What’s the big deal about manuka honey? For that matter, what does “manuka” even mean? We’ll give you all the details.
What Is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is simply honey made from the nectar of manuka flowers, which contains methylglyoxal and hydrogen peroxide. While many types of honey contain these chemicals, manuka flower nectar contains particularly potent amounts. This gives the honey strong antibacterial and antibiotic properties. Additionally, the origins of the honey are verified, as all manuka honey is made in New Zealand. While many commercial honeys have little to no bee pollen, manuka honey does in fact contain beneficial bee pollen.
Why Should I Use Manuka Honey?
This honey is especially fantastic as an antibacterial treatment for small wounds, because its antibacterial and antibiotic properties prevent infection so effectively. Only medical-grade honey should be used to treat wounds.
Additionally, its antibacterial properties make it a fantastic oral treatment for the removal of plaque or the treatment of gingivitis. In one study, a chewable honey product reduced the mean plaque scores of patients by 34%.
When eaten, manuka honey can provide relief from esophagitis pain in chemotherapy patients by reducing esophageal inflammation.
Substituting manuka honey for sugar may lower cholesterol! A study showed a reduction in women’s LDL cholesterol levels when they consumed 75g of honey daily for 2 weeks.
Bee pollen, which can be found in manuka honey, is extremely beneficial for health and wellness. It contains vitamins A, D, E, K, C, and the complete B-complex, and can even be helpful as a treatment for seasonal allergies (see Bee Pollen for Allergy Rescue) because of its ability to strengthen the immune system. It also has antioxidants, which help establish it as a food that may aid in anti-aging treatments.
What Does The Number Mean?
Three different grading systems are used for the grading of manuka honey; UMF, MGO, and the Factor. UMF stands for “Unique Manuka Factor”, and was created by the UMF Honey Association in New Zealand. It measures methylgloxal, NPA (non-peroxide activity), leptosperin (a chemical specific to manuka honey), and DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid). The finest manuka honey, which has prominent antibacterial and healing properties, has a UMF of 15-20+.
MGO is an independent grading system developed by Thomas Henle and used mostly by the company Manuka Health. It measures methylgloxal only. The finest manuka honey has an MGO of 400-550.
KFactor is also an independent grading system, approved by New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries. It is used by the company Wedderspoon. It measures purity, live enzymes, chemical residues, pollen count, DHA, pH and antioxidant levels, and phenolic compounds. The finest manuka honey has a KFactor of 18-22.
How Should I Use Manuka Honey?
For immune boosting or antibiotic function, take 1-2 teaspoons of high-grade manuka honey daily. For topical applications, apply medical grade manuka honey every 12 hours, covering with a bandage.