It’s been just a few years since I discovered Manuka honey and I literally haven’t turned back! Especially after learning about all its benefits. It’s been known to New Zealand’s indigenous cultures for thousands of years and known as the healing honey. You’ve probably seen me incorporate Manuka into my routine and I’m constantly getting questions on why I like “Manuka” as opposed to other types of honey.
Not only does Manuka honey have more flavor (in my opinion), it is scientifically known to provide valuable benefits for the body. It’s something that I try to add regularly into my wellness routine, but more heavily during cold season.
Whenever I feel a cold or stuffy nose coming on, I make sure to get a good 1-2 servings of Manuka honey in some form everyday until I begin to feel back to my healthy self. Manuka honey contains Methylglyoxal (MGL), a compound that contains natural antibacterial properties and has been shown to be an effective treatment for nasal mucus (source). Further, it has soothing, anti-inflammatory properties, which provide almost instant relief for sore throat and coughs, while the methylglyoxal goes to work fighting bacteria.
MORE BENEFITS INCLUDE:
– Manuka stops the growth of sore throat-causing Strep bacteria– it’s no wonder why so many people benefit almost instantly from taking a spoonful of honey when they don’t feel well (12)
– Manuka honey contains more vitamins, minerals, amino acid and antioxidants than other types of honey
– Manuka honey contains antiviral properties which make it effective in treating cold and flu symptoms
– MGL methylglyoxal, has been shown to be effective for treatments against nasal mucus
– Reduces acid reflux, helps with stomach bacterial imbalances, soothes gastrointestinal problems
– Calming coughs and soothing sore throats
– Lessening severity of upper respiratory illnesses
Manuka honey producers use grading systems based on certain chemical markers unique to the manuka plant.
UMF stands for “Unique Manuka Factor” and is a grading system developed by the UMF Honey Association in New Zealand. The UMF Honey Association grants UMF licenses to Manuka honey manufacturers who meet their standards. The UMF rating system is used by a number of brands such as Manukora, Comvita, Kiva and Happy Valley (source). The ideal potency is between 10 and 18 UMF.
Used by Wedderspoon. Taken straight from Wedderspoon’s website, “To ensure the authenticity of Manuka Honey, New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has developed and released a standard to regulate Manuka Honey in New Zealand for worldwide export. Learn more about how we embrace the new regulation here. The K-factor methodology is comprised of five ‘key factors’ which focus on the holistic qualities of authentic Manuka Honey. It measures markers such as purity, live enzymes, over 250 chemical compounds, DHA, pollen count, pH levels, antioxidant levels and phenolic compounds. We don’t add or take away anything from our Manuka Honey.“
K-Factor 16: Monofloral Manuka, honey predominately from manuka plant
K-Factor 12: Multifloral Manuka, honey blend with a variety of plant sources, but a significant amount from the manuka plant.
Stands for methylglyoxal and sometimes referred to MG. It’s a major antibacterial & naturally occurring compound found in Manuka honey. When you see MGO on the jar, it means the MGO has been tested and a number has been determined. The higher the number, the better.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of Wedderspoon Manuka honeys. The taste is BEYOND. You can find at Whole Foods & Target and I’ve also linked below– they have a great range of products, including their honey drops. All of their honeys are free of antibiotics, glyphosate and pesticides, they are packaged in New Zealand and all traceable back to the master beekeeper who harvested and tended to the hive. More on Manuka honey standards HERE.
More ways to incorporate Manuka honey into your everyday life (or when under the weather):
- In a hot cup of soothing tea
- Unrefined sweetener
- Used to for treating minor wounds and burns
- Make a face mask with Manuka honey, some apple cider vinegar and let sit for 15 minutes before washing off
- Add to smoothies
- Take a tbsp-full each day on its own