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Honey has been used for thousands of years for both its nutritional and medicinal benefits. The potency of these benefits varies based on the geographic location and the local flora available for the bees to pollinate. Everything they carry back to their hive contributes to the honey that is produced. One such potent flora is the Manuka Bush which grows wild in New Zealand.
Most honey variations are considered to be antibacterial and antimicrobial however; this is largely due to what is known as Peroxide Activity as it is derived from Hydrogen Peroxide. Although effective, Peroxide Activity is somewhat unstable in certain environmental conditions. Because honey contains the enzyme Glucose Oxidase (the enzyme responsible for the Peroxide Activity); which is rendered inactive by heat or light. The rate of this deactivation is directly proportionate to the amount of light and heat.Manuka honey often contains an added bonus. Along with the usual antibacterial and antimicrobial properties already in the honey, scientists have discovered an additional property unique to the Manuka. In Manuka, the antibacterial and antimicrobial activity appears to be up to 100 times stronger than in other honey varieties. Researchers have called this the Unique Manuka Factor or UMF. As the UMF is not affected by light and heat it is more stable and therefore more effective. Not all Manuka Honey contains this UMF factor and in those that do, the level of UMF in the honey varies based on location and purity.