Honey protects against damage caused by bacteria. Some honey also stimulates production of special cells that can repair tissue damaged by infection. In addition, honey has an anti-inflammatory action that can quickly reduce pain and inflammation once it is applied.
Hydrogen peroxide is a component of honey. It gives most honey its antibiotic quality.
Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush.
Another antibacterial component in manuka honey is methylglyoxal (MG). MG is a compound found in most types of honey, but usually only in small quantities.
In manuka honey, MG comes from the conversion of another compound — dihydroxyacetone — that is found in high concentration in the nectar of manuka flowers.
The higher the concentration of MG, the stronger the antibiotic effect. Each Manuka Honey is tested and given a UMF rating, that corresponds to its MG concentration.