• PPS101

Hey Honey!

by Sandra Witt

You may have heard about Manuka Honey but do you know what it is? Manuka is a unique honey with many benefits. If you are going to buy Manuka honey, there are a few things you ought to know.


First, be prepared because raw Manuka active honey is not cheap, so you might want to familiarize yourself with the terms used to classify it. Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) is a standard that grades honey based on its anti-bacterial strength. UMF is a quality trademark and grading system identifying natural, unadulterated Manuka honey that has the special unique property. The UMF grading system appraises natural markers found in Manuka Honey and assures purity and quality. 


UMF is the consumer's guarantee of genuine, unadulterated natural Manuka honey. The UMF quality trademark ranges from 5 upwards: 0-4 Not detectable; 5-9 Low levels; 10-15 Useful levels;16+ Superior high grade levels. UMFHA has 67 companies licensed to use the UMF® trademark. Only organizations with a license are allowed to use the UMF® trademark. For the list of UMF licencees, go to: http://umf.org.nz/licensees.


Two other terms are used to classify Manuka honey: 

  • Organic Manuka Active (OMA) is raw Manuka honey that is certified organic and active, and 

  • Methylglyoxal (MGO) is the active compound that is thought to provide the anti-bacterial benefit. 


Because of the high premium paid for Manuka honey, an increasing number of products now labelled as Manuka are actually counterfeit or adulterated. In governmental agency tests in the UK between 2011 and 2013, a majority of Manuka-labelled honeys were sampled and found to lack the non-peroxide, anti-microbial activity of Manuka honey. Likewise, of 73 samples tested by UMFHA in Britain, China and Singapore in 2012-13, 43 tested negative.


Manuka raw honey is only found where the Manuka flower grows, like New Zealand. This honey is mono-floral, meaning the bees that produce the raw honey, extract the nectar from only one from the Manuka flower that grows on the Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium). 


Mix Manuka honey and cayenne pepper into a paste and apply it to a wound but only to surface wounds. Deep wounds need to be seen by a Veterinarian! Cayenne pepper is a multi-faceted herb that will stop bleeding, reduce swelling, and relieve pain (yes, it's true). Cayenne also disenfects the wound as it possesses anti-fungal and anti-bacterial capabilities, which has been known for decades by medicinal herbalists.


Invest in some Manuka honey and keep it in your First Aid Kit (oh, and it works on people too), but do your research and make sure you're getting the real deal.


Original article published 2016; edited 11/30/2019 and republished with Author's approval.

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