The food industry is notorious for introducing trends, and they continue to change almost every day by highlighting a food item as the newest fad. A trend that we noticed that people loved is basically every product that is all-natural with added health benefits. Not to mention, if it is versatile and tastes good as well, it'll surely be a hit.
Manuka honey is booming in the market for how it fits all the characteristics that we’ve mentioned previously. Of course, who doesn’t love the sweet yet healthy sugar alternative from bees? But first, what is Manuka honey?
Breaking Down Manuka Honey
From the name itself, Manuka honey is the honey that you can acquire from bees that feed on the Leptospermum scoparium, also known as the Manuka plant. This bush itself is found in New Zealand and select areas of Australia.
The Manuka plant naturally contains chemical markers such as DHA, leptosperin, and methylglyoxal (MGO.) However, because you can just add MGO to other kinds of honey, manufacturers created a rating system called the Unique Manuka Factors. For a product to get this rating, the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association tests for the markers that we’ve mentioned above. This ensures you that the product you’re getting is a genuine Manuka honey and not just regular honey with added MGO.
While there are no standards that define what “raw” honey is, you can think of it as a product that undergoes very little processing. At the same time, it shouldn’t contain other additives in it. Manuka honey does still go under processing in order to remove other hive components such as wax but is considered a raw form of honey.
What’s the Difference Between Regular Honey and Manuka Honey
First of all, you can differentiate Manuka honey from your regular or commercial store-bought honey from looking at its color. Manuka honey has a darker color, and, at the same time, it is thicker in its consistency.
If you tried mixing it in or spreading it out, Manuka is much harder to dissolve or spread out. You can also notice that commercial honey has a more even, lighter color and a smoother, thinner texture. Regular honey looks like a typical syrup, while Manuka honey is closer to caramel.
Manuka honey’s antibacterial and antimicrobial properties is also one of the main reasons that set it apart from regular honey. MGO or methylglyoxal is naturally occurring in this type of honey and is related to the properties we’ve previously mentioned.
Manuka honey is well known for its UMF rating. This is also the same rating that you’ll typically see on its packaging. The UMF rating is also related to the antibacterial effect of the honey. Think of this as the SPF number if you are shopping for sunscreens. Therefore, if the product has a high UMF rating, then it’s believed that it has higher antibacterial effects. Of course, commercial honey, on the other hand, doesn’t have a UMF rating.
What are the Benefits of Manuka Honey?
Wound Healing and Antimicrobial Properties
Because of the UMF rating, you can assume that Manuka honey has a lot of health benefits. This is why most people are willing to purchase it even at a higher price than most regular honey products in the market. Right off the bat, the honey’s antimicrobial properties are helpful for healing wounds. In fact, the USDA has actually approved the use of this product as a treatment for wounds!
Anti-Inflammatory and Pain Relief
The high sugar and low pH also inhibits microbial growth to prevent further infection. Another factor that helps with Manuka honey’s wound healing properties is the fact that it also enhances tissue regeneration. This is why some people use it to relieve mouth ulcers, sore throat, sore gums, and even indigestion. There are even studies where it is used for healing burns and relieving the pain and inflammation from these injuries.
Other than mouth ulcers, you might also have heard of Manuka honey as a treatment for stomach ulcers. This is a common illness, which is why those suffering from it are always seeking natural treatment. Again, the antibacterial and wound healing property of Manuka honey can help treat the condition. At the same time, it can also prevent the occurrence of gastric ulcers.
As you can see, a trend among these benefits come from the fact that Manuka honey contains wound healing, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Conditions ranging from periodontal diseases, stomach pain, and digestive disorders can also benefit from Manuka honey.
Is Manuka Honey Worth the Price?
If you compare the price tags of regular honey to Manuka honey, you’ll surely see a difference. Of course, if you’re a skeptic, you might consider the much cheaper alternative. Manuka honey is sourced from New Zealand, and this is also the reason why it has a higher price.
The Manuka plant itself has a limited crop production, in addition to being a weather-sensitive crop. Therefore, everything involved in harvesting Manuka honey cost more resources and planning. Not to mention, the hives of bees pollinating this plant can sometimes be only accessed via a helicopter ride. All these factors lead to Manuka honey being much more expensive to produce compared to other types of honey.
But what really makes manuka honey worth the cost is the benefits it can have on your skin when utilized as a natural skin care ingredient! From anti-aging to acne treating, manuka honey can literally do it all when it comes to achieving healthy, clear, glowing skin. If you’re not convinced, visit Wild Naturals and see just how potent manuka honey in skin care products is!