It is a monofloral honey produced in New Zealand and Australia by bees that pollinate the native and uncultivated manuka trees. That’s right, bees produce this amazing honey from the nectar of this tree (Leptospermum scoparium, a.k.a. New Zealand tea tree).
It’s the MG component that gives manuka honey the unique antibacterial properties. The higher the MG concentration the stronger the antibiotic properties of the honey are.
In fact there is a scale for rating the actual manuka honey potency regarding the content of MG. This rating is called Unique Manuka Factor or UMF in short. The UMF Grading system assures the purity and quality of this New Zealand/Australian honey.
In order to be considered potent enough the manuka honey should have rating greater than UMF 10. UMF 10+ means the honey is good enough for therapeutical use, i.e. it’s active.
Unfortunately, most of the studies conducted to reveal possible benefits of manuka honey, have been done on an insufficient number of patients and can not be conclusive.
Active manuka honey is heat stable, i.e. if you use it in your tea, coffee or other hot drinks, then you’ll still be getting the benefits of the unique manuka factor (UMF).