As a born and raised Kiwi it wasn’t uncommon to find a jar of Manuka honey in the pantry at home. Mostly it was just slathered onto a piece of buttered toast without any thought about its health properties. All I knew was that it tasted damn good! These days it’s widely accepted as a wonder product for health and beauty. Kourtney Kardashian swears by it, feeding her kids a spoonful at the first sign of a sniffle, and she’s even a brand ambassador for natural skincare line Manuka Doctor Skincare.
Why so good?
What makes Manuka honey so superior to the regular run of the mill honey at the supermarket? Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the Manuka bush, and is one of the most unique and beneficial forms of honey in the world. The nutritional content is up to four times that of normal flower honeys. This is what is called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) – a global standard in identifying and measuring the antibacterial strength of Manuka. The UMF properties of Manuka are extremely stable and, unlike the hydrogen peroxide common in most honey, are not easily destroyed by heat, light and enzymes in the body. Added bonus? It’s utterly DELICIOUS.
How do you identify Manuka honey?
Genuine UMF Manuka honey will have these four things:
1. It will have a UMF trademark clearly labelled on the front of the container
2. It will be from a New Zealand UMF licensed company and labelled in New Zealand
3. It will have the UMF company name and license number on the label
4. It will have a UMF rating number of 5–16+. If it is labelled without the UMF or without a number, then it is not the genuine article
What UMF should you be using?
Here is an explanation of what Manuka honey UMF you should use:
0–4 — Non-therapeutic
4–9 — Maintenance level with general honey health benefits
10–14 — Supports natural healing and bacterial balance
15+ — Superior levels of phenols that are highly therapeutic but you shouldn’t exceed taking 1 tablespoon at a time
Benefits of Manuka honey
There are a myriad of uses for Manuka honey – either consumed or applied topically. Some of the top ones include:
- Helps with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
- Helps with low stomach acid and acid reflux
- Helps treat acne and eczema
- Combats staph infections (MRSA)
- Treats burns, wounds and ulcers
- Prevents tooth decay and gingivitis
- Aids irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease treatment
- Improves sore throats and immunity
- Helps with allergies
- Is a beauty treatment and health booster
- Improves sleep
If you’re interested in purchasing some Manuka honey it is readily available on the island. A few spots you can pick some up for yourself are Nice Price supermarket, the health food section of El Corte Ingles, El Rincón de las Hierbas in Porto Pi shopping complex (next to Carrefour), and BritVid in Santa Catalina.
Written by Ché Miller
About the author
Ché has always had a passion for hospitality having completed a conjoint Bachelors Degree in International Business and Hospitality Management. She has spent the last 15 years working in the hospitality industry. This passion led her to working in a premier health retreat in Australia in her twenties. There she found the knowledge she gained there inspired her to start living a healthier life.
Now Ché loves to combine her two favourite things, hospitality and wellbeing. She scours the island for the best nourishing restaurants, products and services. Ché has been living in Mallorca since early 2017, having moved from her home in New Zealand. She absolutely loves the energy of the island and everything it has to offer.
Ché’s other interests include ashtanga yoga, boxing, reading, writing, and really good coffee.