The World’s Best Manuka Honey Is Back! February 23 2021
At San Diego Honey Company, we believe in continually searching the globe to find the best selection of gourmet honey that the world has to offer. No collection of world class honey would be complete without the famous wonder honey out of New Zealand. We are excited and pleased to now add Manuka Honey to our lineup!
Unlike the rest of our delicious local raw San Diego honey, our Manuka Honey comes to us from the far side of the world and it features many unique attributes and a wide variety of uses that have made it highly sought after for it’s taste, beautifying effects and healing properties. Read on to learn more about this unique honey, how it is used, and about Wedderspoon, our favorite brand of Manuka honey.
What is Manuka Honey?
Manuka is a word used by the indigenous people of New Zealand (Maori) to refer to a special medicinal flower that is native to the rolling hills of the country’s beautiful landscapes. Each year, millions of small-but-mighty honey bees set out to work, with an insatiable hankering for the sweet nectar from the pink and fuchsia Manuka blossoms that bloom for less than a short six weeks annually. The unique Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium, if you’re fancy) is the lifeblood of their operation and when carried back to the hives, the bees work their magic and turn the nectar into the amazing honey that’s being quickly discovered and loved around the world.
All raw honey has antibacterial qualities, however Manuka takes this health benefit to another level. When Manuka honey comes in contact with the skin or internal tissues of the human body, not only does it produce healthy levels of hydrogen peroxide, this magic honey also contains another detoxifying substance, methylglyoxal (MG). The MG comes from the conversion of another natural chemical compound - dihydroxyacetone - that is found in high concentration in the nectar of Manuka flowers. The higher the concentration of MG in Manuka honey, the stronger the antibiotic effect. These natural properties of Manuka honey yield some amazing unique health benefits that you won’t find in other honeys.
What Is Manuka Honey Good For?
There is no doubt that Manuka honey is a miraculous food. It has been credited with healing many ailments from acne to gingivitis, bodily wounds and much more. We have heard of great results as a beauty product when used in facemasks, improved workouts when taken beforehand for an energy boost, and even in home wellness remedies. However, here at San Diego Honey Co. we prefer to focus on the benefits that have scientific studies to prove the effectiveness.
Science has proven that Manuka honey is effective against h-pylori, the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and MRSA*. There are also studies demonstrating its usefulness in assisting with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other gut issues*. Arguably, though, Manuka honey is best known for its use on wounds and burns, as a major review of evidence by The Cochrane Review notes that applying honey to wounds may shorten healing times in mild burns compared with traditional dressings*.
One of the most exciting Manuka studies was conducted by the University of Sydney* and proved that medical grade Manuka honey killed nearly every type of bacteria it was exposed to and, unlike antibiotics, did not create resistance in the bacteria. Given that one of the major health issues of our time is the overuse of antibiotics leading to the creation of drug resistant bacteria or 'superbugs', this natural antibiotic property of Manuka has caused many to start paying attention and to try it for themselves.
* Although we cite scientific studies here, we encourage anyone with a medical condition to discuss use of Manuka honey as a medical treatment with their doctor beforehand.
Does Manuka Honey have any side effects or health concerns?
Although uncommon, it is important to note potential side effects from its use, particularly with those that may have underlying medical conditions. The possible side effects and health advisories regarding the use of Manuka honey are:
- Allergic reaction in people who are allergic to bees
- Raw honey should not be given to infants under 1 year of age
- Risk of a rise in blood sugar for diabetics
- Possible interaction with certain chemotherapy drugs due to the antibacterial effect of Manuka honey
How To Use Manuka Honey
Aside from being delicious with a huge range of foods, beverages or on its own, Manuka honey is deserving of being called a ‘superfood’ due to its wide range of additional medical benefits. Manuka honey is said to be effective for treating everything from a sore throat to clearing up blemishes on your skin.
Benefits of Manuka honey include:
- Helping heal cuts and scrapes
- Clearing infections
- Easing stomach aches
- Improving digestion
- Boosting the immune system
- Providing energy
Manuka Honey For Skin Care
Manuka honey may be able to reduce inflammation and irritation associated with acne. Simply apply Manuka honey directly to the skin, covering the affected area with a thin layer of honey.
You should leave this Manuka honey mask on for at least 15 minutes, although you may have better results if you leave the mask on for one hour or more.
You may also be able to use Manuka honey to soothe eczema. According to research presented on HealWithFood.org, you may find success using a mixture of equal parts honey, olive oil, and beeswax. It’s recommended that you apply the mixture three times a day.
How to Eat Manuka Honey For Digestion and Immunology Benefits
To reap the digestive benefits of Manuka honey, you should eat 1 to 2 tablespoons of it each day. You can eat it as pure honey or add it to your favorite foods.
If you’d like to incorporate Manuka honey into your meal plan, consider spreading it onto a slice of whole-grain toast or adding it to yogurt. Tea of coffee drinkers can also add a spoonful to their mug to sweeten it up.
If you have a sore throat or if you just want to be proactive, try taking 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of Manuka honey each day. If you aren’t sick, this may help boost your immune system and in preventing you from getting sick. If you already have a sore throat, it may help ease your symptoms.
Healing Wounds With Manuka Honey
You may be able to treat minor scrapes and cuts with Manuka honey. However, use common sense, as severe or deep cuts should be assessed by your doctor, as stitches or other antibiotic care may be necessary.
You should be able to determine the amount of honey necessary by assessing the amount of fluids leaking from the wound. The more leakage, the more honey you should use to dress the area.
To use Manuka honey to treat a wound, apply the honey to a bandage. Then apply the bandage to the wound. You shouldn’t apply the honey directly to the wound. You may also need to change the bandage and apply honey more frequently as excessive leakage can dilute the honey and reduce its effects.
