Jarrah Honey

Beautiful Ancient Jarrah Forest At Lennard Falls In The Wellington National Park Near Collie Western Australia
Beautiful ancient jarrah forest at Lennard Falls in the Wellington national park near Collie Western Australia

Jarrah honey is made from honey bees collecting the nectar of the Jarrah trees flowers, otherwise known as the Eucalyptus Marginata tree, from the genus eucalyptus and myrtaceae or the myrtle family.

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    What Is Jarrah Honey?

    Jarrah honey is one of the dark, antioxidant-rich honeys that is becoming popular for its unique health benefits.

    The jarrah tree is found in south-western Australia and the honey is very rare due to the short flowering season (one season every two years), small locality, and the high demand due to scientific research results.

    Where Does Jarrah Honey Come From?

    Honey farmers will mainly set up their apiaries deep inside the Jarrahwood State Forest, Australia. Jarrah trees are typically farmed in the south-western corner of Western Australia where the rainfall isohyet exceeds 600 mm (20 inches). The jarrah trees themselves often reach heights of 40 meters (130 ft).

    Whilst it is predominantly farmed and found in the south-western corner of Western Australia, it can be found more inland and northern. This includes places such as Narrogin (195km from the Jarrahwood State Forest), Pingelly Shire (250km from the Jarrahwood State Forest), Clackline (300km from the Jarrahwood State Forest), Mooliabeenee (325km from the Jarrahwood State Forest), and Mount Peron (480km from the Jarrahwood State Forest).

    As you move south-east it can be found in the Stirling Range (290km from the Jarrahwood State Forest).

    How Do Bees Produce Jarrah Honey?

    Honey bees produce jarrah honey by harvesting nectar from the jarrah trees flowers in Australia, which only blooms once every two years. The moment the honey bee collects the jarrah nectar, it is mixed with an enzyme within the bee’s mouth.

    The enzyme itself is known as invertase or the “bee enzyme” which is secreted from the bee’s glands. When the honey bees return to the hive they will pass the jarrah nectar they have collected between themselves further mixing the nectar with the “bee enzyme”. This will reduce the water content converting the nectar into honey.

    They will then deposit the jarrah honey into wax cells, but at this point, the water content may be too high. To reduce the water content, the honey bees will fan their wings above the wax cell, this, in turn, will evaporate some of the water.

    Once they’ve finished the process the jarrah honey will have a water content roughly below 20%. It will then be capped and the honey bees will repeat the process all over again.

    White Flowers And Buds Of Jarrah (Eucalyptus Marginata) Tree
    White flowers and buds of jarrah (Eucalyptus Marginata) tree

    Best Jarrah for Honey Bees

    The best jarrah for honey bees is only found in Western Australia. Jarrah trees are a special, slow-growing type of eucalyptus that can live for over a thousand years. The jarrah trees will typically grow in soils derived from ironstone and often found in areas where is ironstone is present or within its range.

    Jarrah trees bloom only once every two years, for a single season. The jarrah trees produce large, beautiful white flowers that transform the forest canopy and create a haven for bees. Beekeepers that produce jarrah honey do so deep in the Jarrah Forest located in southwestern Australia, far from civilization.

    The Australian government has protected the Jarrah Forest from harmful urbanization, and the forest continues to be a haven for many unique plants, animals and insects.

    Why Pesticides Are Not Needed for Jarrah Honey

    The vast majority of jarrah trees harvested to produce jarrah honey are found in the Western Australia state forests. Western Australia has strict quarantine controls in place, this applies to both Australian states and other countries. This allows them to effectively protect their state forests.

    Due to these strict controls, their state forests especially the ones containing the jarrah trees, are free from both pests and diseases. Which allows beekeepers to cultivate and harvest their hives without having to use insecticides like many other parts of the world.

    What Are the Benefits of Jarrah Honey?

