Manuka honey is rich in antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and that makes it perfect for treating wounds.
Manuka honey is a product of New Zealand, and it has so many health applications. For instance, Manuka honey can help wounds heal faster.
It can kill bacteria and has anti-inflammatory properties. In this article, we will review five manuka quality honeys that are rich in medicinal value.
Below is a comparison table of manuka honeys you should consider:
|Product||UMf||Check on Amazon|
|Kiva Manuka Honey||20||check price here|
|Wild Cape Manuka Honey||10||check price here|
|Natural Solutions Manuka Honey||10||check price here|
|Comvita Manuka Honey||20||check price here|
|Bee’s Inn Manuka Honey||15||check price here|
Best Manuka Honey for Wounds Reviews
1. Kiva Manuka Honey – Independent Testing & Verifying
In New Zealand there is a wild, native flower known as the manuka flower which grows in the forests and hills and coastal areas. The nectar of the manuka flower has a rich concentration of methyglyoxal, a compound which brims with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory medicinal properties. Honey bees suck on this nectar and transfer the methylglyoxal and its therapeutic value into the honey they make in their hives: manuka honey.
You can trust in the authenticity of Kiva manuka honey because it has a UMF rating. UMF stands for Universal Manuka Factor and is a rating system put in place to verify the purity and quality of manuka honey – it indicates the concentration level of methylglyoxal in the honey. The minimum rating that medicinal manuka honey should have is UMF 10+ because that’s when it’s potent enough to give satisfactory therapeutic or medicinal value.
Kiva manuka honey has a UMF 20+ certification. This translates to MGO 825+, which means the methylglyoxal concentration in the honey is exceptionally high: 825 mg/kg. With that much methylglyoxal, the Kiva honey is positively brimming with medicinal value, excellent for treating wounds.
The UMF rating protects you from substandard, untested, low-grade honey that has little medicinal value (they are often labeled “bio-active” or “active”).
Note that each batch of kiva manuka honey is subjected to independent testing and verifying. Moreover, the honey is source-traceable, so you can verify for yourself that it indeed comes from New Zealand.
-Independent testing and verification
2. Wild Cape Manuka Honey – Ethical Harvesting
Wild Cape manuka honey comes from East Cape, North Island in New Zealand. Manuka honeys from other regions are typically acrid and bitter, but the honey from this region has mild flavors. It still retains the medicinal value.
Wild Cape is a member of the UMF Honey Association (UMFHA), a New Zealand organization that has the mandate of performing quality assurance in the industry to ensure consumers know which manuka honey upholds a high standard of quality and purity.
You should only buy manuka honey that has UMF certification as this is the only authentic seal of quality you can trust. Wild Cape manuka honey has a UMF 10+ certification, good enough to treat wounds.
Bees should not be exploited. Wild Cape believes in treating bees fairly and that is why they leave the wax comb intact so that the bees can use it again and again.
Furthermore, the honey jars are BPA-free and are in line with the strict standards for food containers set by the FDA and New Zealand.
-Member of UMFHA
3. Natural Solutions Manuka Honey – Stored in Special Room Pre-Shipping
Natural Solutions manuka honey also comes from the East Cape region of New Zealand. There the manuka flowers flourish in the wild of that beautiful, unspoiled area. It is not blended with other honeys.
The honey has undergone testing by New Zealand Laboratory Services Ltd, which is a New Zealand government-accredited facility. The honey is rated at a Unique Manuka Factor of 20+. This translates to MGO 890+, a very high concentration of methyglyoxal, more than enough medicinal value to treat wounds. Methylglyoxal is rich in antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
The honey is kept in a special honey room before shipping to customers. This ensures it maintains its integrity as heat can ruin manuka honey.
As a member of the UMF Honey Association, the brand is able to reap all the associated benefits such as purity testing and integrity certification. The association also offers independent facility audits.
-Honey stored in special honey room before shipping
-Member of UMFHA
-Honey may arrive gritty and crystallized
4. Comvita Manuka Honey – Traceable to Source
Comvita manuka honey is certified UMF 20+, which is the equivalent of MGO 829+. It comes from the forests of New Zealand. Richly abundant in methylglyoxal, the honey is an excellent treatment for wounds. It is also good for other conditions such as eczema, acne, sore throat, acne scarring, coughs, and so forth.
The honey is traceable from hive to shelf. This will help you verify for yourself that it is truly New Zealand honey. Since manuka honey is a New Zealand native honey, many non-New Zealand brands which want to cash in falsely advertise that their products are from New Zealand. Tracing helps you get the truth of the matter.
Note that Comvita supplies medical-grade manuka honey even to hospitals and clinics where it is used to treat burns and wounds thanks to its rich antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Every Comvita manuka honey batch goes through independent testing by the UMF Honey Association. UMF measures leptosperin, MGO, and DHA, which are the three signature compounds found in authentic manuka honey.
-Independent testing by UMFHA
5. Bee’s Inn Manuka Honey – Licensed UMFHA Member
Bee’s Inn Manuka Honey has UMF 15+ certification from New Zealand independent laboratory. Each batch has passed through independent verifying and testing.
If you want to verify for yourself that the honey does indeed come from New Zealand as it says on the jar, you can trace it to its source. Bee’s Inn beekeepers are located in New Zealand’s North Island, an area just south of Hamilton.
It is a licensed member of the UMF Honey association and adheres to the strict standards of manuka honey purity and quality set by the association. The UMFHA governs manuka honey standards in New Zealand and ensures customers are protected from low-grade honey.
