Honey has long been used as a food for consumption, with its main use as a replacement for sugar, to make particular foods sweeter. Honey is also widely known to have medicinal properties, such as natural antibacterial qualities. However, not all honey is created equal, because some honey products, such as manuka honey, are superior to others.
The main variation in different forms of honey is UMF grading. If you’re planning to buy honey in the near future, this article is all you need.
What is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is created when honey bees pollinate a flower called “Manuka”, native to New Zealand. Manuka honey is unique because the manuka flower merely blooms for 2-6 weeks every year. This means manuka honey can only be produced in locations where native manuka flowers are abundant.
The Science behind Manuka Honey
To identify the various standards of Manuka Honey, a system was refined by the UMF Honey Association, situated in New Zealand. Let’s break it down.
- UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor, which mainly indicates the levels of MG (methylglyoxal) in a batch of honey.
- MG naturally has antibacterial properties, making it a useful compound in the composition of honey.
- The antibiotic effect of honey is directly proportional to its concentration of MG, which means the higher, the better.
- So, this system of grading using MG was widely accepted for indicating the ingredients and quality of honey.
Why is Manuka Honey exclusive?
Manuka honey is known to have high potency and it meets the rigorous standards of the UMF Honey Association. The most widely consumed grade of manuka honey is UMF 20. Any manuka honey with grade-level UMF 10+ is considered quite efficient in its purposes.
Here is the bifurcation-
|0-5||Low properties as regular honey|
So, manuka honey has distinct levels of antibacterial properties. Honey of varied levels is used for various purposes.
Benefits of Manuka Honey!
As mentioned, manuka honey has antibacterial properties. Let’s have a look at its various applications.
Heals wounds and cuts
The most prominent use of manuka honey is to heal physical wounds, as approved by the US FDA. Applications:
- It can be used as a wound dressing to reduce the pain and effect. It provides a protective coat around the wound.
- With its antibacterial and antioxidant properties, it fastens the regeneration of tissues and enhances wound healing.
Improvement of Digestion
According to an article by Web MD, your digestive system is composed of a gut microbiome that contains both “good” and “bad” bacteria. Good bacteria are essential because it helps in the digestive processes. However, once bad bacteria proliferate, the equilibrium is affected, and indigestion might occur. Fortunately, manuka honey provides a solution to this.
Manuka honey contains prebiotics essential for nurturing good bacteria so that bad bacteria do not increase in number. Through the regular intake of manuka honey, your digestive system will achieve its equilibrium and improve its digestive processes. It also helps in fighting ulcers.
It is proved that manuka honey prevents gum inflammation and tooth decay by attacking catastrophic bacteria. You can use it in the following ways-
- As a mouthwash
- For gum massage
- As a toothpaste
Several kinds of bacteria live on the skin, and there are specific strains that cause infection. For instance, Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is a type of bacteria that causes acne infection. If left untreated, these bacteria can proliferate and cause acne. Fortunately, manuka honey offers a solution.
The intake of manuka honey and direct application to the skin can prevent the bacteria from reproducing, and reduce the signs and symptoms of irritation and inflammation.
Miracle for a sore throat
Manuka honey is quite a sight for a sore throat. Even if you’re not sick, a spoon of manuka honey soothes the gums and throat. Just take some with warm water, preferably in the morning.
These are some of the main benefits of using manuka honey.
Now that you are willing to add it in your pantry, let’s have a look at buying options and indicators of a good manuka honey jar.
Purchasing and Trademark Label
Of course, in this modern era, you can very conveniently order a jar of honey with one click. However, you must be careful about the quality and purity of the product.
While buying manuka honey umf 20, make sure that it originated from New Zealand. That is the best quality you can get. Search for the ‘New Zealand made’ logo.
Ensure that your purpose for buying honey is clear. Various levels of MG are beneficial for various uses like daily use, skincare, everyday boost, or maximum healing. They will be different for every brand, so double-check that on the websites.
You can always get a good perspective by reading the reviews. See what other people experienced with the various products and choose one for yourself.
And most importantly, look for the UMF label. None of the other credentials matter as much as this one. It is a small black and yellow symbol and it indicates two things-
- The level of MG according to the grading system.
- The honey in the jar is indeed manuka honey.
Risks and Precautions
Mostly, manuka honey is safe to consume. Nevertheless, keep a lookout for the following:
- If you are diabetic, you should consult a doctor before using it as it is sweet. It might slow down the treatment of chronic wounds and affect your health.
- Ensure that you’re not allergic to bees and honey. If there is any kind of a hint, consult a specialist before consumption.
- Pediatricians generally advise to not feed honey to infants. Keep a check with the doctor if you plan to add manuka honey to your baby’s diet.
Besides all this, you’re good to go! Relish this product as much as you can.
Manuka honey is one of the best honey products because of its medicinal properties and delicious taste. There is no wrong way of consuming it and you can conveniently make it a healthy habit. It is a honey product that is safe to consume for all ages and should be a staple on your kitchen cabinet.