Perhaps you like some honey in your tea, or drizzled over yogurt for a dash of sweetness, but do you know that it may also improve your health?
Manuka honey, produced from the nectar collected by bees from the Manuka tree, holds antibacterial properties and as far back as 1392, and is used to help heal wounds and assist in improving overall health.
Manuka honey is not like regular honey, therefore, when you look at a product that claims to contain Manuka honey, it’s important to check for such compounds that come from the Manuka plant such as:
- Methylglyoxal (MGO): This compound is an antibacterial compound found in Manuka honey and is used in wound healing, soothing sore throats, and in preventing tooth decay.
- Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): This compound found in the nectar of Manuka tree flowers converts into MGO during the production of honey.
- Leptosperin: This compound is a naturally occurring chemical found in Manuka tree plants and is important because it is only found in Manuka honey and a few close relatives, so it’s presence indicates a Manuka honey product’s authenticity.
You can ensure such compounds are in the Manuka honey product you purchase if it is an authentic Manuka honey with UMF certification.
The UMF, or the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association, puts a stamp on products it approves. Before there was a UMF certification, a doctor in New Zealand discovered that the non-peroxide antibacterial activity, or NPA, which happens when the hydrogen peroxide activity is destroyed in honey by heat or light, remains intact in Manuka honey making it effective against strains of bacteria like Staphylococcus Aureus and the MRSA super bug. The UMF mark shows that a product has been produced by one of the 100+ beekeepers, producers, and exporters it licenses to indicating the strength of the NPA activity.
UMF also uses grading systems to reveal the quantity of Manuka honey compounds in a product. These grading systems include the label claim that it is authentic Manuka honey. The second grade is a number that shows how much of DHA, MGO, and leptosperin a product contains. A higher score indicates better quality. Try to choose a product with at least a score of 10, but a UMF rating of 15 or more would be even more high quality.
Also, the K Factor 16™ can tell you if a product contains a high amount of bee pollen and if it’s from the Manuka plant. It indicates a pollen count of 70% or higher, purity, live enzymes, and a product containing the compound DHA.
Finally, the symbol MGO will tell you if a product contains a potent level of the compound methylglyoxal which indicates if a product has a good level of antibacterial activity. An MGO level of 400 to 550+ indicates a very high antibacterial activity.
Best Overall Manuka Honey Product