Native trees to save people
Australian native leptospermum spp. honey has the potential to surpass New Zealand’s Mānuka honey for both activity and scale. Mānuka derived from New Zealand’s sole leptospermum tree, leptospermum scoparium is the gold standard in medicinal honey. Australia is the homeland of leptospermum with 85 of the world’s 87 species, yet little is known about the potential of the majority of these species.
USC Scientists in the honey research laboratory have been working on understanding Australian leptospermum honeys for the past seven years. They have found that Australian honeys are comparable or better than New Zealand’s Mānuka honey. Now with new PhD student, Simon Williams is testing the plants directly. Their research has revealed that not all Leptospermum are equal. Some of the species have been found not to have the precursor compound dihydroxyacetone in their nectar while others are more active than leptospermum scoparium.
Watch the Australian Medical Honey Story on Landline.
Help us hunt Leptospermum
Now with funding from the Rural Industry Research and Development Corporation and industry partners, work has begun on identifying Australian leptospermum spp. that are capable of producing medicinal honey. Beekeepers and the honey industry are invited to collaborate in the research to allow the whole of Australia to be surveyed. With the growing interest in the leptospermum spp. for medicinal honey production more research is needed.
To get the inside story, contact the researchers:
Mr Simon Williams
Tel: +61 459 336 779
Dr Peter Brooks
Tel: +61 7 5430 2828