-Licensed member of UMFHA
-Independent verifying and testing
Using Honey to Dress Wounds
People have used honey as a wound dressing for millennia, but only recently has the scientific community provided a scientific explanation for honey’s effectiveness.
Studies have shown that honey improves healing of various types of wounds. These include burns, wounds after surgery, abrasions, abscesses, cuts, and places where skin is taken for grafting.
Honey helps reduce odors and pus, clean the wound, reduce pain, reduce infection, and reduce healing time. Some reports show that wounds were healed by honey after the failure of other treatments.
However, a study has shown that manuka honey, due to the high concentration of methylglyoxal, may have a detrimental effect on diabetic ulcers – though it grants that honey is an effective alternative dressing for many other types of chronic wounds.
How Honey Influences Wound Healing
We now know that honey is a biologic wound dressing which contains multiple bioactivities which work together to expedite the healing process.
Honey’s physical properties are also useful in expediting your healing process. Honey is acidic – manuka honey’s pH value ranges between 3.2 and 4.5. When your apply honey to a wound, the acidity causes an increase in oxygen released from hemoglobin.
As a result, the wound environment becomes unfavorable for the activity of destructive proteases. Furthermore, honey has a high osmolarity which draws fluid from the wound bed, which creates lymph outflow – the same thing happens with negative pressure wound therapy.
Honey features a broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. There is a high level of variation in antibacterial potency between different honeys – manuka honey is the most abundant in antibacterial activity.
Antibacterial activity in honey comes from two sources. Now, in most honeys, the activity is mainly thanks to hydrogen peroxide which exists in inactive form until it is activated.
In manuka honey, however, antibacterial activity occurs due to the compound methylglyoxal. The great advantage of methylglyoxal is that it is not inactive like hydrogen peroxide. It does not need to be activated.
Manuka honey that is high in medicinal value, the kind used in wound-care products, is able to withstand dilution with significant amounts of wound exudates, yet still maintain adequate activity to hinder bacteria growth.
Honey has bioactivities which stimulate the immune response (enabling tissue growth for wound repair), suppress inflammation, and cause rapid autolytic debridement. Clinical evidence demonstrates this, and research is in the process of finding scientific explanations for these actions.
How Hydrogen Peroxide Operates
All honeys contain hydrogen peroxide, a substance that can kill bacteria on contact. To be more specific all honeys have the capacity to make hydrogen peroxide. Honey does not contain hydrogen peroxide, but it contains the ingredients necessary to make hydrogen peroxide: they are glucose and the enzyme glucose oxidase.
Hydrogen peroxide in honey is the best and most effective form it can take for two reasons. For one, straight hydrogen peroxide is unstable, which means that it loses its effectiveness rapidly if you expose it to air or light. In addition, high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide are damaging to skin tissues. Honey provides just the right amount of it.
Honey produces hydrogen peroxides in small amounts in a slow-release manner. As a result it’s the ideal substance for healing infected wounds and treating bacterial disorders.
The slow-release mechanism consists of a chemical reaction where glucose in honey breaks down to produce hydrogen peroxide. The enzyme glucose oxidase (added by honeybees) is the catalyst for this chemical reaction – but only under the right conditions.
You see honey itself does not possess the right conditions for this chemical reaction. What is required is a pH of 5.5 to 8.0 – but undiluted honey has a more acidic pH level that ranges between 3.2 and 4.5 and that is too low to activate glucose oxidase.
Another necessary condition is the presence of a certain amount of sodium – again, honey does not have enough sodium to facilitate the reaction.
However, the skin and body fluids typically have relatively high sodium and pH levels. Thus as honey comes into contact with your skin or with an open wound, the high sodium and pH levels activate the enzyme.
Glucose oxidase then proceeds to break down the glucose in honey. As a result, hydrogen peroxide is released and starts to heal the infected wounds and to kill bacteria.
Hydrogen peroxide (or rather the necessary ingredients for making it) is a naturally occurring component of all honeys. The unique thing about manuka honey, however, is the compound methylglyoxal.
Methylglyoxal does not occur naturally in honey. It is a floral nectar component which honey bees take from the nectar of New Zealand’s wild, native manuka flower. The nectar of the manuka flower has an uncommon abundance of methylglyoxal.
To put this in perspective, consider that the next best thing where methylglyoxal is concerned is coffee, yet coffee contains a methylglyoxal amount of only about 23 to 47 mg/kg. Compare that to manuka honey.
Low-grade manuka honey that has UMF 5+ rating contains 83 to 100mg/kg. The minimum rating for medicinal manuka honey is UMF 10+ and it contains about 263 mg/kg. UMF 20+ manuka honey contains as much as 829 mg/kg. Clearly manuka honey is positively bursting with methylglyoxal.
Methylglyoxal is the compound that gives manuka honey its rich antibacterial properties. Unlike the hydrogen peroxide-producing glucose oxidase enzyme found in all honeys, methyglyoxal is resistant to light, heat, body fluids, and enzymatic activity. It is very stable.
The position of best manuka honey for wounds is a tie between Kiva and Comvita, since they have the same qualities. However we will give Comvita the spot based on brand recognition.
Both the Comvita manuka honey and the Kiva manuka honey have an exceptionally high grading of UMF 25+. They are both members of the UMF Honey Association and their batches are subject to independent testing and verification. Furthermore, they are both traceable to source.
Which of these manuka honeys, appeals to you the most?