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What's so special about Manuka Honey?

By Stacey Shapiro November 22, 2021

What's so special about Manuka Honey?

Honey has been used for centuries to treat minor wounds, sore throats, and other conditions but recently there’s been a surge in popularity for one particular type of honey: Manuka honey. This superfood has been purported to have a wide range of health benefits but with a hefty price tag, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. So, what exactly is manuka honey and what is the evidence that this honey is worth the benefits many claim it has?

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey originates from New Zealand and Australia by bees that have pollinated the native flower Leptospermum Scoparium (more commonly known as the Manuka bush or a tea tree). The antibacterial properties of Manuka honey are what makes it so potent plus it also has antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Manuka contains a compound called Methylglyoxal (MGO) which is the active ingredient that sets Manuka apart from other honeys. The higher the concentration of MGO, the greater the antibacterial effects.

What are the benefits of Manuka Honey?

Perhaps best known for its treatment of wounds and burns, Manuka honey has also been shown to effectively treat eczema, dermatitis, sore throats and aiding in digestive health. Clinical studies have shown that Manuka honey’s antibacterial action, high acidity and antioxidant content promotes rapid healing in acute cases, pain relief in burn patients and decreased inflammatory response in patients. The general conclusion is that medical-grade Manuka honey (meaning it has been sterilised and prepared) is in favour of use in medicine – impressive results for a natural superfood that many have touted in alternative medicine only. Below are just some of the benefits of using medical grade Manuka honey:

  • Relieve symptoms of mild eczema and dermatitis
  • Relieve skin inflammation
  • Reduce symptoms of nappy rash
  • Soothe mild skin burns
  • Support wound healing and skin repairs

What to look for when buying Manuka honey

Just as normal honey and manuka are not the same, there are varying degrees of potency in every jar of Manuka honey. Whether you’re buying online or in store, it’s important to understand the labelling and standards that manufacturers use when they label their products. Look out for the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating which scores the levels of MGO and a precursor dihydroxyacetone. The range for UMF is below:

0 to 4: an undetectable amount is present

5 to 9: low levels are present

10 to 15: useful levels are present

16: superior, high-grade levels are present

You can also look out for Non-Peroxide Antibacterial Activity (NPA) and brands that include MGO which can be anywhere from 30MGO to 840MGO. Just remember, the higher the number, the greater the honey’s bacteria killing strength!

Is Manuka honey worth the money?

Whether you’re using Manuka honey in your breakfast to improve your gut health or eating it by the tablespoon to promote oral health, this special honey has been proven to be useful in many different ways. This unique delicacy isn’t treated and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals or GMOs, but it’s the Methylglyoxal that makes this superstar really shine for its antibacterial effects.

 

Shop the Watson & Son range today!

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