Chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of Manuka honey. But how much do you really know about this variety of the sweet stuff?
Manuka honey comes from the nectar of the Manuka flower and has been used for hundreds of years for health and wellness. This special honey can be found on its own and in a number of products at your local health food store. Let’s explore more about Manuka honey, its wellness benefits and why you might want to incorporate it into your daily routine.
6 Common Questions About Manuka Honey
Where does Manuka honey come from?
You might not realize that Manuka honey comes all the way from New Zealand! In fact, the Manuka bush (also known as the Leptospermum scoparium tree) can only be found in New Zealand, so real Manuka honey is very special. Well, actually some Manuka trees can also be found in Australia, but they are somewhat rare.
Why is Manuka honey so expensive?
Manuka honey can be very expensive compared to other honey products you can find on the store shelf. A typical 8 ounce jar can range in price from $20 to well over $100. There are a few reasons why Manuka honey has this kind of price tag.
Scientists have found that Manuka honey has special antibacterial qualities, making it useful in healing a number of physical ailments. This, paired with its fairly limited supply and high demand, have bumped the prices up considerably.
Some bad actors have even tried to capitalize on the Manuka honey craze by selling fake Manuka honey online and in stores. Real Manuka honey may be mixed with other varieties. Other scammers mislabel regular honey as Manuka honey or lie about the potency of the honey on the label.
Does Manuka honey taste different than other honey?
Manuka honey is just as tasty as regular honey! Some say that it has a slightly earthy taste and is not as sweet as the stuff you buy at your local store. As with all honey varieties, the honey will taste different depending on the type of nectar it’s made with. Clover honey tastes different than tupelo honey, and acacia honey varies from wildflower honey.
What makes Manuka honey different than the honey I buy at my local grocery store?
The real reason that Manuka honey is so special and highly valued is because of some unique qualities that set it apart. All honey has antibacterial properties because it contains a certain level of hydrogen peroxide. Manuka honey, however, contains a higher level of certain substances such as methylglyoxal and leptosperin. These compounds give Manuka honey a real boost to its antibacterial properties.
Research has shown that Manuka honey can kill germs and prevent certain germs, like MRSA, from forming. Manuka honey’s antibacterial properties are superior to other varieties of honey, making it highly sought-after.
What are the top health benefits of Manuka honey?
As we mentioned, Manuka honey is desired because of its higher levels of antibacterial compounds. Scientists have uncovered a number of health benefits that may be attributed to Manuka honey including:
- Heals wounds, sores and even diabetic ulcers
- Fights plaque and prevents gingivitis
- Eases symptoms of sinus infections
- Soothes a sore throat
- Reduces digestive issues such as IBS, constipation and diarrhea
- Like any health and wellness supplement, you should consult with your doctor before starting a new health regimen. Honey is not always safe for certain people, including infants and people with allergies to bees.
How to tell if the Manuka honey you bought is real?
Due to the price, many people want to know how they can be sure that the jar of Manuka honey they purchased is real. The trouble is that the industry is not well-standardized. One thing you can do is to check the rating on the label. Look for ratings such as MGO, KFactor and UMF on the label. The UMF label is considered the most established and reliable rating to date.
Manuka honey certainly has some science-backed evidence to show that it contains serious antibacterial benefits. If you can afford the hefty price tag, it might be worth trying it to help heal wounds and improve your overall health.