Where does Manuka Honey come from?
Manuka honey comes from the primary forests of New Zealand. It has been used in traditional Maori medicine for centuries. "Manuka" is actually a name given to the plant by the Maoris.
Manuka is a wild shrub of the myrtaceae family, widely distributed in New Zealand, Australia and Tasmania. It is very resistant to harsh conditions. It is at the beginning of the summer (from November to January in this part of the world), that manuka flowers. It is adorned with pretty white flowers that are particularly fragrant: bees love them.
Manuka is traditionally used by the Maoris as a decoction - leaves and flowers - for people suffering from respiratory or urinary problems, but also against rheumatism.
Today, manuka is also widely known as "tea-tree" for its essential oil, which is particularly well known for treating acne.
What are the benefits of Manuka Honey?
All honeys have anti-bacterial and antibiotic properties largely due to the fact that they contain hydrogen peroxide.
Manuka is effective against many strains of bacteria. It helps to heal wounds and may even act as a natural antibiotic.
Science has validated its therapeutic properties which help to fight against the most resistant bacteria (e.g. Staphylococcus aureus - Helicobacter pylori - Streptococcus...). As it contains no hydrogen peroxide or glucose oxidase, the power of Manuka honey to fight bacteria is very high.
What are the UMF and IAA benchmarks?
Professor Peter Molan (researcher at the University of Waikato) has coined the acronym UMF (Unique Manuka Factor or Unique Manuka Properties) to define the unidentified active properties of Manuka honey and not attributable to the properties of hydrogen peroxide which is common to other honeys. The UMF benchmark is a comparison of the level of activity of honey against Phenol, which is a detergent. The UMF and IAA benchmarks indicated the approximate activity level of honey, at a time when its active molecule was not yet known.
What is the MGO marker?
Methylglioxal is the active molecule in manuka honey which gives it its many benefits.
The label that allows you to know the exact quantity of methylglioxal per kilo is the MGO label, it is an official benchmark.
The higher the MGO concentration, the more antibacterial action it will have.
The different MGO levels according to use:
100 +: food, daily and preventive use
400 +: use to heal wounds, burns, coughs, bronchitis, angina, mouth ulcers...
800 +: use in hospitals, helico bacter coli
What does Manuka Honey taste and feel like?
In addition to its excellent health benefits, Manuka honey has a very special taste and texture.
It is very creamy, smooth and does not crystallise. Its taste is reminiscent of eucalyptus with a hint of caramel.
It is delicious. In view of its price, it is a honey that we recommend for its health benefits. Many other honeys, more affordable, from France are also delicious ;)
Read our article on thyme honey and healing!
It is a rare and exceptional honey.
How to use manuka honey?
We recommend consuming manuka honey with a teaspoon to retain its therapeutic properties. Do not immerse it in hot water, such as tea, as the heat will kill the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal benefits of the honey.
During the winter months when our immune system is under strain, consume a maximum of one to two teaspoons per day.
Manuka honey can also be applied topically to the skin as an ointment to heal burns, wounds, sores or pimples. Always seek medical advice before applying it!
It is also frequently used in the veterinary field.
How to choose your Manuka honey?
Ensure it is authentic
Check that the honey has been harvested and jarred in New Zealand.
Check that the name of the producer is stated. The producer's membership number or 'RMP Code' should be stated.
Check that the MGO level (or references to MG) is stated and above 100mg/kg.
Choose a trusted brand
At Miel Factory, we offer Manuka Watson & Son honey. This honey company was founded by the Watson family in Wairarapa and is now owned by Ngai Tahu who are the leading Maori iwi in the South Island of New Zealand. Watson & Son has become a world renowned, coveted brand known for the purity and high quality of its Manuka honey.
We have chosen to bring you Watson & Son honeys because they are as respectful of the land as they are of the bees and the people involved in the manufacturing process. Their hive sites are hand selected in the most remote and unspoilt areas of New Zealand, where native Manuka trees are abundant. Respectful and ethical harvesting practices and minimal processing and intervention effectively guarantee the authenticity and superior quality of their Manuka honey.
Their Manuka honey is graded and certified by independent laboratory testing to ensure it meets the strict standards required for New Zealand honey. Watson & Son use MGO (Methylgloxal) and their own MGS (Molan Gold Standard) in their grading of Manuka Honey, so you can buy with confidence knowing the readings are accurate.