Sunday, May 24, 2009
The Manuka factor - honey from NZ manuka tree...
The Manuka factor - honey from the NZ manuka tree...
First published at Qassia:
Honey made by bees from the nectar of New Zealand's manuka tree, leptospermum scoparium, contains an antibacterial property not found in other honeys.
Honey from the Australian tree leptospermum polygalifollum, or jelly bush, also has this property.
The property has become known as Unique Manuka Factor, UMF, and the honey as active manuka honey.
One of the compounds identified in this particular honey is metylglyxol, although it appears that the antibacterial property relies on the interaction of this compound with other elements in the honey.
The quantity of UMF in manuka honey varies.
Research by Waikato University in New Zealand's North Island, suggests its antibacterial activity is about twice as effective as other honey against Eschericihia co;i and Enteroocci, common causes of infections in wounds. It ismuch more effective than other honey against Helicobacter pylori, a common cause of peptic ulcers.
The University says the evidence that Active Manuka honey is more effective than other honey is not conclusive however. Not quite a miracle, but pretty close to it!
The intense flavour of dark manuka honey was once so disliked it was added to cow feed or simply washed away.
Today it earns such a premium on the export market that fake manuka honey has been a serious problem - industry sources say twice as much manuka honey is sold than produced in New Zealand.
A real health food.