8 Things to Know About Manuka Honey

Honey is a family staple that is considered one of the top natural home remedies and is basically good for everything. But have you ever heard of Manuka honey? It has become increasingly known as a higher grade of honey with great nutritional value, for more health benefits. Here are some interesting facts we dug out for you:

1. It’s from New Zealand

Manuka honey is a ‘species’ of honey that is sourced specifically from New Zealand; it is harvested from bees that pollinate the flowering plant species Leptospermum Scoparium, more commonly known as the ‘Manuka plant’. The ‘Manuka plant’ can only be found in remote areas in New Zealand. Currently, there are still debates about the trademark of Manuka honey. Indeed it seems that the plant family Leptospermum is also found in south-eastern Australia.

2. Antimicrobial properties

Manuka honey has been found to contain antimicrobial properties. Antimicrobial means that it serves to prevent the development of micro-organisms, and this would be including but not limiting to bacteria, parasites or fungi. Manuka honey having this property means that it is able to promote healing by helping to prevent infections or interference to healing which may be caused by harmful microorganisms, whether they are in the air or in our bodies.

3. There is a grading factor – UMF

When you take a look at the packaging of Manuka honey, you may notice a UMF rating. UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor; and the scale ranges commonly from UM5 to UMF16+, with UMF5 being the lower grade. The grading factor is to divide the manuka honey into different strains which may provide nutritional value at different strengths, meaning that there is a range in terms of quality and purity, at different values on the market.

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4. Keep an eye out for the MGO content

MGO stands for methylglyoxal; it is a chemical compound found in Manuka honey that seems to be responsible for the distinctive antibacterial properties. Some brands of Manuka honey will showcase their grade of manuka honey using an MGO factor, with numbers ranging from 30 up to 800+, you can see a relative comparison of the MGO factor with the UMF factor here. When there is a high MGO rating of 800+, it would mean the batch was tested to contain 800+ mg of MGO per 1 kg of Manuka honey: this is extremely rare, hence it is priced a lot higher.

5. Improves digestion

Many common digestion troubles are related to bacterial activity, for example, diarrhoea, indigestion and bowel inflammation. When consuming manuka honey, these symptoms will likely be reduced due to the antibacterial functions manuka honey serves. 

6. Can be used as skincare

Manuka honey can be used topically for skin troubles such as acne or minor cuts. Due to the antibacterial properties, the chances of infection and bacterial growth on the inflamed areas can be reduced, thus speeding up the healing processes. You could try spot treating using manuka honey, or even mix it into a DIY mask.

7. Best way to eat Manuka Honey

For taking manuka honey orally, it is best to eat it straight from a spoon! Otherwise, mix it in water at room temperature for a more diluted taste. When honey of any type is placed in temperatures too hot, the nutritional properties are disrupted, making the product less effective in the benefits it serves.

8. Possible side effects

Despite it being a natural remedy of superfood grade, manuka honey is not for everybody. It is recommended that other than taking it in moderation, those with allergic reactions to bees or need to carefully manage blood sugar should not consume it. Also, manuka honey has been shown to have certain effects on chemotherapy drugs, so it is best to first consult your practitioner before implementing it into your diet.

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Do the benefits of manuka honey appeal to you? We hope you found these facts interesting!

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This article was independently written by Healthy Matters and is not sponsored. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.