Manuka honey is gathered in New Zealand from the manuka bush, Leptospermum scoparium, which grows throughout the country. Manuka honey is being used on patients with wounds which have not responded to standard treatments. A successful trial of active manuka honey on unresponsive skin ulcers was recently published in the New Zealand Medical Journal. Staff at a hospital in Australia recently used active manuka honey as a wound dressing on a patient for whom honey without UMF ("Unique Manuka Factor") had failed.
Manuka honey has an antibacterial activity due primarily to hydrogen peroxide formed in a "slow-release" manner by the enzyme glucose oxidase present in honey, which can vary widely in potency. Some honeys are no more antibacterial than sugar, while others can be diluted more than 100-fold and still halt the growth of bacteria. The difference in potency of antibacterial activity found among the different honeys is more than 100-fold.
Too good to be true? Apparently not.