Manuka Honey

As I’ve mentioned before in previous blogs, honey is a pretty amazing product, with not only nutritional benefits, but topical and medicinal purposes as well. However, I’ve never zoned in on specific honeys, or more importantly, specific RAW honeys. *And the word RAW, plays a big role in when speaking about various foods and distinguishing one from another. Because when I say the word RAW when speaking about honey, I’m talking about non-pasteurized honey.

*Be careful with wording when it comes to various packaging or labeling of a food. It can make all the difference in choosing the right item for its benefits, than an unhealthy one, with a similar name.

Anyways, there are in fact over several hundred types of honey. Today’s blog is zoning in on a pretty spectacular one with many benefits. Enter- Raw Manuka honey Produced in New Zealand. This honey is incredibly unique and is a source of treatment for various illnesses ranging from gingivitis to stomach issues.

I heard about Manuka honey a few years ago. My oldest brother has Crohn’s disease, which is an incredibly painful GI condition. Whenever he would have “flare ups,” when the intestines would actually become inflamed, he would have awful stomach pains for days and even weeks. Finally, he saw a dietitian who recommended Manuka honey, 2 teaspoons a day before breakfast. No lie, within a month his symptoms lessened and he began experiencing less frequent flares.

I became incredibly curious with this miracle food, and set out to do my research on what else a couple of New Zealand bees can do for us. Turns out a lot.

Raw honey on its own, contains a wide array of nutritional value. Containing amino acids, calcium, iron, and zinc are just some of the nutrients found in this food. Manuka honey however, contains almost FOUR TIMES these nutrients.

Not only that, but it’s packed with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, it’s healing benefits in conditions like my brother’s.

Purchasing Manuka Honey

Buying the holy grail of honey isn’t as easy as you think. For starters, there’s a measuring method that is used when comparing Manuka honeys. Thinking tablespoons a la eye level? Nope. Actually, the measuring tool is called the Unique Manuka Factor, and it evaluates levels of anti bacterials and antioxidants in the honey. In other words, the higher the value, the better quality the honey.

0-4 Not detectable
5-9 Low grade
10-15 Medium grade
16+ Superior high grade

The grading is really important when purchasing. You want to make sure your honey has a higher UMF. Another thing to mention? The cost. Good quality Raw Manuka honey can cost anywhere from $25-32 for about 10oz, whereas just simple raw honey is as low as $6 for 12 oz.
Personally, I find a honey with a UMF between 10-15 perfectly fine for daily nutritional use. I would say for people with compromised immune systems or those that suffer from inflammatory conditions such as IBD, a higher grade of Manuka may be necessary. As I always end my blog posts, remember, you know yourself the best. Do your research. Do your testing, and always follow your own instincts.