Manuka Honey: The Natural Stuff of Healing

Manuka Honey: The Natural Stuff of Healing

Jo Nuske posted 27 Jun 2011

Manuka Honey

The Buzz is in the air. Manuka Honey has been rediscovered after 70 years as a natural enemy of some of our nastier germs. Being honey we can eat it and put in on our skin ( might be a bit sticky ) and there are a miriad of skin products with the manuka ingredient for everything from beauty to the treatment of ............

“Manuka Honey has natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. Most honey has enzymes that create hydrogen peroxide. However, Manuka Honey has a second antibacterial component which has become known as the Unique Manuka Factor or UMF. Scientists have reason to believe that the 2 antibacterial components have a synergistic action.”


So what makes it special? 

Therapeutically identified Manuka honey carries an enzyme called Methylglyoxal,which is the active ingredient to the honey. The discovery that Methylglyoxal is manuka honey's "active ingredient" was made by Professor Thomas Henle, head of the Institute of Food Chemistry at the Technical University of Dresden.

Some laboratory studies show Methylglyoxal has a cytotoxic effect (kills cancers), some show Methylglyoxal canmodify DNA and proteins, and others discuss a positive effect from the formation of chemo-protective compounds. So far no negative effect of Dietary Methylglyoxal has not been registered.  Futher studies are planned to clarify how Methylglyoxal reacts within the body.

Manuka Honey is only created in New Zealand because of a symbiotic relationship with the native Manuka bush calledLeptospermum scopariumcommonly called the Tea Tree but NOT the same plant that we derive tea tree oil from.  (It has been said in other sources that Manuka is grown in Tasmania and southern areas of Australia but I can't confirm this. Other honey manufacturers produce Manuka Honey products, but I believe that they have a sub-note that their honey comes from New Zealand.))

However not all Manuka honey carries this and therapeutic properties are rated so that only honey that has a +15 category carries healing properties.

My next question was : how do I get it?

Please note the distinction between a laboratory (Registered) tested rating and an unqualified rating

maunkka honey 5

From :

In New Zealand, there is a rating system that measures the antibacterial potency of Manuka Honey.  It is generally accepted that Manuka Honey with a UMF rating of 10 or higher is considered to be active and suitable for therapeutic use.  Manuka Honey with a UMF rating of 0-9 may not have the antibacterial potency to be effective against some medical conditions.  The higher the UMF rating, the higher the antibacterial potency.  However, Manuka Honey with an extraordinarily high UMF rating isn't desirable as it is very rare and extremely expensive (i.e. UMF 20+).  There have also been reports of some individuals experiencing sensitivity to Manuka Honey that is overly potent.  The ideal potency is between UMF 10-18.

When purchasing Manuka Honey, look for the UMF registered trademark on the label.  For example, if the label on the jar of Manuka Honey says "UMF® 16" then you can be sure that the honey was tested in a laboratory for its antibacterial potency.  If the label merely states "Active 16" it may mean that the company does not have the legal right to list the UMF trademark on the label which means that it's not regulated by the Active Manuka Honey Association in New Zealand.  Registered members of the AMHA are required to conduct laboratory tests on each bach of Manuka Honey to determine the potency.  Also look for a license number on the label.


Methylglyoxal, mg/kg

NPA Equivalent

MGO™ 100+ Manuka



MGO™ 250+ Manuka



MGO™ 400+ Manuka



MGO™ 550+ Manuka



Could I grow it in my garden?

According to differing reports the Manuka Bush can be grown in "Anywhere with a temperate to mediteranean climate & acid to neutral soil & it will thrive." However from the blogs I have read  bees may not necessarily choose to go to the Manuka Bush if other flowers are available. They have no choice in the acres of wild plants in New Zealand.

US Pharmaceutical Company Buys New Zealand Farms

Yet to be verified : from
"It might be interesting to note at this juncture that there's been a change in the major players in manuka honey in NZ since the US designated it "official" medicinal honey. Pfizer pharmaceuticals bought up a large percentage of the NZ producers. It's only going to get more expensive."

A possible link for more info

About the author

Jo Nuske
Serene Spirit since Mar, 2016

The spiritual awareness “industry” has boomed since we first launched this website in 2009. My personal journey of learning began 52 years ago when psychic awareness was considered a mental disease. I love the acceptance that now embraces the worl...

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