A short article explaining the Manuka Honey UMF Rating
If you want to be sure that your Manuka Honey is packed with health benefits then you need to know your UMF from your elbow and, be able to understand the manuaka honey UMF rating on the label. This article will help you to make sure you’re buying the best Manuka Honey.
Honey has been used as a medicine for centuries. The ancient Greeks, for example, used specific types of honey for specific aliments. But, as is so often the case modern medical practice ignored this traditional ‘folk remedy’ in favour of mass produced drugs and antiseptics.
Professor Peter Molan of the University of Waikato, New Zealand has been researching the anti bacterial effect of honey for many years and this research led him to discover the unique properties of New Zealand Manuka Honeys. Honey varies enormously in its potency for medicinal use and Manuka Honey is no exception to this. To provide the consistent standards needed for medical use of Manuka Honey Professor Molan devised the Manuka Honey UMF rating.
The UMF rating (Unique Manuka Factor) is a measure of the specific antibacterial activity related to a particular (as yet unidentified) component of Manuka Honey. The higher the UMF the greater the anti bacterial activity of this specific component.
UMF rating is not compulsory but if the Manuka Honey is tested in qualifying laboratories the honey producer is allowed to use the specific rating given for the marketing and labelling of that particular batch of honey. The UMF rating is a registered trademark. Many Manuka Honeys claim to be active or carry a 16+ label (or similar) but the UMF standard (and the trademark) is currently the only worldwide standard for measuring the antibacterial potency of honey. So be sure your Manuka Honey carries the UMF trademark.
Generally Manuka Honey is not used medicinally if the UMF rating is less than 10. Some Manuka Honeys are fortified but natural Manuka honey with a UMF rating greater than 20 is rare. The ideal potency is between UMF 10 – 18.