Manuka honey is produced by bees who pollinate the flower of the Leptospermum scoparium, or manuka bush.
The manuka plant is native to New Zealand, and manuka honey contains over 2,000 individual natural compounds, twentyfold more than ordinary pasture-type honeys such as clover.
The antimicrobial and wound healing effects of manuka honey are extensively studied. The honey also exhibits anti-inflammatory, immune-modulatory and antioxidant bioactivities, which work together to give manuka honey its therapeutic effects.
Other compounds found in manuka honey are methylglyoxal, responsible for antimicrobial properties, and leptosperin, which may have anti-inflammatory benefits.
Manuka honey ranges from $2 per ounce to more than $14 per ounce, depending on its grade or Unique manuka factor level. The better the grade, the higher the price.
The pant is very rare. The flower is only open for 12 days and sometimes helicopters have to be used to collect this honey.
The UMFHA serves as the leading body behind the New Zealand honey industry. Licensed Manuka honey growers must comply with regulations to receive the UMF quality label en ensure their product meets the requirements.
These requirements include independent laboratory testing of product samples to confirm the presence of unique signature markers.
Many consume manuka honey for wellness reasons. However, many just like the thicker, creamier taste of manuka honey, which undergoes a creaming process.
The unique New Zealand flair has brought on an onslaught of controversy. The manuka plant goes by many other names, such as Tea Tree and Red Damask. The shrub is native to New Zealand, but other countries also seek to capitalize on this goldmine. New Zealand has taken Australia to court because New Zealand beekeepers don't want the Australian version to be called manuka honey.
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