Manuka Honey: Benefits, UMF Rating and MGO Level
Manuka honey is a natural product sourced from New Zealand. It is produced when bees pollinate the Leptospermum scoparium, also known as the manuka bush. The honey is then manufactured in high-quality standards, preserving its thick, nutritional, and antibacterial properties.
Manuka honey comes in two ratings, UMF and MGO. Honey producers choose between the two scores to mark the beneficial characteristics of this on-demand product.
Honey labels with UMF or MGO ratings are, therefore, lab tested to identify them as genuine manuka honey. The higher the grade, the higher the health benefits.
Image Credit: healthline.com
What is Manuka honey UMF rating?
Buyers choose UMF or MGO ratings to differentiate between premium and low-grade manuka honey.
The unique manuka factor (UMF) rating is the mark of high-grade manuka. The non-peroxide activity (NPA) makes the honey special. Any product labeled only ‘total activity’ or ‘peroxide activity,’ should be considered low-grade as it would not have the unique NPA property.
UMF ratings match the potency of the ideal NPA properties of honey. Therefore, honey labeled UMF 5+ has NPA between 5 and 9.9, while honey rated UMF 10+ has NPA ranking between 10.0 and 14.9.
The higher the NPA activity, the higher the UMF rating, and the better the quality of manuka honey.
UMF rating and potency
Manuka honey umf 20
UMF 16-20 are superior levels with high-quality antibacterial benefits and highly therapeutic.
Manuka honey umf 15
UMF 10+ to UMF15 have medium levels of activity for better health outcomes.
Manuka honey umf 10
UMF 5-10 are low-activity levels for general well-being and health support.
Anything below 10 is not very beneficial, but UMF 10+ carries antibacterial activity.
What is MGO in manuka honey?
MGO stands for methylglyoxal, also referred to as MG. It is measured as mg/kg (ppm). The higher the level of MGO, the higher the NPA activity, and the higher the UMF rating.
For instance, honey with MGO 514 or 550 is rated UMF 15+, while MGO 400 honey is ranked UMF 12+ or UMF 10+. On the contrary, MGO 829 honey is rated UMF 20+.
UMF scoring of 5-9 refers to low levels of MGO, while a ranking of 10-15 marks useful levels. 16+ rating is a mark of superior or high-grade MGO.
The higher the MGO, the higher the grade of manuka honey. To be considered potent for therapeutic effects, you should go for a minimum rating of 10 UMF.
Common FAQs on Manuka Honey
What is the difference between manuka honey and regular honey?
- Manuka honey is more potent than standard honey because it has higher levels of MGO. Unlike raw honey, manuka has special antimicrobial properties, making it bacteria resistant.
- The nutritional content of manuka is approximately 4 times that of regular flower honey.
- The presence of UMF also sets manuka apart from conventional kinds of honey.
- Therefore, it is useful in treating many health conditions, including skin blemishes and wounds.
Can you put manuka honey in tea?
Manuka honey can be taken off the spoon without diluting, or by adding it to cold or warm drinks. Note not to put it in boiling water as doing so would kill most of the honey’s active enzymes
For every 1-2 teaspoonful of manuka honey, add to a cup of tea, stir, and drink it cold or warm. The product acts as a sweetener in tea and can also be added to other daily routines easily.
Can I take manuka honey every day?
Yes, to gain from the digestive benefits of manuka honey, you should take 1-2 tablespoons of the product every day You can eat it directly without diluting, or you can add to your drinks or food.
Taking ½ to 1 tablespoon of manuka honey daily is right for your immune system, as well as to ease a sore throat.
Should manuka honey be refrigerated?
You do not have to refrigerate manuka honey because it has antibacterial properties, giving it a long shelf life at normal room temperature.
Storing the honey in the refrigerator would crystallize it, making it lose its natural flavor and taste. Instead, seal it tightly in its original bottle, in a cool, dry place, away from exposure to direct sunlight. Doing so can preserve your manuka for years or even decades.
Does Manuka honey expire?
No, honey does not rot or go bad. You can store it for thousands of years without spoiling.
During this time, it may change color or form into crystals, but its health benefits would remain intact. Be keen to keep it away from moisture.
Which grade works for what types of health condition?
- A 10+ or higher certification for UMF® Manuka honey indicates that the product is suitable for medical and therapeutic use. It carries beneficial compounds with antibacterial and health benefits for healing wounds and staph infections. It can also treat acne and scarring.
