By the Great Earth Team
Honey has been known as a powerful natural medicine for centuries. Manuka honey is one such type that is highly regarded thanks to its antibacterial properties. Honey has many nutritional benefits and healing powers. It has been used to assist in wound repair, improve digestive issues, and heal sore throats. It is known as an all-round “wonder cure” and natural everyday supplement.
There are different kinds of honey available today, so it’s important to know how they differ.
Raw Honey vs Pasteurized Honey
Honey is believed to have antibacterial properties because it contains an enzyme that can generate hydrogen peroxide, a natural antiseptic.
While all honey does contain antibacterial properties, commercial honey is usually pasteurized and processed, which decreases its beneficial properties.
Pasteurizing, or heating, the honey is done for the purpose of killing the yeast component. This helps the product maintain a longer shelf life by reducing fermentation. It also slows the natural crystallization, which also makes for a visually appealing product. While fermented honey does not necessarily pose any health risks, it is discouraged so that the product is safer for pregnant women and small children. In general, raw unpasteurised honey is considered safe for adults.
What Makes Manuka Honey Unique
Manuka honey differs from other sources because it is made by bees who only pollinate a certain flowering plant. The plant is called Leptospermum scoparium, or more commonly, manuka, and it is native to New Zealand. It only blooms a few weeks each year, which is why authentic Manuka honey can sometimes be hard to find and expensive.
Research has also shown that it’s antibacterial properties are more advanced than any other raw honey. There’s one particular compound that contributes a large part of that antibacterial effect, Methylglyoxal.
The levels of antibacterial properties in Manuka do vary from batch to batch so ratings are used to reflect the different degrees. There are two measures for Manuka honey: UMF and MGO.
The UMF number measure the potency of all three Manuka signature compounds, Leptosperin, DHA and Methylglyoxal, that together indicate the purity of the batch.
The MGO rating gives us the content rating of the active ingredient, Methylglyoxal. Both ratings are utilised as MGO can be artificially added to regular honey. This ensures that you can be sure that the honey you are choosing is genuine Manuka.