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The Mystique of Manuka, The Superhero of Honeys

The Mystique of Manuka, The Superhero of Honeys

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Manuka is often regarded as the “superhero of honeys.” It is a favorite of those who seek general antibacterial protection, immunity, health, and well-being. It is also used by some medical practitioners to treat burns and wounds as well as other skin conditions.

What’s the big deal with manuka, anyway? This article will give a brief overview, but there is so much more to know. This special honey is found in New Zealand and Australia and is produced by the bees which pollinate the Leptospermum scoparium bush (also known as the tea tree).

What Is MGO, and What Does It Do?
One of the primary antibacterial components of manuka honey is a compound called methylglyoxal (MGO), which comes from the conversion of another compound in manuka honey known as dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a high concentration of which is found in the nectar of manuka flowers.

The MGO level in manuka determines its function, strength, and purpose. MGO levels range from approximately 50+ MGO to a very rare, potent, and medical-grade 2000+ MGO. Other scales indicate the concentration of methylglyoxal—NPA and UMF. These grading systems are like the MGO measures but range from 2+ to 34+. For this article, I’ll reference the MGO scale.

Those in the range from 50+ to 250+ MGO are considered “table grade” but promote well-being, immunity, and healthy skin. Many people take this range as a “maintenance dose,” putting it in their smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt. And, of course, its caramel-like taste is delicious straight from the jar!

Moving up the MGO scale, the properties of manuka are increasingly therapeutic. The range from 300–450+ MGO is considered medicinal/therapeutic strength, while the range from approximately 450+ MGO through about 850+ MGO is considered high medicinal strength. This level of MGO treats gut health, provides oral care, and is used to fight colds and flu, sore throats and coughs, in addition to having the features of the 50+–250+ range.

The super-concentrated range from about 900+ MGO to 2000+ MGO is considered superior strength/medical grade and is often used by medical professionals to treat burns, wounds, ulcers, and infections. Remember as you read about manuka that there are many reports, web posts, and articles about the MGO scale – you will find a wide range of opinions about where each concentration’s benefits start and stop and the recommended dosage.

At Grand Central Honey, we carry four MGO levels of manuka: 125+, 425+, 725+, and 1025+ MGO. This range is broad enough for any user to find the right one for their needs. We always advise our customers interested in trying manuka to check with their healthcare professional to ensure it is suitable for them.

Other Uses of Manuka Honey
The uses of manuka go even further. Many skincare lines use manuka as their base, as do first-aid products such as manuka bandages, burn salves, foot treatments, shampoos, and conditioners. Grand Central Honey also carries bandages, skin creams, and a burn salve made with manuka. This salve saved me from the maddening itch on my leg where a few rogue no-see-ums had chowed down. I tried some of the salve, and voila! My itching stopped.

Customers also swear by the relief they get for sore throats and hoarseness from manuka. We have throat sprays and manuka lozenges for this function. In fact, a local newscaster comes in to purchase these because their speaking voice is so vital to their work.

If you decide to try manuka, we would be happy to introduce you. We look forward to seeing you at Grand Central Honey soon!!

Cindy McCartney, owner of Grand Central Honey, invites you to experience a truly interactive, informative, and delicious experience with some fun tastings. Everything in the store is dedicated to the amazing contributions honeybees make to our world by pollinating our food sources. Grand Central Honey vets each brand they carry to ensure customers are buying pure honey. They are located in Naples at 4444 Tamiami Trail N., Suite 2, and open 11 am to around 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday.

Visit: grandcentralhoney.com and find them on Instagram and Facebook.