In New Zealand we understand there are two trees which produce Manuka and in Australia there’s 87 or so species that produce honey which is considered Manuka. The word Manuka is native in Maori and some indigenous Australian languages. The word Manuka in a honey context really means antibacterial honey. That is honey that literally kills bacteria in laboratory tests. All other honey that is authentically real honey and not overseas syrup envelops bacteria by removing the moisture. However, while the difference between killing bacteria and enveloping bacteria doesn’t sound huge, it matters a lot in a hospital setting. We’re told anecdotally Manuka is reputed to kill off golden staph and other nasties that can’t be healed. Our view is that much of the Manuka on the planet is factory made and their website’s and labels always look beautiful but if you ask those selling for three things they will struggle.
Ask for: 1) where exactly was it produced, 2) who the beekeeper is, and 3) show me the test results…and it’s unlikely your supermarket or your health food shop will be able to provide this irrespective of what they claim the rating to be.
We are told up to 4 in 5 jars aren’t real as there aren’t enough producers to satisfy demand. The ratings are made more complex because there’s two systems ‘umf’ owned by a group of New Zealand beekeepers NZ and ‘mgo’ which is an international standard both measuring different things.