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Ingredient Glossary



Apple cider vinegar

History of the use of vinegar goes back to 1200 BC, vinegar has traditionally been used in food since and its goodness is well recognised. 

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is made from apple juice, the fermentation process turn it into apple cider, then converted into apple cider vinegar.

Comvita Apple cider vinegar is made exclusively from sun ripened New Zealand apples, and is naturally fermented which contains acetic acid, gives it its characteristic taste and aroma so you can enjoy all the goodness.

See the NEW Apple Cider Drinking Vinegar

What is the mother?

Once Apple Cider Vinegar has been opened, further fermentation can occur to produce naturally-rich sediment, often referred to as the 'Mother of Vinegar'. Only naturally fermented vinegars will develop the "mother-of-vinegar" over time, a cobweb like substance of amino acids. The sediment or strings of matter that develops in the vinegar contains high quantities of the minerals, vitamins and natural acids inherent in a natural vinegar. This is a natural process and is a representation of quality vinegar with all the goodness.

The Mother of vinegar will not occur in pasteurised vinegar products, this also means pasteurised or clear vinegar contains less minerals, vitamins and natural acids.

Nutrients in Apple cider vinegar

Naturally fermented Apple Cider Vinegar contains natural minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Among the acids, acetic acid assists in forming a bacteria called acetobacter, which is a good bacteria that create the “mother”.

How to choose apple cider vinegar?

Choose naturally fermented: Natural fermentation proceeds takes longer then commercial process, which can be over the course of a few months or up to a year; the long fermentation process retains minerals, vitamins and natural acids to ensure you can enjoy the goodness.

Choose unpasterised: The heat used in pasteurisation kills good bacteria and substance, which are all the goodness you wish to get from Apple Cider Vinegar. 

Choose darker cloudy look: Only naturally fermented vinegars will develop the "mother-of-vinegar" over time, this can be tell by the colour of the vinegar. Naturally fermented Apple Cider Vinegar has a rich golden brown colour with cobweb like substance inside whereas pasterised vinegar looks golden and clear.

Why choose Apple Cider Vinegar with Manuka Honey?

Comvita Apple Cider Vinegar is added with UMF5+ Manuka Honey which is renowned for its special properties. The natural sweetness from Manuka honey balances the acidity of vinegar to make it more palatable. Now you may enjoy goodness from 2 products in a bottle.

How to take Apple Cider Vinegar?

As a general daily tonic, mix 2 tsp. of Apple Cider Vinegar in one cup warm water and drink several times a day or can be used in salad dressings.

See our salad dressing recipes here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’m pregnant, can I take Apple Cider Vinegar?
A: As food, the vinegar products are generally regarding as safe to consume when pregnant. If you have concerns please consult your healthcare professional.

Q: Does ACV contain Alcohol?
A: The secondary process eliminates any alcohol from the cider vinegar.

Q: What are the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?
A: Apple Cider Vinegar has been known to support digestion and bowel movements. A study in obese individuals from Japan showed that daily vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat, waist circumference, lower blood triglycerides and weight loss(1). Studies from Arizona State University(2) also showed vinegar contributes to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Apple cider vinegar may also contain an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to protect LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation. 

Q: How do I take Apple Cider Vinegar?
A: There are many ways to take your daily apple Cider Vinegar tonic:

  • Hot Toddy in the morning.
  • Drizzle on salads or maybe you prefer on your fish and chips.
  • Add to a summer coolers.
  • Make into ice cubes and add to drinks.


1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687

2. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/1/281.long ; http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/11/2814.full

Found In:

Immunity On-The-Go Bundle

Apple Cider Vinegar with Manuka Honey


Bee Pollen

Widely hailed for its diverse nutritional properties, bee pollen's emergence as one of the most in-demand superfoods may seem like a recent phenomenon but, like so many popular supplements, the use of bee pollen is actually centuries old – long predating a growing list of keen fans, including Victoria Beckham, who now swear by it. In fact, bee pollen’s use can be traced all the way back to the ancient romans, who held it in such high regard that they’re said to have referred to it as "the life-giving dust" or "ambrosia".

What is Bee Pollen?

