Frequently asked questions

Please read our FAQ before sending us a message.

What is UMF®?

UMF® Manuka honey guarantees a Non Peroxide Activity.

This is measured against a standard Phenol (antiseptic/anti-bacterial) solution to measure the strength of the Non Peroxide activity against Phenol. Therefore, UMF® 20+ guarantees antibacterial Non Peroxide Activity (UMF®) level of at least 20.

The plus symbol after the UMF level means that the Manuka honey has a strength equal to or greater than the level displayed.

The UMF® (Unique Manuka Factor) trademark was established by the Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) to highlight the difference between honey’s that have reached a specified level of UMF® antibacterial activity.

Not all Manuka Honeys are UMF® rated – only those which have been independently tested and verified by a laboratory licensed by AMHA are given a UMF® rating.

The UMF® rating reflects the amount of tested antibacterial activity in the honey. Genuine UMF® Manuka honey complies with all five of the following criteria:

• It has the trademark UMF® clearly stated on the label

• It is packed into jars and labelled in New Zealand.

• It is produced by a New Zealand company licensed to use the trademark UMF®.

• It has the producer’s name and UMF® licence number on the label.

• It has a rating of UMF® 5 or more. Manuka honey not packed in New Zealand cannot display the UMF® logo.

• 0 – 4: Not detectable – therefore cannot display the UMF® logo

• 5 – 9: General wellbeing

• 10 – 14: Suitable for therapeutic usage

• 15 and higher: Superior levels with very high activity levels for therapeutic usage

Not all Manuka honey is the same and not all actually contains the additional unique antibacterial component that its reputation is based on, the UMF® quality standard acts as your guarantee and you can be confident that you are getting the genuine product.

The brands that measure ‘total activity’ and include hydrogen peroxide activity are misleading when compared to the UMF® rating. The stronger strengths of 20+ have a tendency to run out around June/July each year which pushes the price higher.

Generally, price of the slightly lower strengths 10+/16+ will be more stable throughout the year.

The UMF® quality standard acts as your guarantee and you can be confident that you are getting the genuine product. The brands that measure ‘total activity’ and include hydrogen peroxide activity are misleading when compared to the UMF® rating.

The registered trade mark UMF® is a guarantee that the honey being sold has the special non-peroxide antibacterial activity to the level indicated on the label and that it has been produced and manufactured in accordance with the rigorous quality standards represented by the UMF® mark.

This guarantee applies only to honey produced by companies in New Zealand licensed to use the UMF® mark and requires that the honey is packed and labelled in New Zealand. Genuine UMF® complies with the following criteria

• t has the trademark UMF® clearly stated on the label • It is packed into jars and labelled in New Zealand.

• It is produced by a New Zealand company licensed to use the trademark UMF®.

• It has the producer’s name and UMF® licence number on the label.

• It has a rating of UMF® 5 or more. Manuka honey not packed in New Zealand cannot display the UMF® logo. .

Why does Manuka honey's have different colour and textures?

Honey is a natural product influenced by seasonal and regional conditions. Some areas produce paler honey than others. Like a good wine, honey will grow in flavour and darken with age.

How is Manuka honey produced?

UMF rated Active Manuka Honey is produced by honey bees from the flowers of the manuka bush (leptospermum scoparium) which grows uncultivated throughout New Zealand. Manuka Honey and its Australian cousin leptospermum polygalifolium, which also has a useful antibacterial action, are the only honeys available for purchase which is tested and verified for their antibacterial activity.

Manuka Honey has a low level of viscosity. Often ordinary honeys are extracted from the combe with the assistance of heating. Heat unfortunately has the effect of degrading some of the qualities of honey although with Manuka honey the UMF strength is not affected. Nonetheless, such a precious natural resource is normally extracted from the honeycombe with the use of special centrifuge machinery avoiding the need for heating.

Honey combs are loaded into centrifuge machines that spin the contents causing the honey to separate from the waxy comb. This video footage, available on YouTube, shows the extraction techniques. This process retains the natural qualities of the honey.

What are the benefits of Manuka Honey?

It supports the body’s own immune defences, can help soothe the throat and can assist digestive health. It is also believed that it helps the body’s inner balance and is a source of healthy phenolic antioxidants.

What medical conditions can be relieved by Manuka honey?
  • Sore throats and throat infections
  • Intolerance reactions: IBS & Crohn’s disease
  • Stomach, bowel & digestion conditions
  • Joint inflammation
  • Skin conditions / burns
What is the storage life for Manuka honey?

As long as it is stored properly and not exposed to too much heat, Manuka honey will be good for several years. Some products that are mixtures of Manuka honey and something else may well expire earlier.

 For internal purposes, it is generally recommended to take 1-2 teaspoons half an hour before meals. It is down to your circumstances how often you take it: more often for an immediate issue, less often if it is not so severe. It often comes down to some common sense on how much to take.

Can Manuka honey help for cancer?

This is always a sensitive subject. It is important to state NO: Manuka honey will not help fight cancer. There is currently no supporting evidence that it does and this should be made clear. Where some people appear to have got confused is with some media reports about it being used by cancer patients, for example at the Christie Hospital in Manchester.

However these cases are where Manuka honey may help people with some of the effects of having cancer. In the Christie Hospital case, they have been using Manuka honey to aid the healing of surgery of throat cancer patients. In other cases, if people have a poor digestive system, then any boost to their digestive system will in turn aid their body to better help itself and deal with the effects of their situation. This is separate from fighting the actual cancer for which there is no current evidence showing Manuka honey as being useful.

Can Manuka honey used for cuts and scrapes?

For external purposes, it is best to use a specialist sterilised product (e.g. Irradiated Honey). Apply the irradiated honey directly to the wound area and, if using a dressing over the top to prevent sticky contact with clothing (use as non-absorbent a dressing as possible, add a little to the inside of the dressing before applying. The dressing can be left in place for up to 7 days, however if the wound is server it can remain longer.

How do I use medical honey on burns?

All burns should be first cooled with water according to standard first aid protocols. Once cooling measures are complete, the burn should be assessed and medical attention sought if the burn is deep, large or over critical areas such as the face, genitals or over joints.

Medical honey (irradiated honey) can then be applied to a wound and covered with an absorbent, non-adherent dressing. If the burn is on the face, then the ointment is easier to apply because it has a thicker consistency and will not run as easily. Burns may have much higher levels of exudate (wound fluid) than many other types of wounds. When using medical honey products which draw wound fluid into the dressing and appear to increase drainage of wound fluid, you might have to change the dressing more than once a day in the first few days of the burn.

 

How often should I change the dressing on my wound?

Reapplication and dressing changes should be carried out daily or as directed by a healthcare professional. If there is wound fluid present, more frequent reapplication of the product and changes of dressing may be required. The maximum length of time for which the dressing may be left in place is 7 days.

What products are best for Eczema and dermatitis?

We recommend the 16+ and 18+ Active Manuka honey for Eczema and other skin complaints