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Manuka Honey, also known as ‘Liquid Gold,’ is renowned for its unique and rare medicinal properties that set it apart from other types of honey. In a previous blog post on About Manuka Honey, we discussed the advantages and benefits of Manuka Honey and why it is often more expensive than other varieties.
Now, the question arises: how do you choose the right Manuka Honey? With factors such as UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) levels and MGO gradings to consider, it can be overwhelming to select the right jar of Manuka Honey for your specific needs. In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know to make an informed choice.
Which is the Best Manuka Honey?
Manuka Honey comes in various markings, classifications, and gradings. While some may be labeled as ‘High Quality’ and others as ‘Low Quality,’ it doesn’t necessarily mean that ‘High Quality’ is always better. Each type of Manuka Honey has its own set of medicinal properties and qualities that are effective for specific uses.
For example, higher-grade Manuka Honey may have stronger antibacterial properties, but that doesn’t mean it is always superior. Lower-grade Manuka Honey may be more suitable for regular consumption in food, beverages, and beauty products, where the antibacterial property is not the primary concern.
However, it’s important to note that while you can substitute a higher-grade Manuka Honey for a lower grade, you cannot do the opposite. To ensure you make the right choice, consider the following factors:
- What is your intended usage?
- Which grading system should you consider?
- What quality grade is best suited for your intended usage?
To make an informed decision, let’s delve into the various grading systems used for Manuka Honey.
Manuka Honey Grading System
Manuka Honey is classified and graded using multiple systems. When purchasing a jar of Manuka Honey, it’s important to determine if the labeled grading system considers all the medicinal properties and qualities.
One common misconception is that UMF and KFactor are equivalent, but they are not. Some grading systems indicate medicinal qualities, while others do not. Make sure to choose a jar of Manuka Honey that has been thoroughly checked for medicinal grading.
The unique medicinal quality of Manuka Honey is often associated with the presence of NPA (non-peroxide activity), which sets it apart from other types of honey. While this factor may not be crucial for non-medical usage, it is essential to consider when purchasing Manuka Honey for medicinal purposes.
Here are four grading systems commonly found on Manuka Honey jars:
- UMF: Measures NPA
- KFactor: Does NOT measure NPA
- BioActive: Does NOT measure NPA
- MGO: Measures NPA
It’s worth noting that UMF and MGO are the most commonly used grading systems that measure NPA. UMF levels range from 5+ to 25+, while MGO grading starts at 30+ and can go as high as 800+. To compare the two grading systems, refer to the chart below:
| UMF | MGO |
| 20+ | 829 |
| 18+ | 692 |
| 15+ | 514 |
| 10+ | 261 |
| 5+ | 83 |
How to Choose a Manuka Honey Grade
After understanding the grading systems and factors to consider, you may wonder which Manuka Honey grade is best for you. While it’s crucial to choose a grade based on your intended usage, here are three general guidelines to follow:
Low-Grade Manuka Honey for Non-Medicinal Usage:
If you don’t require the antibacterial properties of Manuka Honey, you can opt for a low-grade jar. Consider UMF 5+ or MGO 30+, as well as any BioActive or KFactor Manuka Honey. However, remember that raw Manuka Honey retains all its antioxidants and enzymes.
Minimum UMF 10+ for Medicinal Usage:
Grades below UMF 10+ may not have sufficient antibacterial properties. Therefore, if you have a medical requirement for Manuka Honey, it’s advisable to choose UMF 10+ or higher.
Use a Higher UMF Grade for Diluted Usage:
Diluting Manuka Honey reduces its antibacterial properties. If you plan to mix the honey with food, beverages, or other ingredients, opt for a higher grade such as UMF 15+ or UMF 20+.
Medicinal vs. Non-Medicinal Uses of Manuka Honey
To further assist in your decision-making, we have categorized the uses of Manuka Honey into medicinal and non-medicinal categories based on one key factor:
Non-medicinal uses of Manuka Honey may not require its antibacterial properties. While the presence of antibacterial activity can be beneficial, it is not essential for these purposes. Examples include using Manuka Honey as a sweetener, in beauty products, or for overall digestive health.
Medicinal uses of Manuka Honey necessitate its antibacterial properties. If you require Manuka Honey for medical purposes, it’s crucial to consider its antibacterial activity and the presence of NPA. Some examples of medicinal uses include using Manuka Honey as a skin ointment for burns and wounds, treating acne and pimples, or improving overall digestive health.
Here are some medicinal and non-medicinal uses of Manuka Honey:
- Skin ointment for burns and wounds
- Treating bacterial infections
- Healing and soothing itchy or inflamed skin
- Improving overall digestive health
- Treating bacterial infection in the mouth
- Relieving sinus inflammation
- Treating dry eye by improving inflammation and lowering pH
- Inhibiting H. pylori infections
- Sweetener for desserts and beverages
- Anti-aging beauty product
- Fashion and beauty intake
- Skin moisturizer and hydration
Where to Buy Manuka Honey
Previously, Manuka Honey was a rare find, primarily available in New Zealand. However, it is now widely available in grocery stores, general stores, and online platforms worldwide. If you’re in the United States, you can find Manuka Honey at stores such as Costco, The Vitamin Shoppe, Kroger, Fresh Thyme, and Whole Foods Market.
Precautions and Side Effects
While Manuka Honey is known for its effectiveness and benefits, it’s important to exercise caution and not attempt to treat an illness without consulting a healthcare professional. If you have a bee allergy, it’s essential to avoid consuming Manuka Honey. Diabetic individuals should only consume Manuka Honey with their doctor’s approval. Additionally, certain medications may interact with Manuka Honey, especially for individuals undergoing chemotherapy. It’s crucial to consult your doctor or pharmacist to determine potential interactions and appropriate consumption.
Manuka Honey is now readily available both online and offline, making it easier to incorporate into your daily routine. To ensure authenticity and potency, pay attention to the UMF grading when choosing a high-quality product that can provide the desired results for your intended use. By following the tips and information provided above, you can make an informed decision and select the best Manuka Honey for your needs. Remember to consult a healthcare professional if you have any specific medical concerns or conditions.