Why Is UMF Manuka Honey So Expensive?
While reading about honey and its vast amount of health benefits you may have heard mention of a specific variety quite a lot; Manuka honey. Upon further inspection, you’re likely taken aback by the steep price tag! Manuka honey is quite a bit more expensive than other varieties. But why?
What Is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is sourced from bees that pollinate the Manuka bush. Similar species of this bush can be found all around the world but only in Australia and New Zealand do they produce the flowers required for bees to produce this amazing honey.
What differentiates Manuka honey from other varieties is that it contains an enzyme, called Methylglyoxal, that isn’t found in more common varieties. What makes this so special is that this enzyme has elevated levels of antibacterial properties, making it especially useful in the treatment of wounds and burns.
Not all Manuka honey is the same, though, as some will have varying levels of Methylglyoxal than others. In order to make sure consumers were not being duped into paying a premium for an inferior product, New Zealand created a rating system and advocacy group, called the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association or UMF, in order to categorize the strength of different batches of Manuka.
But Why Is It So Expensive?
Part of what makes Manuka honey so expensive is that it is relatively rare compared to more affordable varieties and may only be sourced from New Zealand and to a lesser degree, Australia. Due to the Manuka bush only flowering for a couple of weeks each year, it is only available for a short time. Depending on environmental factors, such as the weather in the area during this brief flowering window, yields may further be affected which all adds up to Manuka honey being quite expensive!
Is It Worth It?
That depends on what you’re planning to do with it. If you’re thinking about using it to sweeten your next batch of cookies, probably not. If you have a wound or rash of sorts, there has been tons of research done that points to Manuka honey being superior to most other varieties of honey in the treatment of such conditions.
Manuka honey offers up superior antibacterial properties compared to other varieties so if you’re looking to take advantage of those benefits, it may be worth splurging on. More affordable options for honey offer similar benefits and you may find relief from what ails you by using them instead. Whichever you choose, you really can’t go wrong! Honey really is an amazing substance!