Recognizing Manuka honey and what is Manuka honey really – An explanation
Today, I want to explain what is Manuka honey and how to ensure that you purchase the real deal. Rightly, there are many reports about “the wonder honey”. Manuka is particularly used for medical applications.
But when you buy this special honey, you can get ripped off quickly if you don’t pay attention to a few quality features. Learn how to recognize good Manuka honey to prevent this from happening to you.
What exactly is Manuka honey?
I want to make sure that we all understand Manuka honey the same way. Manuka honey * is the honey that busy bees make from the nectar of the South Sea myrtle (Manuka shrub).
The South Sea myrtle is native to New Zealand and southern Australia and only grows there.
The South Sea myrtle is also known as a tea tree among the indigenous people of New Zealand, they have been using honey for medicinal purposes for centuries.
In addition, they produce tea and tea tree oil from the blossoms of the tree, which has proven particularly useful for chronic inflammatory skin diseases.
The South Sea Myrtle is only 4 meters tall on average and corresponds to a shrub. Today, there are numerous plantations for the production of the sought-after Manuka honey. During this process, they are not allowed to spray pesticides and insecticides and they strictly regulate the production.
This is the only way to ensure that it is 100% Manuka honey.
Why does Manuka honey work so well?
Why do people celebrate the Manuka honey and how does it work? The main uses of the great honey have to do with the strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Here, Manuka honey has a stronger effect than other types of honey and also more than some remedies and antibiotics.
The antibacterial effect is particularly important in natural medicine. The effects mentioned are attributed to the following substances:
Free in honey and additionally produced by so-called catalases (enzymes) that are present in honey.
Strongly antioxidant plant ingredients, very rich in Manuka honey. Counteract inflammation.
The high sugar content of Manuka honey results in low water activity. This means that the honey binds water and removes the basis for growth from microorganisms.
This explains the preservative and antibacterial effects of Manuka honey*.
The main active ingredient in Manuka and unique in this honey. How exactly MGO gets into Manuka honey is not known.
Methylglyoxal in the bee is probably the result of a chemical reaction – from a natural substance in the Manuka nectar.
Why you should be careful when buying Manuka honey
A small calculation: New Zealand produces around 2,000 tons of Manuka honey every year. From that, approximately 10,000 tons of this liquid gold gets exported each year.
Do you notice the mistake? Significantly more “Manuka Honey” products are exported than actually manufactured. This means that a lot of manipulation occurs around Manuka honey and unfortunately a lot of tricks.
Sometimes regular bee honey gets labeled and sold as Manuka honey. Often enough, they blend Manuka with normal honey.
This is, of course, fatal if this alleged “Manuka” honey costs almost as much as the original. There are better ways to burn your hard-earned cash!
To prevent this from happening to you and to ensure that you receive exactly the product that you have paid for and wished for, I have a few tips in stock below. How to prevent you from purchasing a fake version:
The absolute quality feature – MGO
Methylglyoxal (MGO) is unique in Manuka honey and one cannot find it in any other natural product or honey.
The manufacturer should, therefore, be able to prove that the honey actually does contain methylglyoxal, and not too little of it.
Only then does it meet the criteria for Manuka honey and has the antibacterial effects for which the honey is known.
A key figure indicates how much methylglyoxal the specific Manuka contains. This is the concentration of methylglyoxal in mg/lb honey. Manuka Honey MGO 400 * means a methylglyoxal content of 400 mg/lb.
For a good antibacterial effect for medical use, it is recommended to aim for an MGO content of at least 400. This honey is more expensive, but for medical purposes, the money should be worth it.
When used as food, you can also use a Manuka honey with a lower index of 100 to 200.
A conversion form of MGO known as UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) is also a helpful indicator. An MGO worth of 400 corresponds to a UMF of 15 and more.
Unique in Manuka honey – Leptosperin
From chemical analyses in recent years, we have learned that the glycoside Leptosperin in Manuka honey is also unique.
Here, too, a chemical proof can tell whether it is the original or a fake imitation.
Other quality features for good Manuka honey
Many manufacturers advertise certain properties, most of which are just hollow phrases. In addition to MGO and Leptosperin, there are only a few quality features that are really crucial. The others are optional.
You can also pay attention to these quality features:
1- Without added sugar
2- Without dyes
3- Without preservative substances
4- Direct import from New Zealand
5- Pollutant-free glass packaging or BPA-Free plastic jar
6- Sun protection through dark lid
7- Free of pesticides and glyphosate
8- Sorted according to the American honey regulation
9- Should contain Bee Bread – High in Protein, Amino acids, Minerals, B Vitamins. Bee bread has a 3x plus higher bioavailability compared to common bee and flower pollen.
With the tips and tricks mentioned in this article, you are definitely on the safe side.
Summary – This is what to look for when buying Manuka honey
New Zealand exports much more Manuka honey than it produces. It is, therefore, clear that there is a lot of cheating going on.
With an expensive, high-quality and almost mystical product like Manuka honey, it is clear that someday someone will come up with this idea. The buyer is ultimately the victim.
Manuka honey is a great and high-quality natural product that has a variety of medical applications and is also very tasty.
Make sure that an MGO content of at least 400 is specified, or an UMF of at least 15. This is the only way to ensure that enough methylglyoxal is included for a medicinal effect. The substance Leptosperin is also unique in Manuka honey and has only recently been described.
Other quality features include no added dyes, sugar, preservatives, cold centrifugation, direct import from New Zealand, as well as high-quality, dark glass packaging.
I hope that this post helped you to understand what is Manuka honey, why it is worth its price and how to identify the real deal from an imitation. With these tips and tricks, you can assume that it is a high-quality honey and healthy natural product.
Please tell us about the applications and effects that you have personally made and experienced with Manuka honey*. We’re always looking forward to your comments, questions, stories and ideas.
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