– Honey has been used as a part of natural remedies since the times of the Ancient Greeks. In recent years, the benefits of a special form of honey called manuka have begun to be explored with promising results that indicate it could potentially be effective for addressing specific health conditions. We carry a range of manuka honey strengths from reputable brands at drugstore.com to help you add this natural remedy to your routine.
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Manuka honey is a type of honey that comes from New Zealand. It is there that a shrub called the manuka bush or Leptospermum scoparium grows naturally. The Maori indigenous peoples of the country have long used extracts from this tree as folk remedies due to the belief that it could heal infections. When bees gather nectar from the trees and then produce honey, the sweet, sticky substance has unique antibacterial properties, meaning it can limit the growth or destroy certain bacteria. Many different types of honey are weakly antibacterial, but manuka honey has been found in some studies to be far more potent than other types of honey in terms of its ability to fight bacteria.
What Is Manuka Honey Good For?
Because manuka honey exhibits antibacterial properties, it has become a folk remedy for many different conditions. Some people apply topical manuka honey to wounds in order to reduce the risk of infection and help the skin heal more quickly. It is also sometimes used topically to minimize the appearance of chronic skin conditions, such as acne and eczema. In some cases, people may take manuka honey by mouth, believing that it might help to fight various bacterial infections. While some studies concerning manuka honey have yielded positive results, there is still not enough evidence to prove that it is effective for any particular condition.
Understanding UMF and MGO Ratings
Manuka honey's antibacterial properties come from certain natural chemicals that it contains. Not all manuka honey products have the same concentration of these chemicals, so some products are stronger than others. To indicate what the antibacterial potential of a particular manuka honey product is, manufacturers label it with either a UMF or an MGO rating. Both of these ratings come from comparing the antibacterial properties of a sample of the honey to a standard disinfectant.
The MGO rating is obtained by comparing honey to methylglyoxal, while the Unique Manuka Factor or UMF rating is found using phenol. The higher the MGO or UMF factor, the more antibacterial activity the honey exhibits. Keep in mind that you can only use the ratings to determine how strong a product is compared to another one with the same type of rating. For example, honey with an MGO rating of 350 is not necessarily more potent than a honey with a UMF rating of 30; however, it would be more potent than a product with an MGO rating of 150.
If you're unsure which UMF or MGO strength is best suited for your needs, talk to your doctor before purchasing manuka honey. Your doctor should also advise you as to whether or not it is safe for you to use the honey topically or orally as a natural remedy.
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