The Manuka Honey Difference
and How It's Impacting Health and Honey

Manuka honey is in demand and you’ll pay a pretty penny for it.

But while the craze may seem to be a fairly recent phenomenon, it’s actually been in the works since the 1980s when scientists were testing samples of honey from around the world, comparing their effectiveness against bacteria, and this one stole the show.

Researchers later identified methylglyoxal as the active ingredient in manuka honey and the distinguishing factor between it and all the rest in terms of antibacterial potency. And so the manuka honey story began...

Read the complete article on Manuka Honey Research for a thorough explanation of how manuka honey was “discovered,” why it merits the description of "best honey" in some cases, as well as manuka honey information about completed and ongoing studies and tests.

What is Manuka Honey Exactly and What's in it for Us?

On the honey health-benefit ladder today, there’s processed honey (gasp!), which offers little in terms of nutrition and which we don’t really talk about; raw honey, which we talk about A LOT, which boasts numerous yet variable health and wellness benefits, depending on the plants and flowers from which it’s derived; and then there’s certified raw manuka honey, which is in a class all its own, and specific manuka honey benefits, which we’ll talk about right now. 

The quick answer to "What is Manuka Honey Exactly?"

Authentic, certified manuka honey boasts all the health and wellness benefits of other high-quality raw honey, but also has proven antibacterial properties that rival and sometimes top other drugs in the treatment and healing of infections and wounds. 

Manuka honey comes from the nectar of manuka tree flowers that grow in Australia and New Zealand. The manuka tree is also referred to as a manuka bush, manuka plant, or manuka shrub. Like other honey varieties, raw manuka honey components vary from batch to batch, sometimes greatly. Also similar to other raw honey, if manuka honey is processed or pasteurized, it loses much of its nutritional value

The quick answer to What's in It for Us?

The manuka honey that’s so in demand is one that contains a high percentage of methylglyoxal as well as dihydroxyacetone and leptosperin. These compounds differentiate manuka honey from non-manuka honey and account for its greater anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. 

While all raw honey has a host of properties that are good for us, the higher level of methylglyoxal, otherwise known as MG or MGO, in certain types of manuka honey is what renders it a potential natural alternative to antibiotics, especially effective in the treatment and healing of general infections, infected wounds, ulcers and even effective in killing bacteria that traditional medicine has been ineffective against, such as MRSA, staph, and E. Coli.

Click Manuka Honey Properties for a detailed explanation of methylglyoxal and other distinguishing manuka honey traits.

Visit Manuka Honey Benefits to see more about what manuka honey can do for you.

Manuka Honey Ratings and Certification

  • Today, all genuine manuka honey has been strictly tested and given a rating which validates its percentage of methylglyoxal, a measure used to indicate antibacterial strength
  • Authentic manuka honey grades appear on the front label as either
    MG, MGS, MGO, or UMF, followed by a number referring to its amount of methylglyoxal at the time of packaging.
  • UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) has been recognized worldwide as the industry standard certification and the mark by which to judge the validity of manuka honey for medical use, but a new law set by New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries, MPI, is currently in place.
  • KFactor is another rating trademarked by Wedderspoon Organic but associated strictly with the purity and quality of the manuka honey under scrutiny and its general health benefits, not specifically tied to the medicinal quality as the other certifications are.
  • Unfortunately, the manuka honey rating system is a little bit chaotic, to put it mildly, ever since the extra antibacterial potency of manuka honey made its way into the spotlight and everyone wanted in on the action.
  • But manuka honey ratings are evolving along with growing consumer demand and the deepening manuka honey conversation. 

The Manuka Honey Price

Are you willing to pay more for the extra benefits of active manuka honey?

Per pound, pure manuka honey, the real, certified, and rated kind with the MGO manuka honey label or UMF manuka honey trademark, ranges in cost from $60 to $100, at least five times more than other varieties of high-quality raw honey. Prices vary for the many beauty and skincare products containing manuka honey.

To buy or not to buy manuka honey? When making your decision, evaluate the following facts:

  • ALL raw honey differs in quality from hive to hive and batch to batch, including manuka honey.
  • Qualified batches of manuka honey are certified, giving you some assurance that you're actually getting the good stuff.
  • Raw honey has all the health-promoting benefits of manuka honey with one exception, and we'll get to that next, but most raw honey is not certified.
  • Some manuka honey qualifies as medicinal honey or medical grade due to its extra-potent antimicrobial factors. So if you're specifically looking for a natural, raw honey to use topically, manuka honey is definitely worth checking into.
  • If you just want to add a tablespoon of your favorite flavor of raw honey to your smoothie or toast in the morning to get off to a quick, easy, tasty, and healthy start, then go with the raw honey from a trusted source. 

The Manuka Honey Pros and Cons article offers more insight into weighing your manuka honey options.

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