I was wondering around Costco the other day picking up several items and ran across something I have never seen before, manuka honey. My last blog gave a run down of some of the great things honey can be used for, so this caught my attention. The price was quite high, so what is so special about this honey? This is what I learned.
Manuka honey is a very special honey, considered to be on of the most healing honeys in the world. It is produced by New Zealand bees pollinating the Manuka bush. All honey contains antimicrobial properties, but only Manuka honey contains non-hydrogen peroxide. It is this feature that gives it its greater antibacterial power. Along with hydrogen peroxide, manuka honey contains methylglyoxal (MGO) and dihydroxyacetone, two chemical substances with high antimicrobial action, and probably other bioactive compounds that give it additional potency. These chemical are more stable than hydrogen peroxide which easily gets neutralized by heat, moisture, and enzymatic action.
Manuka honey is actually graded according to its non-peroxide antibacterial potencey, referred to as Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). The UMF of Manuka honey varied with each batch well as from season to season. It is graded from UMF 0-30, based on laboratory tests that compare its antimicrobial action to different concentrations of phenol A UMF of 15 is equal to the antibacterial action of 15% phenol and a 20 UMF to 20% phenol. A UMF of 10 is good to maintain general health, but if you are looking for honey with medicinal and therapeutic effects, choose Manuka honey with at least a UMG of 15, and 20 is even better. Realize that the higher the UMF, the more expensive.
As with other types of honey, Manuka honey can be used for:
2. Stomach ulcers
5. Skin ailments such as eczema, hives, rosacea, rashes
6. Building Body Immunity
7. Facial masks
8. Common Flus, Coughs, and Colds
How does it taste? According to some other sources, the taste is unique among the honeys, more like an earthy forest.
The medical community has been slow to recognize the healing capacity of Manuka honey, but has slowly gained acceptance in the treatment of wounds and burns. Eventually, in 2007, FDA approved its use in medicated bandages named Medihoney.
A few words of caution:
1. Do not use if allergic to bees or honey.
2. Diabetics should consume with caution as could cause complications.
3. Do not give to infants less than 1 years because of a possible risk of botulism.
More information can be obtained from: https/www.umf.org.nz
I think I'll get some to have in my First Aid Kit.
PS. The Manuka honey in the Costco warehouse was UMF 10, but they do have higher grades on their website.
Until next time,
Stay well; Stay healthy; Stay focused.