Frequently Asked Questions about Manuka Honey

What is Manuka Honey?

Manukahoney is a monofloral honey and the result of bees utilizing the nectar of the manuka bush - leptospermum scoparium - also known as the tea tree.

The Maori (indigenous to New Zealand) have used different parts of the plant over generations to treat, digestive and gastro intestinal problems, bladder diseases, colds, skin diseases and wounds. The different parts are cooked into a brew, which is how it got its name tea tree.

A study at the University of Sydney found that Manuka Honey is not only more effective in killing bacteria than any other honey, but also prevents bacteria from building up any sort of resistance, like in the case of antibiotics.

The reason for its potency lies in the methyglyoxal concentration (MGO) that causes system failure in the bacteria long before they would be able to build up any resistances.

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Manuka honey as wound healing ointment

What are the benefits of Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey provides countless benefits through consumption as well as by external use. Manuka Honey significantly reduces inflammation in and outside of the body, improves dental health by reducing harmful oral bacteria, soothes a sore throat, and serves as a cough suppressant.

Improving deep sleep as well as to reduce seasonal allergic reactions is also attributed to some of Manuka Honey's health benefits.

In the US Manuka honey is even approved as a wound treatment option by the FDA. Apart from being as an effective ointment to improve wound healing, it also finds application for the successful treatment of different skin disorders. 

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What does NPA mean on Manuka Honey?

Although the unique ingredient in Manuka honey has not yet been isolated and investigated, Professor Molan decided to develop a unit of measurement which separated it into different strengths: the so-called non-peroxide activity (NPA), which assigns an equivalent value to disinfectant phenol solutions and makes Manuka honey unique compared to other varieties.

This means that Manuka honey with a Peter Molan Standard showing an NPA value of 10+ has an antibacterial effect equivalent to a ten-percent phenol solution. A value of 15+ is as strong as a 15-percent phenol solution, and so on.

Manuka honey laboratory examination
Manuka honey MGO and UMF table

What does MGO mean on Manuka Honey?

Real Manuka Honey is a rare premium product and is significantly more expensive than conventional honey. The potency of Manuka Honey is measured in MGO concentration or NPA Factor, meaning a higher rating equals a higher potency and scarcity.

For many years, unsuccessful attempts were made to identify the active ingredient in Manuka honey. In 2006, the answer to the question regarding this secret component was provided by the Dresden University of Technology. Under the leadership of Professor Thomas Henle, a research group at the Institute of Food Chemistry isolated the substance methylglyoxal (MGO), of which significant quantities could be found in Manuka honey.

The results showed that the concentration correlated heavily with the antibacterial properties based on the NPA scale (see chart).These two values and their relationship with one another are still used today to evaluate Manuka honey and its antibacterial properties. Madhu Honey works exclusively with MGO values since the current healthcare regulations do not permit comparisons with phenol solutions as per the NPA approach and the so-called Unique Manuka Factor (UMF).

Which MGO factor is right for me?

Manuka Honey MGO100+ concentration is high enough to treat all kinds of skin irritations and ofcourse a tasty daily treat, for anyone older than two years. 

Manuka Honey MGO250+ is already quite effective against colds and the treatment of sore throats.

Manuka Honey MGO400+ is the most commonly appreciated concentration and high enough to assist in fighting bad gut bacteria and inflammations. A spoon per day keeps the doctor away!

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