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The Surprising Reason People Are Buzzing Over Manuka Honey

By Desirée Kaplan

While many of us are used to consuming honey as a sweet treat to top off tea or pancakes, throughout history, people have also found that honey can be good for your health. While the medical community is certainly not claiming that honey can replace other treatments for your aches and pains, fans of certain types of honey claim it can be great for your body, both inside and out. In particular, manuka honey is a fan-favorite for people who seek its alleged healing qualities. 

So what makes manuka honey so special? While regular honey can be therapeutic, manuka honey is a far more potent variety because of it’s higher concentration of an antimicrobial substance called methylglyoxal (MGO). This valuable characteristic combined with its limited supply makes it one of the most coveted honey options.  

Manuka honey comes from New Zealand where bees thrive on nectar from manuka plants. Since the nearby country of Australia also has manuka plant species, both counties have fought over geographical indication regarding this special honey. Not unlike Champagne's exclusive right to label sparkling wine from their region, both places seek the intellectual property right to designate manuka honey to their perspective regions.