Manuka Honey is a unique honey, native to New Zealand, that has been gaining increasing international publicity for its natural healing properties.
It is a natural remedy that actually has some proper research to help back it up.
However it is important to know that not all manuka honey is equal. Although all of it tastes great, only some batches of it are proven to contain the extra antibacterial property that has propelled its fame as the ‘healing honey’.
Much of the research into the unique healing ability of manuka honey has been led by Professor Peter Molan and the team at New Zealand’s University of Waikato Honey Research Centre. Their work has developed a test to find the amount of extra antibacterial potency in a batch of honey, to give it a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) level.
So what is it that makes active manuka honey special? All honey contains a level of hydrogen peroxide, which provides a level of antibacterial power from the actions of the enzyme glucose oxidase that is also found in honey. But this can be adversely affected by other enzymes found in wound fluids and body tissue. However, active manuka honey also contains what is referred to as the ‘unique manuka factor’ (UMF). It is this that creates the special properties, including the extra antibacterial and antibiotic properties, that is found in active manuka honey, as the UMF is not affected by the other enzymes, and is much more stable and active in a variety of conditions.
From an independent test it is found if a sample of honey is standard manuka honey (great tasting, but not containing any additional healing properties), honey that has some of the extra healing properties but not sufficient to be given the ‘UMF’ label (these can be called active honey, but not UMF honey), or that it meets the requirements for the UMF label and for what level.
The term (or mark) ‘UMF’ is actually a registered trademark, so as to protect you, the consumer, that you are getting manuka honey that does actually contain the healing properties it has become famous for. There are criteria that must be met for its use.
- It has the name UMF clearly stated on the front label.
- It is packed into jars and labelled in New Zealand.
- It is from a New Zealand company licensed to use the name UMF.
- It has the UMF licensee’s name on the front label.
- It has a rating of UMF10 or more.
What You should know:
The research that supports the natural healing properties of this New Zealand honey and has led to its good reputation has been based on using honey with a minimum tested UMF level of 10 or higher.
The ‘UMF’ logo is YOUR assurance that you are getting properly tested honey that does contain the stated level of antibacterial activity. Look for it on the actual label of the product if you want manuka honey for its healing qualities, not just in the advertising. This applies whether you are looking in high street stores or online.
UMF Manuka Honey is a great natural remedy, especially for wound treatment, burns, ulcers, and digestive problems among other things. Each would be worthy of individual articles. The purpose here has been to inform you what to look for when you want to use it for its healing properties.
By Robert Lewis
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