Healing Power of Honey
Honey has been used since ancient times to treat multiple conditions. It wasn't until the late 19th century that researchers discovered that honey has natural antibacterial qualities.
Honey protects against damage caused by bacteria. Some honey also stimulates production of special cells that can repair tissue damaged by infection. But not all honey is the same. The antibacterial quality of honey depends on the type of honey as well as when and how it's harvested. Some kinds of honey may be 100 times more potent than others.
Components and wonders of Manuka Honey
Manuka honey, produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the Manuka bush, is one of the most unique and beneficial forms of honey in the world. There are many Manuka honey uses that range from healing sore throats and digestive illnesses, to curing Staph infections, acne, acid reflux and gingivitis (to name a few).
In 1981, researchers at the New Zealand University of Waikato discovered that Manuka honey has a considerably higher level of enzymes than regular honey. These enzymes create a natural hydrogen peroxide that works as an antibacterial. Some strains of this New Zealand honey are particularly rich in hydrogen peroxide, methylglyoxal (the higher the concentration of MG, the stronger the antibiotic effect) and dihydroxyacetone (dihydroxyacetone is found in high concentration in the nectar of manuka flowers.)
What makes Manuka honey different is its amazing nutritional profile. Regular raw honey is already known for its tremendous nutritional and immune boosting abilities. Generally speaking, the typical raw unfiltered honey is a rich source of:
- Amino acids
- B vitamins (B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid)
Yet with Manuka honey, the nutritional content is up to 4 times that of normal flower honeys. This is what is called the Unique Manuka Factor.
Honey producers have developed a scale for rating the potency of manuka honey. The rating is called UMF, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor.
The UMF rating is thought to correspond with the concentration of MG and other compounds. Not all honey labeled as manuka honey contains significant levels of antibacterial factors. To be considered potent enough to be therapeutic, manuka honey needs a minimum rating of 10 UMF. Honey at or above that level is marketed as "UMF Manuka Honey" or "Active Manuka Honey.”
How to Verify Genuine UMF Manuka Honey
The minimum UMF rating recognized is UMF5, however, it is not considered beneficial unless it carries a UMF 10+ level of antibacterial activity in the honey. Anything ranging from UMF10-UMF15 is a useful level, and anything UMF16 and up is considered a superior quality.
Genuine UMF Manuka Honey will have these four things:
- It will have a UMF trademark clearly labeled on the front of the container.
- It will be from a New Zealand UMF licensed company and labelled in New Zealand.
- It will have the UMF company’s name and license number on the label.
- It will have a UMF rating number of 5-16+. If it is labeled without the UMF or without a number, then it is not the genuine article.
Here is an explanation of what manuka honey UMF you should use:
4-9 Maintenance level with general honey health benefits
10-14 Supports natural healing and bacterial balance
15+ Superior levels of phenols that are highly therapeutic but shouldn’t exceed taking 1 tbsp at a time
Source: Dr. Axe - Food is Medicine