in the hydrogen peroxide releasing ability of different honeys with some honeys being no more antibacterial than sugar. The reason for this variation is probably due to the fact that the enzyme responsible for the release of hydrogen peroxide is sensitive to both heat and light and also to other natural chemical compounds within some honeys. This enzyme can be deactivated by exposure to heat, light and natural phytochemicals and reduce the honey's ability to release hydrogen peroxide. This is why when some honeys are tested in laboratories they show no sign of hydrogen peroxide activity.

Our cold extraction methods and amber packaging assist to preserve the activity of Jellybush Honey.

2. The Unique Leptospermum Factor +ULF (TM) or Non-Hydrogen peroxide activity
The Unique Leptospermum Factor (which relates to all species of Leptospermum plants, including Manuka) is related to the presence of a natural phytochemical identified as methylglyoxal (MGO). This antibacterial property is unique to honeys produced from Leptospermum plants. The methylglyoxal (MGO) component along with a small percentage of other phenolic compounds is responsible for the potent ULF antimicrobial property found in Jellybush Honey.

The Unique Leptospermum Factor (ULF) is more stable than the antimicrobial effect of the hydrogen peroxide releasing enzymes as it does not become rapidly affected by dilution. It is therefore better suited when longer term effect is required.

This non-hydrogen peroxide activity was first discovered in New Zealand, by Professor Peter Molan whose research has focused on the antibacterial effects of Manuka honeys’ (Leptospermum scoparium). Professor Peter Molan coined the term "Unique Manuka Factor" in reference to this unknown antimicrobial effect. We now use the term Unique Leptospermum Factor in reference to the activity of many Leptospermum plants found growing in Australia.

Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) is also found in many parts of southern Australia including NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

Activity of honey

Not all honey has the peroxide and non-peroxide antibacterial properties. The variability between different batches of honey can be as much as 100-fold.

In 1996 an organisation called TradeNZ, in conjunction with the Honey Research Unit, set about to establish a standard for the classification of antibacterial honey activity. This led to the creation of the New Zealand industry standard for Manuka strength and activity which was termed the Unique Manuka Factor.

This standard does not take into account active honey from other Leptospermum plants.

Australia has 83 species of Leptospermums with 5 species already identified as producing active Jellybush Honey (Leptospermum Honey).

We decided to develop and use the term +ULF(TM) – Unique Leptospermum Factor as an activity rating to represent and symbolise not only the non hydrogen peroxide activity of the well known New Zealand Manuka but also for all the Leptospermum plants that are found active in New Zealand and Australia.

1. Tonks, A., Cooper, R., Jones, K., Blair, S., Parton, J. and Tonks, A. (2003). Honey stimulates inflammatory cytokine production from monocytes. - PubMed - NCBI. Available at: 

2. Yao, L., Datta, N., Tomás Barberán, F., Martos, I., Ferreres, F. and Singanusong, R. (2003).Flavonoids, phenolic acids and abscisic acid in Australian and New Zealand Leptospermum honeys. Available at: 

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