Bee pollen is yet another in the long list of treasured products we derived from bees. Not to be confused with Royal Jelly or honeycombs, this very special ingredient is collected on the legs and bodies of bees as they gather nectar from flowers. Having been returned to the hive, pollen is then packed by worker honeybees into small pellets, which will provide the hive’s main source of protein. The unique composition of bee pollen means that its nutritional properties are extremely diverse, incorporating eighteen vitamins - including a B complex - all essential amino acids, fatty acids, RNA/DNA nucleic acids and enzymes. It’s also at least 25% protein.

Comvita Bee Pollen

Our carefully sourced bee pollen granules are collected by honeybees from the forests and pastures of New Zealand and treated with the utmost care to ensure vital nutrients remain undamaged. These sweet, wonderfully versatile granules can be sprinkled over yoghurt or cereal or ground up and added to smoothies or even salads.

Bees Wax

Beeswax is yet another remarkable by-product of bees’ honey production process and, just like pollen and honey, its health benefits are well documented. Beeswax uses chiefly focus on its skincare properties and you’ll find it in the ingredients list of several Comvita skin moisturising products.

What is Beeswax?

Not to be confused with pollen or honey, beeswax derives from glands in the abdomens of female worker bees who have eaten honey – which is made using the pollen and nectar collected by worker bees. As they consume honey their bodies make wax, which is then chewed together with more honey to form beeswax which in turn is used by honey bees to build honeycomb cells in the hive.  

Finally, when beekeepers collect honey, beeswax cappings – which must be removed to access the honey that is stored beneath – are cut away using an uncapping knife, before the honey is extracted and the underlying framework is returned to the hive for the production cycle to begin again. There are numerous uses for beeswax including the manufacture of candles and, increasingly, skincare products.

Beeswax Benefits

While beeswax is safe to consume, its traditional health benefits are best realised by applying it to hair and skin. Because it’s naturally loaded with healing and protective properties beeswax can be utilised as a wonderfully natural and highly effective ingredient in products like Manuka honey Antibacterial wound gel and moisturiser.

For one thing, beeswax has natural moisturising properties, meaning it’s a highly-effective non-toxic alternative to the synthetic, petroleum based ingredients that are all too often used in skincare products. Like petroleum-based products beeswax can form a protective barrier that can protect you skin from the surrounding environment while reducing dryness by locking in moisture. Unlike petroleum-based products, is not known to clog pores and suffocate skin.  

Beeswax also contains Vitamin A, which can help to exfoliate your skin and keep it looking plump and healthy – for this benefit it is used as a beeswax lip balm ingredient. As a natural humectant, it can also help to keep your skin hydrated by attracting water molecules. 

Finally, as an anti-allergenic, beeswax can help to sooth irritated skin without causing further irritation.


This tart and tasty fruit isn’t just a delicious jam flavour, it’s also a wonderfully healthy, vitamin packed natural ingredient that’s been widely appreciated for its health benefits since the 17th century. 

What are blackcurrants?

Native to Northern Europe, where it’s been a popular culinary ingredient for some time, the earliest historic references to the blackcurrant (or Ribes Nigrum) actually centre on the fruit’s medicinal uses. In the 17th century blackcurrant was widely considered to have a soothing effect on sore throats and berries were commonly made into drinks that were prescribed for the treatment of a range of complaints, including colds, flus, fevers and perspiration.

Blackcurrant benefits

As tasty as blackcurrants undoubtedly are – usually cooked with sugar to sweeten their strong tart flavour – their health benefits are once again ripe for consideration too. There’s no denying that the blackcurrant is loaded with an impressive hit of vitamins and minerals. Not only do blackcurrants deliver 300% of your recommended daily Vitamin C intake (per 100g), they also contain acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), thiamin (vitamin B1) and Vitamin A as well as minerals including iron, copper, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.

Blackcurrants are also a rich source of phytochemicals and a contain a variety of anthocyanins. Indeed, studies  have shown that blackberries have a higher anthocyanin content than comparable fruits including blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and red currants.

Considering it outstrips most other fruits as a source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Fibre, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc  it’s easy to make a case for the humble blackcurrant as one of nature’s healthiest, most nutritionally rich super fruits. 

Blackcurrant juice is a key ingredient – alongside UMF 10+ Manuka honey, eucalyptus, tea tree oil and zinc - in our Comvita Manuka Honey & Blackcurrant Elixir, an all-in-one formula designed to support the immune system and help maintain winter wellness.

