Manuka Honey has gained a lot of attention in recent years for its unique health properties, and for its multiple therapeutic uses for a variety of ailments. Real, authentic Manuka Honey is produced in New Zealand ONLY, made from bees that pollinate the Manuka flower. The most potent Manuka Honey comes from areas where the Manuka Tree and its blossoms are abundant – often in very remote coastal areas of New Zealand. The Price for Manuka Honey varies greatly and is dependent potency, rarity and certifications (UMF+ and MGO+ ratings).
So, what are the different types of Manuka Honey? Here we will talk only about pure Manuka Honey i.e. monofloral. Not blended Manuka Honey which is combined with other types of honey i.e. multifloral.
Once tested, in dedicated laboratories, Manuka Honey is given a UMF+ (Unique Manuka Factor) rating and/or an MGO+ (Methylglyoxal) rating.
UMF+ Rating identifies the potency of three unique signature compounds characteristic of real Manuka Honey. These compounds are Leptosperin, DHA and Methylglyoxal (MGO). HMF (Hydroxymethylfurfural) is also included in the test to ensure the honey has not been modified to increase the MGO rating.
MGO+ Rating is the potency of the Methylglyoxal the major antibacterial component of Manuka Honey. Once Manuka Honey is tested it will be given one of the ratings above. The higher the rating given the more potent/beneficial the compounds that are being tested for are. A UMF 10+ or MGO 263+ or higher is considered medicinal and therapeutic for the skin.
The most common medical use for Manuka Honey is topical for burn and wound healing but it is also well thought of as a superfood and consumed worldwide as part of a healthy diet. It may also soothe dry and scratchy throats and can be added to warm water, tea and smoothies for a nourishing drink. It is also delicious on toast or just by the spoonful!
Taste can vary depending on strength and also if the honey is still in its raw state or if it has been ‘creamed’ to create a smooth texture. The delicious taste usually intensifies with the higher UMF Manuka Honeys.