Honey has been traditionally used for many years, particularly for sore throats, digestive issues and wound healing. Its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and wound healing properties have been documented many times, showing its effectiveness against Streptococcus and Staphylococcus bacteria (especially in leg ulcers). But what is the difference between manuka honey and raw honey? Is manuka really so much better as the media states?
Manuka honey comes from the manuka bush in New Zealand. The research shows that manuka has up to 100 times more methylglyoxal (MG) than honey, an enzyme which is responsible for the anti-bacterial effect. The higher the MG, the stronger the anti-bacterial effect. To enable consumers to know how much MG is in their honey, manuka honey producers have developed the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating system, basically establishing that the higher the UMF the higher the MG. A ‘medicinal’ manuka honey would need to be at least 10 UMF or above.
So manuka 10+ UMF when purchased should sit in the medicinal cabinet (not for spreading on toast or adding to your smoothie) and considered for use in conditions that need anti-bacterial support. Alternatively, a little bit of raw honey in your daily diet could also be beneficial because of its other anti-inflammatory effects.