1 http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf902263n#citing 

2 http://www.blackcurrantfoundation.co.uk/blackcurrants-health/superfruits/how-different-fruits-compare 


Coconut Oil

The enormous growth in popularity of coconut oil over the last few years has been something of a phenomenon. While this remarkable superfood, which is derived from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts, has been consumed for thousands of years by people on the pacific rim – who’ve traditionally found all manner of ingenious uses for the humble coconut – it’s availability and use in the west has generally been pretty limited.

Recently, however, the enormous range of benefits and applications associated with coconut oil have started to be more widely appreciated and it has begun to appear as the core ingredient in all sorts of commonly available natural products.

With more and more people discovering the diverse benefits of coconut oil, be it in the kitchen, as a natural alternative to more commonly used cooking oils, or as a hugely popular skin care product, the explosion in coconut oil use has been extraordinary. Not least because it has proved to be such an impressive multitasker, attracting praise from both foodies and dermatologists.

Our Medihoney® Natural Skintensive cream combines the excellent dermatological moisturising properties of coconut oil with our medical grade Manuka honey to help visibly sooth dry, itchy skin.


Copper has been used for thousands of years and was even utilised by the ancient Egyptians, who believed it could give magical powers to those who wore it. You’ll find copper is used to make anything from the pipes in your home to the jewellery on sale in the high street.


Copper benefits


You may also know that copper naturally occurs in some foods, such as raw kale, nuts, seeds and legumes. There are many health benefits associated with copper, including its capacity to contribute to the maintenance of normal connective tissues and the functioning of an energy-yielding metabolism and a healthy immune system. It is also known to contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress and contribute to the hair and skin pigmentation process. 


Copper plays an important role in some of our most popular products, including our one-a-day Fresh-Picked Olive Leaf Extract, which contains Zinc and Copper that can contribute to the normal function of your immune system. 


Olive has a reputation for a variety of natural benefits and we grow, harvest and extract ours at source from our farm in Queensland to ensure the finest possible quality. 


If you want to see what copper can do for you, look out for our olive leaf extract immune support capsules and pick up a pack online or from your local supplier.  




Perhaps one of the best examples of an ingredient that is both wonderfully healthy and utterly delicious, ginger’s culinary and its traditional medicinal worth has been appreciated for many centuries – where would we be without this remarkable spice? 

From ginger beer to gingerbread, via an endless array of gorgeous global dishes that give ginger a starring role, there are no shortage of delicious ways to incorporate it into your diet for example in Manuka Honey blend with Ginger, so the fact that ginger also happens to offer a variety of traditional benefits only serves to reinforce its value.


What is Ginger?


Belonging to the same Zingiberaceae family as turmeric, galangal and cardamom, ginger is a flowering plant that originated in the tropical rainforests of Southern Asia. It’s the rhizome – essentially the roots - of this flower that is most familiar. 


The historic roots of ginger go back over 5000 years, when the Indians and ancient Chinese valued its medicinal properties. It was later exported from India to Europe, where it was eagerly embraced by the Ancient Romans.


Over the centuries the huge variety of culinary applications different civilizations have found for this humble yet vital ingredient are too many to detail, but the notion that ginger also provides valuable health benefits has been common to many disparate cultures across the planet. In Japan it was believed to improve blood circulation, in India I was used to relieve headaches, while in Burmese culture it has been employed as a flu preventative.


Ginger Benefits


While many of the benefits traditionally attributed to ginger can’t necessarily be verified, there’s no denying that ginger root offers a number of benefits. 


For one thing, it contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which inhibit the formation of inflammatory cytokines (chemical messengers of the immune system). Studies have found that ginger can decrease inflammation, which means that the risk of colon cancer might be reduced and may explain why people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis have claimed to experience reductions in their pain levels and enjoy increased mobility when regularly consuming ginger. 


The phenolic compounds in ginger are traditionally regarded as an effective way to help curb stomach complaints and gastrointestinal irritation. 


Ginger is also widely reckoned to be an effective natural remedy for some of the common cold’s most bothersome symptoms, especially coughs and sore throats. In fact ginger has been used for centuries as a treatment for colds and flu and it’s thought the root can act as an antihistamine and decongestant – well worth remembering next time you’re struggling to shake a nagging cough. 


