Manuka Honey is perhaps one of Auckland (or New Zealand)’s most famous tourism exports. Not surprisingly, we found Manuka Honey sold in various forms in all souvenir shops and even stores dedicated to just the sale of Manuka Honey in Auckland. Manuka Honey is derived from the nectar of the manuka tree (leptospermum scoparium) which grows wild all over New Zealand. This honey has been proved scientifically to have a natural healing ability.
Research studies have found that Manuka Honey contain antibacterial properties and is especially good for the digestive organs. It is also known to assist in the healing of cuts and wounds and is widely used as an ointment for cuts. Body cells are known to become damaged through poor blood flow, which leads to low cell energy levels. Natural sugars contained in Manuka Honey can be absorbed into cells to provide energy for cell recovery. Manuka Honey also naturally contains very small amounts of hydrogen peroxide which acts as a disinfectant. Thus it is no surprise that Manuka Honey is presented in many forms – ointment, honey jam and even toothpaste!
While there are lots of Manuka Honey for sale in Auckland, New Zealand, it is important to differentiate between real Manuka Honey and just normal honey as well as which Manuka Honey is suitable for your needs. The following are some tips on how to pick the right Manuka Honey:
1. A Manuka Honey label must contain the words active UMF or MGO Manuka Honey followed by a number. If the indication is only Active, you are not purchasing the Manuka Honey with significant amounts of Methylglyoxal beneficial to naturally healing several affections. For example, it might be labelled as Manuka Honey UMF 20+ or MGO 400+ (correct ones) versus just Active Manuka Honey 20+ (normal table honey)
2. Genuine UMF or MGO Manuka Honey products will have the name UMF or MGO clearly stated on the front label, has been packed and labelled in New Zealand, comes from a New Zealand company licensed to use the name UMF or MGO and has the licensee’s name on the front label.
3. If you are looking for Manuka Honey with anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic benefits, pick a Manuka Honey with levels of activity more that UMF 16+ or MGO 250+.
4. You don’t have to spend too much money on good Manuka Honey. The increase in price of Manuka Honey corresponds directly with an increase in UMF or MGO ratings. If you are looking for Manuka Honey for gentle antiseptic purposes e.g. ulcers, a UMF 10 Manuka Honey will do the trick.
UMF® vs. MGO™ Rating for Manuka Honey
There are 2 main ratings for Manuka Honey – UMF® vs. MGO™. For the majority of the Manuka Honey on sale, you should be able to find either. For some examples, see the picture below. The debate is still on for which rating scale is the more accurate one. Shops generally carry Manuka Honey of one of these 2 rating scales so you are unlikely to get unbiased view on which is better. PassportChop.com is none the wiser on Manuka Honey rating scales so we won’t take sides.
Unique Manuka Factor – UMF®
The antibacterial UMF® (Unique Manuka Factor) is the ingredent responsible for naturally destroying bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide is removed from the honey to find out the strength of antibacterial properties left. This remaining antibacterial strength is then measured and given a UMF rating. All Manuka Honey that has a rating of more than 10 is highly active honey and therefore labeled as Active Manuka Honey. The ideal range of UMF rating in Manuka honey should be 10-18 UMF.
Manuka Honey with a UMF rating of 20 or higher is very rare, extremely expensive and overly potent. Cases have been reported of people experiencing sensitivity to the honey with ratings over 20.
Methylglyoxal – MGO™
MGO™ is a system for testing the level of Methylglyoxal, this active ingredient is responsible for the anti-bacterial action of Manuka honey. Methylglyoxal is a compound found in pollen from Manuka trees flower. The higher the MGO™ rating in Manuka Honey, the higher the level of anti-bacterial activity in the honey.
Besides Manuka Honey, souvenirs you can get from Auckland include Kiwi Shortbread Cookies, Kiwi Chocolate. Most of the local products revolves around Kiwi and Manuka Honey. For a great selection of food souvenirs from Auckland at economical prices (without the tackiness of a souvenir shop), you can consider the Barrow at Westfield Downtown. Several souvenir shops line Albert Street and Queen Street (which also happens to be the main shopping street in Auckland) so if you are looking for the “I Love New Zealand” or Kiwi keychains, you will find them all here. These areas are conveniently located near Quay Street which is near the popular dining area – Viaduct as well as the terminal for Fullers Ferry to Waiheke Island.
The Barrow at Westfield Downtown