Manuka honey is a specific type of honey made in New Zealand with the pollen of the Manuka bush. THE Manuka bush is similar to tea tree, whose flowers bloom just once a year, lasting for only two to six weeks. Organic Manuka honey is ideal, but quite rare because it’s difficult to control where a honey bee pollinates, and therefore difficult to know if it comes into contact with any pesticides. It has a wealth of health benefits, with higher levels of nutrients and enzymes than the best raw organic honey. It contains a large amount of methylglyoxal compound (only found in much smaller quantities in other honeys) which is antibacterial-boosting, and it has a low pH level and a high sugar content which may hinder the growth of microbes, giving it even more antibacterial amp. The methylglyoxal compound comes from the conversion of another compound, dihydroxyacetone, which is found in high concentration in the nectar of Manuka flowers – giving it that higher antibacterial effect.
Other properties include: antimutagenic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory (as anticancer agents – they have an anti-cancer effects by helping the immune system fight back), can help reduce plaque and treat gingivitis by helping to reduce the buildup of plaque. It is also important to note that Manuka honey may be a powerful topical treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff).
It’s great for acne, eczema, burns, IBS, SIBO [small intestinal bacterial overgrowth], sore throats, and allergies. It’s rich in amino acids, B vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, zinc, and many other nutrients.
What to look for when buying: It has a potency level, referred to as the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF), which other honeys do not have. The UMF grading system has two components. First, it ensures that the honey is truly Manuka honey and then the UMF rating grades the purity and quality of the product. UMF actually tests the antibacterial performance and phenols in the product. Anything that’s below 5 isn’t considered medicinal. A rating of between 10 and 15 is considered very high quality for therapeutic effects. UMF Rating, growing and processing conditions of Manuka honey brands can be easily found online.