The time-honoured combination of ginger and honey is a particularly trusty remedy for colds and respiratory problems. A combination of these two natural ingredients can act as an expectorant while honey may sooth a sore throat and ginger may help to alleviate nausea and abdominal distress.





Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the most popular oils used for cooking and the humble olive has been an integral part of the Mediterranean diet for many centuries. The wild olive tree originally grew in ancient Greece and, as far back as 8000 BC, the Neolithic people picked and ate wild olives from the olive trees that grew in the Mediterranean basin. 

These days, as more and more ways to harness their benefits are discovered, you’ll find an increasing number of products that utilise the remarkable natural properties of olives, including a whole host of great products that may broaden your appreciation of this surprisingly versatile ingredient. 

It’s no surprise to find olive oil in the kitchen, but there’s so much more to it than taste. You’ll also find olive oil is now a core ingredient in a diverse range of natural products such as supplements and skincare. Olive oil will always be a firm favourite with chefs, and now it looks like it will also become a mainstay ingredient in health and beauty products too. 

Our Medihoney® Natural Skintensive cream combines the properties of olive oil with our medical grade Manuka honey to help nourish very dry, itchy or eczema prone skin. 


Tea tree

Tea tree oil is a popular natural remedy that has been used for many years to treat anything from bruises and burns to insect bites, eczema and other skin infections. The oil is derived from the leaves of an Australian tree and can be found in essential oils, herbal remedies and even household cleaning products.   


History of tea tree oil


Tea tree oil has an incredible history. Lieutenant James Cook, a British explorer, gave tea tree oil its name after observing native Australians brewing tea using the leaves from the tea tree plant in the 1770s, and in the 1920s, tea tree oil was often used by dentists to treat wounds and help prevent infections. 


These days, tea tree oil is more popular than ever before and you can find it listed in an ever-increasing number of natural products including soaps, shampoos and lotions. Aromatherapists have also long understood the benefits of tea tree oil. However, one of the newest and most innovative uses of tea tree oil is in toothpaste. 


Tea tree oil benefits


When used regularly, toothpaste that includes tea tree oil can help reduce plaque and keep gums healthy – and when combined with peppermint leaf oil, fennel oil, menthol, spearmint leaf oil, it can also assist oral hygiene and help fight bad breath. 


Comvita Certified Natural Propolis toothpaste is bursting with minty-fresh flavour and is suitable for the whole family. It harnesses the benefits of tea tree oil and is free from artificial colours and flavours. 





It’s impossible to undervalue the importance of zinc to the day-to-day functioning of our bodies. Although relatively small amounts (8 mg – 11 mg a day)(1) of zinc are required for us to stay healthy, zinc deficiency can have a serious impact on our health and well-being so it’s crucial that we replenish our zinc levels every day.


What is Zinc?


Zinc is a trace mineral that’s found in cells throughout the body and plays a crucial part in the proper functioning of the immune system and the processing of food. It performs an important role in neurotransmission and is necessary for cell division, cell growth, wound healing and the breakdown of carbohydrates. Zinc depletion can cause sensory losses, including the loss of smell and taste, and can have a negative impact on skin and reproductive health.


Zinc Benefits


Because zinc plays such a vital role throughout the body the range of health benefits associated with it are considerable, and because the body has no special zinc storage capability it’s important to ensure you’re consuming enough zinc every day to avoid a deficiency. 


Zinc is perhaps most readily associated with the treatment of cold and flu symptoms and studies have suggested that taking zinc supplements within a day of symptoms starting can speed up the recovery process . (2)


Recent research highlights the important part zinc plays in boosting the immune system and helping it fight infections by stopping out of control inflammation in its tracks and helping to balance the immune response.   (3)


Additional benefits associated with zinc include the treatment of diarrhea, depression, acne, eczema and age-related macular degeneration . (4)


Zinc is a key ingredient in several Comvita products, including our Immune Support Olive Leaf Extract, which combines the immune system boosting effects of zinc with copper and naturally extracted oleuropein from olive leaves. 


Zinc is also a key ingredient – alongside UMF 10+ Manuka honey, eucalyptus, tea tree oil and blackcurrant juice - in our Comvita Manuka Honey & Blackcurrant Elixir, an all-in-one formula designed to support the immune system and help maintain winter wellness.