- For everyday health or energy boost, take manuka honey with a UMF rating of 10+ to 16+
- If you need extra body support or if you are suffering from a severe condition, then you should take more potent manuka with UMF 16+ rating.
Can diabetics eat honey?
While anyone above the age of one can eat manuka honey, people with diabetes should consult their doctor before consuming the product.
This honey can help to heal diabetic ulcers, but it is high in natural sugar. It can, therefore, affect blood sugar levels.
How do you take manuka honey for a cough?
The recommended dosage is 1 teaspoon 1-3 times per day. This product should not be given to infants under 1.
How do I use manuka honey for sinus infection?
Manuka honey dries out the moist biofilm built by sinus infections. Its antibacterial properties can penetrate the sinus chambers.
Add 1 spoonful into your drink to derive the best results.
Manuka Honey Benefits
1. Improves skin health
Inflammation, irritation, and other skin conditions associated with acne can be managed using manuka honey. You can treat the affected area by applying a thin layer of honey directly to the skin.
Leave the mask on for 15-60 minutes for effective results.
This product can also soothe eczema. A 2003 study suggested that applying an equal mixture of manuka honey, olive oil, and beeswax three times every day can help to alleviate atopic eczema.
Is Manuka honey good for staph infection?
Yes, this honey has strong effects against Staph A, the bacteria responsible for eczema.
2. Supports digestive health
Manuka honey gives you digestive benefits when taken daily, either directly or with food. You can spread it onto bread or add it to water, tea, and yoghurt.
3. Enhances immunity
Taking manuka honey each day can boost your immune system, preventing you from developing minor illnesses.
Standard honey has hydrogen peroxide, a compound produced from bee enzymes. Manuka honey is even more potent as it has MGO, a substance responsible for attacking germs.
The higher the MGO content, the more the antiviral and antibacterial properties in the honey.
4. Antibacterial effect and sore throats
Studies show that manuka honey can treat infections with a biofilm, a slippery layer of bacteria. This product has no microbial resistance; hence, it is a useful option against long-lasting infections, which defy antibiotic therapy.
Conditions, such as bed sores and skin conditions resulting from burns can be treated by dressing them with manuka honey.
Studies done on patients undergoing chemotherapy for neck and head cancer have shown that taking manuka honey helps to reduce the level of Streptococcus mutans. This bacteria causes sore throats.
Manuka honey is also responsible for reducing the harmful effect of oral bacteria, which enhances mucositis, a side effect of chemotherapy and radiation.
5. Wound care
This product is effective for treating minor cuts and scrapes due to its acidity and the presence of pH levels ranging between 3.2 and 4.5. The acidic properties help to promote healing. They also block the activity of enzymes, which dilute the effect of proteins and peptides responsible for body repair.
The high levels of sugar in manuka honey are also suitable for tissue protection, while the low moisture-content speeds up the healing process. It accelerates the process of drawing out bacteria-infested fluid in the wound.
You should apply the honey depending on the amount of fluid leaking from the injured part. The more the leakage, the more honey you should spread on the bandage.
You can use sealed or waterproof dressing to keep the manuka honey from being diluted or change the bandage frequently.
6. Can improve sleep
Taking manuka can help you sleep better as it releases the glycogen necessary for essential body functions when asleep. It also helps the body to release melatonin into the brain, promoting natural, deep restfulness.
It is, therefore, recommended that you take manuka honey with milk before going to bed.
7. Helps with seasonal allergies
A study evaluating the effect of honey and pollen on allergies indicated that the consumption of manuka regularly could ease seasonal allergy symptoms. The patients in the research reported a 60% drop in symptom score and 70% fewer days with severe symptoms.
The researchers also suggested that the use of manuka honey may lessen the need to use antihistamines by about 50%; hence, lower demand for medications.
8. Promotes oral health
It is essential to retain good oral bacteria for a healthy mouth. Manuka honey only attacks harmful oral bacteria, which could cause gum inflammation, plaque formation, and tooth decay.
Research has shown that taking meals with this honey thrice every day can reduce plaque and gingival bleeding.
Manuka honey is rich in nutrients and enzymes, but to guarantee the healing properties of this product, refrain from buying “active manuka honey” labels. Instead, look out for NPA or UMF rating or trademark on the front of the container.
The higher the MGO component, the better the therapeutic and health activity.
References : Noori S. Al-Waili (2003). Topical application of natural honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture for atopic dermatitis or psoriasis: partially controlled, single-blinded study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 11(4), 226-234.
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