Using sealed or waterproof dressing may help keep the honey from spreading outside of the bandaged area.
How To Choose Manuka Honey
It is important to understand that not all Manuka honey is the same and many imitators have flown onto the scene with its increasing popularity. The single best way to know if a Manuka honey is genuine is to make sure the label says “packed in New Zealand” or it shows the “FernMark Seal” (an even higher stamp of authenticity for products produced in New Zealand) on the package – this guarantees the honey was tested before export, is authentic, and meets the global MPI Manuka Honey Standards.
As of 2018, all Manuka honey packed in jars and exported from New Zealand is now required to be tested to show it meets the MPI Manuka Honey Standard before it can lawfully be labelled as Manuka.
TWO TYPES OF MANUKA HONEY: MONOFLORAL AND MULTIFLORAL
Monofloral Manuka is a honey that is "wholly or mostly" from the Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) plant. As bees have a considerable flight distance and need variety in their diet, a honey will never be 100% from one nectar source.
Multifloral Manuka is a honey blend that comes from a variety of plant sources, but has a significant amount from the Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) plant. The health benefits from Manuka will naturally be less concentrated in multifloral varieties.
UMF Certification and MGO Grading System for Manuka Honey
These commonly touted grading systems, while used effectively for marketing buzz, actually rely upon measuring isolated compounds within Manuka honey. These grading systems are inherently limited by the fact that the chemical testing captures data at only one moment of time, often disregarding the fact that the MGO compound has proven to be unstable over time and with temperature variation. Manuka honey is made up of a number of distinct components, elements, and micro-nutrients which work in harmony to produce this multifaceted superfood. Manuka is more powerful than the sum of its parts and to rely solely on this type of testing metric and certifications from organizations (UMF), is to not consider all the factors that make a high quality Manuka Honey.
Manuka honey manufacturers label their product with a unique Manuka factor (UMF) rating. This number describes the levels of MGO and a precursor, dihydroxyacetone. The higher the UMF number, the higher the level of these compounds. To get the most benefit, use a Manuka honey with a high UMF.
The range for UMF scoring is as follows:
- 0 to 4: an undetectable amount is present
- 5 to 9: low levels are present
- 10 to 15: useful levels are present
- 16: superior, high-grade levels are present
Unfortunately, as people are still gaining familiarity with Manuka, it means that some honey companies take advantage of narrow scientific claims to increase their commercial appeal and drive up the perceived value of their products by artificially increasing the MGO levels to their highest peaks for testing, before their eventual decline. While a high MGO or UMF rating might stir up initial interest, quality raw Manuka does not need to be manipulated for test scores and connoisseurs agree that natural Manuka Honey is preferred to keep the holistic health of customers as the highest priority.
WEDDERSPOON MANUKA HONEY IS DIFFERENT
Over years spent searching for the finest Manuka honey from the most desirable hives, we have become huge fans of Wedderspoon products. Unlike many of their competitors, Wedderspoon places emphasis on critical, yet oft overlooked, factors including live enzymes, pollen count, chemical/residue analysis, antioxidant levels, raw status, and various other phytochemical factors. Wedderspoon has proven time and again to be a trusted source for exceptional Manuka honey
Here are a few of the many reason why we support Wedderspoon over other Manuka honey hives and brands:
- Every batch is fully traceable from “Hive to Home”
- Raw & unpasteurized
- Non-GMO Project Verified
- Free of antibiotics, glyphosate & pesticides
- Produced and packed in New Zealand, home of true Manuka Honey
- Never subjected to high heat processing to retain maximum health benefits
- Contains zero preservatives, artificial ingredients, added sugars or shortcuts
- Naturally gluten free
- Guaranteed to be as close to freshly harvested perfection as possible, brimming with living enzymes & complex chemical compounds
- Independently tested to meet or exceed the Manuka standards set by the government of New Zealand
- Graded by the K-Factor Method which goes above and beyond the standard government (MPI) regulations for Manuka
Wedderspoon’s bee hives are nestled between the crystal waters of Lake Wakatipu and the majestic glaciers of Mt. Cook. Colorful wooden hives house hundreds of colonies of happy Wedderspoon bees.
Where To Buy Manuka Honey
San Diego Honey Company will transport you from one beautiful destination to another on the far side of the world, bringing you the best honey that New Zealand has to offer. Although Manuka honey can be sometimes be difficult to find, we have partnered with Wedderspoon to keep magical Manuka honey just a few clicks away and ready to ship right to your door at any time.
In addition to offering Wedderspoon Manuka honey, we are also proud to offer a variety of their other amazing Manuka products, including Propolis Throat Sprays, soothing Drops, and flavorful Honey Pops treats.
Journal of the Royal Society of medicine ;Cooper RA, Molan PC, Harding KG. Antibacterial activity of honey against strains of Staphylococcus aureua from infected wounds; J R Soc Med. Jun 1999;92(6):283-285.
Journal of Wound Care 2008, The impact of manuka honey dressings on the surface pH of chronic woulds, Gethin GT, Cowman S, Conroy RM. 2008 Jun;5(2):185-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-481X.2007.00424. Prakash, A., Medhi, B., Avti, P. K., Saikia, U. N., Pandhi, P. and Khanduja, K. L. (2008)
Effect of different doses of Manuka honey in experimentally induced inflammatory bowel disease in rats. Phytother. Res., 22: 1511–1519. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2523. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases October 2009, Volume 28, Issue 10. pp 1199-1208
** This post is for informational purposes only and not intended to offer medical advice or treatment advice for any medical condition or disease.