    Healing Wounds and Burns There has been positive effects of using raw honey on wounds & burns reported.
    Reducing The Duration of Diarrhoea According the NCBI consumption of raw honey has been shown to reduce the severity & duration of diarrhoea.
    Preventing Acid Reflux Research has shown that with honey lining the oesophagus and stomach, it actually can reduce the upward flow of undigested food and stomach acid.
    Fighting Infections Scientists in 2010 reported that honey through its protein (defensin-1) has the ability to kill bacteria.
    Relieving cold and cough symptoms Its been proven that honey may prove beneficial in relieving cold and cough symptoms. The World Health Organisation actually recommend honey as a natural cough remedy.
    Rich In Antioxidants High quality raw honey contains many helpful antioxidants. These include phenolic compounds like flavonoids and organic acids.
    Can Lower Triglycerides Triglycerides are associated with insulin resistance and are a major driver of type 2 diabetes. Multiple studies have linked regular honey consumption with lower triglyceride levels, especially when it is used to replace sugar.

    This is based on raw honey, filtered or pasturised honey will break down and diminish these benefits.

    Jarrah Honey vs Regular Honey

    Jarrah honey has been studied not only for its digestive health benefits but also for topical medical and cosmetic applications. Jarrah honey has significant antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and can be used as a treatment for burns, wounds, acne, and scars.

    It can also be applied as part of a face mask or hair mask. Jarrah honey is often taken to help ease the symptoms of colds and other infections, such as strep, that may affect the mouth and throat. Jarrah honey has many nutritional benefits, and is often called Australia’s “healing honey.”

    Regular honey tends to be missing crucial benefits and nutritional properties of raw honey. This is typically due to “regular” mass-produced honey being fine filtered and pasteurized, which unfortunately destroys many of the antibacterial and active elements. Furthermore, regular honey is often pumped full of fillers such as high fructose corn syrup and preservatives. 

    When You Should Avoid Jarrah Honey?

    If you have a very young child or infant, they should never consume any kind of raw honey, or honey products, including processed or baked goods. This is because until they reach a year of age, they are at risk for a rare and very serious complication called infant botulism.

    Once children reach a year of age, their digestive systems are usually developed enough to process honey safely. If your child has a developmental or health issue that affects their digestive system, it is always safer to ask their paediatrician if it is safe for them to consume honey and/or honey products.

    Misty Jarrah Forests In The South West Corner Of Western Australia
    Misty jarrah forests in the south west corner of Western Australia

    Jarrah Honey as an Antiseptic

    Honey has been known for thousands of years to be an effective antiseptic, and jarrah honey has even more antibacterial and antimicrobial properties than other raw honeys.

    Jarrah honey has been studied and is one of the most effective natural antibiotics, capable of killing certain bacterias that are resistant to more conventional pharmaceutical antibiotics, such as MRSA.

    Is Jarrah Honey Vegan?

    The Vegan Society do not consider honey vegan, this includes cornflower honey. They believe that because some honey farmers replace honey with a sugar substitute when harvesting, it will naturally lack the essential micronutrients of honey, thus being detrimental to the honey bees.

    Furthermore, they believe that in conventional beekeeping, honey bees are specifically bred to increase productivity. Which they believe leads to a narrowing of the population gene pool and increases susceptibility to disease and large scale die-offs.

    They also believe that many honey farmers will cull their hives post-harvest and clip the queen bee’s wings to stop them from leaving to start a new colony. Thus the Vegan Society does not consider honey vegan. That, of course, doesn’t stop some vegans arguing its fine if they source their honey from reliable sources that do not practice the above.

    Is Jarrah Honey Expensive?

    Jarrah honey is very expensive when compared to other types of raw honey. The price of jarrah honey will vary based on the TA (total activity), season and country you’re purchasing from.

    Roughly speaking we looked at both UK & American suppliers and we could pick up the following:

    • 10 TA for £7 to £8 ($8 to $9) per 100g
    • 20 TA for £13 to £14 ($10 to $11) per 100g
    • 30 TA for £16 to £17 ($15 to $16) per 100g
     

    Higher prices are naturally expected as jarrah trees only flower once every two years.

    Furthermore, the demand for jarrah honey has increased, which can be partly contributed to the scientific studies citing its powerful antimicrobial elements and varying benefits. 

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