UMF Manuka Honey - 5 Tips You Should Know
Do you expect to get something special from your Manuka?
The New Zealand Honey Shop is strict in only offering UMF® certified Manuka Honey as the UMF® rating is the level of the special unique antibacterial property - it will contain the special extra benefit that you are seeking.
See some actual test results further below.
NOTE: The above is important for jars of Manuka for internal use. For external use on wounds a properly approved medical grade honey should be used.
FACT: The New Zealand Honey Shop has only ever sold genuine UMF® Manuka honey, and approved medical grade items.
Manuka Honey is a unique honey that is native to New Zealand. Recently it has been gaining increasing global publicity for its natural healing properties.
As a natural remedy, Manuka honey is one that actually has some proper academic research to support it. If referring to the correct grade of honey that is.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence and success stories on its usage. Helping with digestive disorders, peptic ulcers, wound treatment, and leg ulcers are some of its regular uses.
Most of the early actual research on the benefits of manuka honey has been undertaken by the honey research unit at New Zealand’s Waikato University. Here they were able to identify the extra antibacterial and antibiotic properties found in some manuka honey, that are not present in most honeys. To obtain further clinical evidence, there are currently trials underway by University of Auckland on manuka honey’s use for leg ulcers, and in Wales, the University of Wales Institute Cardiff is doing research on its effectiveness in helping fight MRSA.
Manuka honey can work and can aid you in several areas, but bear in mind it is not a magic cure for everything.
Unfortunately as it has gained in popularity, there is now the inevitable people wrongly promoting it. A common mis-promotion currently is to wrongly use the ‘UMF’ term for lesser manuka honey, or implying that ordinary product is equivalent to the UMF® standard when it is not.
You should therefore have an understanding of what makes UMF® manuka honey special, and that you realise not all manuka honey contains these properties. They naturally occur in different levels of potency.
So what is it that makes some manuka honey special? All honeys have a level of hydrogen peroxide, which provides some level of activity 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. It is also not stable, and reduces over time.
However, some manuka honey (and only some) also contains a non-peroxide antibacterial property, what has been named the ‘unique manuka factor’ (UMF). It is the UMF that creates the special properties, including the extra antibacterial and antibiotic properties, that is found in only some manuka honey, as the UMF is not affected by the other enzymes, and is much more stable and active in a variety of conditions. To find the existence of UMF in manuka honey, it needs to be tested for its level of non-peroxide antibacterial activity. This test should be done by an independent laboratory for each batch of honey.
The following table shows the independent test results from 3 jars of manuka honey taken from UK high street shop shelves in 2011 (each a different brand and all not UMF® certified). Testing done in the UK by FERA, the government Food and Environment Research Agency.
All the research supporting the benefits of manuka honey is based on that honey which contains sufficient levels of the non-peroxide activity.
This test determines if a given sample of honey is standard manuka honey (which is still 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.
Regardless whether you are purchasing manuka honey from us or elsewhere, keep the above points in mind. Then you can make sure you are getting the genuine antibacterial manuka honey that you are expecting.
The New Zealand Honey Shop is a double Platinum award winner with two products provided receiving recognition in 2012.