New Zealand's active manuka honey is used as a natural product both internally and topically on the skin. Apitherapy, the name given to treatment with natural honey, has been used by many different cultures throughout history. Such uses are now being reconsidered by a modern world in light of new research into the properties and uses of active manuka honey.
What is known as 'Active' Manuka Honey has enjoyed growing acceptance by the academic and medical world in recent years, and reporting of the honey's unique properties has proliferated in the world's press and media.
Manuka honey comes from New Zealand where beekeepers set up their hives in wild uncultivted areas in which Manuka bushes grow. The bees gather nectar from the flowers of the Manuka bush, which is indigenous only to New Zealand. The honey making process is enriched by the pollution free environment of New Zealand, and certain harvests of Manuka Honey have attracted the gaze of the medicial and scientific community. Some of the Manuka Honey produced has been found to have some very special properties indeed.
It is only thanks to academic research, predominantly in the last decade, that we are now able to explain many of the incredible observed effects that certain specially selected and tested honeys can have.
Not all Manuka Honey is 'Active'
It is not as yet fully understood why only some Manuka honey has an antimicrobial property not shared by other honeys. This property is called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF®) antibacterial property.
The presence of this activity can be detected by laboratory testing, which is conducted by the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Honey that is tested and verified to have a level of 10 or more is given a UMF rating and is referred to as 'Active'.
Please note that any substances sold in the UK where a medical or therapeutic claim is made is regulated by the Medical and Healcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), an executive agency of the Department of Health. Because natural health treatments do not have MHRA product licences, medical claims cannot be made and this includes manuka honey products.
ManukaHoney.co.uk complies with the restrictions on claims that are required by the MHRA, but you should be aware that although manuka honey does not have a medicinal product licence, there is a large body of academic research that demonstrates its unusual abilities in delivering therapeutic treatments for a wide variety of conditions.
You can read about the properties of the honey in our Therapeutic uses section of the website and we also provide links to part of the large body of peer reviewed research papers in our Research articles section of the website.
Although manuka does not have a medicinal product licence (due to it being a non-patentable naturally occuring substance), it is nonetheless in widespread use in NHS Trusts where wound care professionals and doctors are increasingly embracing the powerful properties of the honey.
Part of this move to using medical grade UMF manuka honey has been thanks to the pioneering work of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand and also in extensive research conducted around the world. Furthermore, the emergence of dangerous antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria has sounded a wake up call to the medical community to consider natural substances with proven medical uses to be added to their armoury in fighting these strains.
The importance of the UMF rating system
Please take the time to read and understand the importance of the 'UMF' rating system for Manuka Honey. While Manuka Honey has received increasing press coverage, many journalists do not distinguish between ordinary Manuka Honey and Active Manuka Honey.
The UMF rating is your key indicator as to the strength of the antibacterial effect. A rating of 10 or more is considered to be suitable for therapeutic medical use. Such honey is referred to as 'active', although much ordinary Manuka Honey is still marketed as being active despite not having the required minimal rating.
The UMF rating is your guarantee that the honey has been tested and verified for its antibacterial activity by the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Our honey has a minimum UMF rating of 15.