Manuka honey is produced from manuka bush, a Leptospermum species and a native plant in New Zealand. It has a powerful antibacterial property that distinguishes itself from other honeys. This guide will provide basic information for you to get to know manuka honey.
What Makes Manuka Honey Unique?
The simple answer to this is ― it contains a high amount of unique antibacterial properties that cannot be found in other strains of honey. Those antibacterial properties cannot be destroyed by light, heat, or dilution. For the long answer, read on.
All honeys have antibacterial properties. In most honeys, the antibacterial properties are formed by hydrogen peroxide, an disinfectant released by an enzyme in honey. While most honeys have this hydrogen peroxide antibacterial property, the potency every strain of honey has varies.
For manuka honey, it has been found to be high on non-peroxide antibacterial activities. Although some strains of honey are also reported to have such non-peroxide antibacterial activities, active manuka honey is found to have the highest non-peroxide antibacterial properties. This makes manuka honey the most reputed honey among its equivalents.
Why “Active” Manuka Honey?
The benefits of manuka honey make it popular among the general public. And more manuka honey is available on the market. However, not all manuka honey sold on the market is produced with the non-peroxide antibacterial property. In fact, many of what’s available on the market are manuka honey with hydrogen peroxide antibacterial properties. Thus, the term “active manuka honey” is created to set off manuka honey with non-peroxide antibacterial properties from those that don’t.
For the same reason, Professor Molan in the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato created a rating system called Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) to identify manuka honey with rich non-peroxide antibacterial properties. According to Active Manuka Honey Association, manuka honey with a UMF rating has been undergone stringent testing to prove that the non-peroxide antibacterial properties is up to standard, thus carrying the well-known healing properties.