Manuka honey is a unique type of honey produced only in New Zealand. The bees collect nectar specifically from manuka plants to make this honey. Most people use manuka honey therapeutically, either as a topical product or in small amounts as an oral supplement. If you're new to manuka honey, you may find that you have some of the following questions as you shop:
What Is UMF?
As you look at various containers of manuka honey, you will notice that they are marked with the abbreviation "UMF" followed by a number. UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor. This is an indicator of the amount of unique, manuka-produced proteins that manuka honey contains. The higher the number, the more proteins the honey contains, and the higher the quality it is assumed to be. It's good to buy honey with the highest UMF you can find, but keep in mind that honey with the highest UMF costs the most.
Is Manuka Honey Raw?
You'll see some manuka honey that is specifically labeled as "raw" and some that are not, but it should all be raw. Heating the honey would distort the proteins that make it therapeutic and beneficial. So, producers don't heat it. Check the finer print on bottles that don't explicitly say "raw," and you'll often find they indicate, in some way or another, that the honey has not been heat-treated.
Why Does Some Manuka Honey Come in Tubes?
It can be strange to see honey in tubes when you're used to buying it in jars and bottles. But manuka honey is so often used as a topical antiseptic product that some companies have begun selling it in tubes. This makes application easier. There's also less mess to worry about. If you do plan on putting manuka honey on your wounds, consider buying this honey in a tube.
Why Is Manuka Honey So Expensive?
Manuka honey is significantly more expensive than other honey, but there are good reasons for this. Manuka honey is only produced in a specific area in New Zealand, so it is in limited supply. Plus, it has to be harvested and packaged very carefully to avoid ruining its therapeutic qualities. A higher cost has to be charged to cover this labor.
Hopefully, this article has answered some of your questions about manuka honey. Enjoy the process of shopping for and using this unique product.
Contact a local manuka honey supplier, such as Hokitika Honey & Herb Co, to learn more.