I’m researching Manuka Honey, as the next thing I want to add to our daily health regimen and medicine cabinet. I already know that raw honey is a powerful antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal, antibiotic…pretty much it’s a super hero in your cupboard! Manuka honey is even more powerful because it is especially high in the antibacterial component methylglyoxal. I want to upgrade to Manuka honey for immune boosting purposes; I’ll keep our local raw honey for eating (it’s relatively cheaper), but I’m hoping my children will take to Manuka honey better than spoonfuls of cod liver oil (although, I must say one of them actually loves her fish oil!).
Manuka honey is made from the flowers of the tea tree bush in New Zealand and Australia. It is touted to be great for fighting the bad bugs while supporting the good ones; great for coughs; aids digestion; heals wounds; improves skin; etc. etc. If you believe everything in the Amazon reviews you read, it can practically raise the dead!
I’ve waded through a lot of stuff on the internet, and there is of course not a lot of scientific literature dedicated to humble old honey. However, according to this Wikipedia article, the FDA approved it for “wound care” in 2007, and you can find a lot of articles and testimonials about how honey can cure MRSA infections. What I hadn’t heard before was that Manuka honey is also being used by individuals to treat their H. pylori infections - and curing their peptic ulcers (this study supports the anecdotal evidence).
Unfortunately, not everything that is labeled Manuka honey is, in fact, pure Manuka honey. New Zealand produces about 1,700 tons of it per year, and yet - magically! - about 10,000 tons of “Manuka honey” is consumed annually. Ack!
Luckily, there are two major testing entities that have pretty rigorous, albeit different, standards for the Manuka honey they approve. I’m still kind of wrapping my head around the “UMF vs. MGO” debate. You can read more about it here.
While I’m sure there are some beautiful “Little Guy” apiarists out there who can’t afford the cost of the special labeling club and still export pure Manuka honey to the States, there’s no way to sift through the hearsay on the internet to discern who’s telling the truth. If you’re a reader with a small Manuka farmer connection, and can verify the purity of the product, I would love to know!
In the mean time, here are some UMF and MGO certified brands that are carried by Amazon. [Remember that my Amazon links are affiliate links. Yay!]
I personally ordered the Comvita honey. I’m looking forward to its arrival, as my entire family is on the tail end of a nasty flu bug that left us all with juicy, hacking coughs.