The 10 Best Manuka Honeys
10. East Cape Active
9. Airborne Natural
8. Tahi UMF10+
7. Wedderspoon Raw
6. Pacific Resources Fancy Grade
5. Manuka Health 100% Pure
4. Happy Valley Honey
2. Manuka Doctor Bio Active
1. Kiva Raw
What is Mauka Honey?
Manuka honey is a monofloral honey that is a derivative of the manuka tree, which is native to New Zealand and southeastern Australia. It is produced by introducing European honey bees to areas that have a large concentration of wild growing manuka trees during their 6 week blooming period. Since these tress are uncultivated and grow in a relatively pollution free environment, they haven't been exposed to the industrial chemicals or pesticides most other agricultural plants have. This results in an all natural, chemical-free product with a range of health benefits.
Manuka honey has a higher viscosity than most other honeys, meaning it is thicker and gooier. Experts believe this is due to high levels of certain types of proteins. It typically has a dark cream or dark brown color and a strong earthy flavor with herbaceous undertones that some people may love, while others find off putting.
As with almost all other honeys, Manuka honey is roughly 80% sugars and 17% waters, with the last bit being comprised of minerals, organic acids, and enzymes. Its sugar content is made up of about 31% glucose, 38% fructose, and a mixture of more complex sugars that are harder to breakdown. It also contains hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal, which is where it gets the majority of its antibacterial properties. All raw and unfiltered honeys are a good source of amino acids, B vitamins, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous, but Manuka honey has up to four times the nutritional content of normal flower honeys.
Health Benefits Of Manuka Honey
Manuka honey has a wide range of health benefits internally and externally. When used as a salve, it can help cuts and burns heal faster while preventing them from getting infected. If you have acne or eczema, applying Manuka honey on the affected area for a few minutes and then washing it off with soap and water can help it clear up quicker. For best results it is recommended to do this a couple of times a day. It can also help to give your skin a more youthful and healthy appearance by improving skin tone and texture.
Researchers in the UK at Cardiff Metropolitan have even found that it down-regulates the most potent genes of the MRSA bacteria, which is responsible for nearly 20,000 deaths yearly in hospitals across America.
When taken internally it is believed it can help treat or even prevent certain types of cancers, reduce high cholesterol levels and alleviate many gastrointestinal problems. Manuka honey also has anti inflammatory properties, as proven by the fact that the National Cancer Institute approved the use of Manuka honey to treat esophagus inflammation caused by chemotherapy. It can also reduce systemic inflammation from a variety of ailments. Recent studies have found that it can be effective in reducing plaque buildup, thereby helping to prevent gingivitis and a wide range of other periodontal diseases.
Another great thing about Manuka honey is that, unlike traditional doctor prescribed antibiotics, it won't cause the development of drug resistant bacteria, known as "superbugs". When a person is infected by one of these superbugs, it requires treatment with really powerful antibiotics that cause significantly more negative side effects than their less potent counterparts.
How To Choose The Best Manuka Honey
As Manuka honey has gained in popularity, more and more producers have looked to jump on the bandwagon. Just a quick search on Amazon comes up with hundreds of brands to choose from. It is more important now than ever before to know what to look for in Manuka honey and how to purchase the best quality product. Since the Manuka tree only grows wild in New Zealand and southeastern Australia, your first step should be to find a honey produced in one of these regions, preferably New Zealand as they have stricter regulations regarding its production and sale. You'll also want to keep an eye out for raw, unfiltered, and organic honey as these will have the most health benefits and the least amount of unwanted chemicals.
Another term you'll see thrown around a lot when looking at the different Manuka honeys for sale is UMF, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor. This is a registered trademark and only members of the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association of New Zealand who have their product tested in an independent laboratory can display it on their honey jars. This is important because if it hasn't been independently tested, how do you really know the efficacy and authenticity of your product?
Next to the UMF logo, you'll see a number. This number rating is directly linked to the antibacterial activity in the honey and corresponds with the concentration of methylglyoxal. The higher the number, the more potent the antibacterial properties of the honey. The ideal level is between 10 and 18 UMF as anything below a 10 is not generally considered strong enough to have any therapeutic use. If you see just a number without the UMF trademark, then that producer is not regulated and more than likely has no independent lab testing done on their honey.