Honey Guide: what is it about Manuka honey?

Published : 09/17/2018

Honey Guide: what is it about Manuka honey?

Manuka honey is experiencing a recent resurgence in the food and wellness world. Manuka is believed to and by now proven to outweigh by far the antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities of any other honey. As if in line with Manuka’s exclusive health properties it is being produced only in New Zealand, where bees pollinate the native Manuka bush. Its uses are far-reaching, ranging from treating wounds and infections to boosting your immune system and healing skin inflammations such as acne and eczema.

The reason for Manuka’s exceptional antibacterial powers is its high MGO-content. MGO stands for Methylglyoxal: a by-product of the decomposition of sugar. While being the primary active substance in Manuka honey, it is a sign of quality and provides information about the antibacterial activity of the honey. Generally, values above 400 mg/kg are considered to be top quality. Manuka honey provides a staggering amount of 800 mg/kg – in comparison, conventional honey measures values mostly around 20 mg/kg. However, in order to achieve a sufficiently high antibacterial effect a minimum MGO value of 100 mg/kg is required. In Germany, the MGO-value has to be analyzed by an independent honey laboratory and needs to be indicated on the jar.

Adding to this antibacterial powerhouse, Manuka honey provides valuable amounts of phytochemicals including important flavonoids that act as antioxidants, as well as a number of life-supporting enzymes, minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Thus, Manuka honey is not only a tasty, but also highly effective natural remedy with potentials to boost human health in a wide range of applications: from internal uses such as stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and mouth diseases to external uses that treat inflammatory skin conditions and wound infections.

Keep in mind however that the quality across all Manuka honeys can vary. For this reason the Unique Manuka Honey Factor (UMF) has been established. The UMF is quality assurance grading system that indicates the levels of methylglyoxal (MG) and dihydroxyacetone (DHA) – the two chemical compounds responsible for the Manuka honey’s unique properties. The higher the concentration of both, the more pure and potent the honey. It therefore rates the honey’s authenticity and assigns a rating ranging from UMF 5+ to UMF 20+. There are three things to look at to state whether your Manuka honey is real:

1. The UMF trademark is included 2. It is from a New Zealand company 3. Its UMF rating is at least of 10+

So use this honey guide for your next Manuka purchase.

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