Many people believe that the best honey in the world is Manuka honey. But
unfortunately, not all brands of Manuka honey are packing the type of healing
powers you’ve read about. So, how can you avoid buying a cheap substitute and
find the real deal? If you’ve never had Manuka honey, but you’ve read about it
and you’re eager to try this amazing super food, there are a few ways you can
avoid buying imitation Manuka.
First, don’t get confused by the numbers listed on the jar. To
experience the maximum health
benefits of Manuka, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how
each brand measures the important compounds found in Manuka.
Total activity or TA based brands measure the amount
of hydrogen peroxide activity. This type of measurement is not a stable or
reliable way to judge the potency of the honey. Total activity honey just isn’t
comparable to genuine UMF certified Manuka.
Some consumers recommend purchasing your honey only from New
Zealand based online stores because they’re known to offer only UMF certified
honey. The UMF rating is the level of the special antibacterial properties
found in the honey.
How can you be sure you’re getting authentic Manuka? Only
some brands of honey contain the unique, extra antibacterial compounds that are
responsible for the proven benefits of eating Manuka. This additional factor
can’t be tasted or seen. Essentially, you’re trusting the accurate and honest
labels on the product to determine the honey’s quality.
Jars marked with UMF certification should give you confidence
that the honey you’re purchasing is genuine. The UMF labels will only state the
levels of the special non-peroxide activity.
What makes Manuka so Special?
All types of honey contain a level of hydrogen peroxide. The
hydrogen peroxide provides some level of activity from enzyme glucose oxidase
that’s also found in the honey. However, this can be adversely affected by
certain types of enzymes that are found in body tissue and wound fluids. It
also reduces over time and isn’t considered stable.
However, with Manuka, this honey also contains a
non-peroxide antibacterial compound that has been named the Unique Manuka
Factor. It’s the Unique Manuka Factor that’s responsible for creating the
special properties including the extra antibacterial properties that are only
found in some types of Manuka. The UMF isn’t affected by other enzymes and it’s
considered very active and stable in a wide variety of conditions. In order to
determine UMF in honey, it must be tested for the level of non-peroxide
antibacterial activity. This test is conducted for every batch of honey by
All Manuka honey research has been conducted on honey that
contains sufficient levels of this non-peroxide activity. These tests determine
if a sample of honey is standard Manuka. If the honey contains some of the
extra healing properties but the levels are not high enough to qualify for the
UMF label, this honey is instead labeled as active honey.
The UMF mark found on labels of honey is only given to
brands of honey that contain certain levels of the healing properties. This
label ensures consumers that they’re purchasing genuine Manuka honey.
Genuine Manuka should comply with the following list of
- It has
the UMF trademark stamped somewhere on the label.
- It has
been packaged in New Zealand.
- If has
a UMF rating of five or more.
Dihydroxyacetone, methylglyoxal, and hydrogen peroxide help
to make up the UMF. As we have explained, this is the global standard for
measuring and identifying the honey’s antibacterial strength. The UMF stamp
basically guarantees that the Manuka you purchase is of medicinal quality.
After some research and comparison shopping, once you have found a trusted
brand stick with it.
Adding Manuka Honey to your Diet
Once you’ve purchased the honey, you’ll probably be excited
to start using it in order to enjoy many of the health benefits it has to
offer, but you may not know how much to add to your daily diet or what type of
effects it can have on the body when consumed
While this honey is commonly used to treat wounds, minor
infections, rashes, and other types of skin issues, ingesting the honey daily
will come with benefits of its own.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable and bloated, one tablespoon
of Manuka honey can help to reduce discomfort associated with stomach ulcers,
indigestion, acid reflux, and upset stomach. Simply stir the honey into a cup
of tea or hot water.
If you feel like a cold is coming on, try adding a teaspoon
of the honey into a cup of hot water with lemon juice. The high antibacterial
levels in the honey can help to treat cold sores strep throat and soothe
symptoms caused by the common cold. It’s also known to instantly boost the
immune system, so it can quickly help your body to fight off a cold.
Are you suffering from mid-day syndrome? Is your energy
totally gone and you find it hard to stay productive at work? This honey is
also great for a short-term energy boost since it contains glucose and
fructose, which are energy sources for the body.
Adding some Manuka to your tea or a smoothie can give you
the energy boost you need to get through the rest of your day. Just be careful
about how much honey you consume in general, as it does contain quite a bit of
A Matter of Taste
Did you know that Manuka honey can have a very bitter, tart
taste, or it can have a sweet, rich flavor, depending on where the honey was
harvested? While essentially one brand of Manuka is the same as any other, the
taste can vary greatly depending on a wide range of environmental factors such
as the weather, the area it was harvested from and the soil type. Most people
can agree that honey that was harvested from the South of New Zealand is often
creamier and sweeter, while honey harvest from the North usually has a darker
and richer flavor that tends to taste almost medicinal. If you’ve purchased
honey that was either too bitter or too sweet for you, you can try diluting the
honey with a little water or coconut oil to lessen the flavor.