Is Buckwheat honey the new Manuka?
A honey on the run

When it comes to honey as a super food, manuka can arguably take the crown. Though in recent years, another variety has been getting attention in this space-buckwheat honey. But is this just hype. Here we will delve into buckwheat honey and look to the science to shed some light.

All about Buckwheat honey

Buckwheat honey is made from the nectar of the buckwheat flower. Often grown as a cover crop to promote soil nutrition, once the flowers have bloomed, Buckwheat seeds are used in the production of buckwheat flour.  It has a distinct earthy- malty taste which is not as sweet as other honeys, and ranges from dark brown to almost black in colour. Buckwheat honey gets its distinct dark colour from the abundance of polyphenols, an antioxidant commonly found in chocolate, red wine and berries. Though it has been around for millenia, has been produced all over the world, it is now often produced commercially in Canada, the United States and Eastern Europe. Like Manuka, buckwheat has a long history in health, being used in medicine, as well as an anti-bacterial topical application for cuts or wounds.

How do the two varieties compare to one another?

Compared to manuka, Buckwheat honey has elevated levels of sugars, proteins, and total phenols, yet it possesses a lower concentration of Methylglyoxal (MGO)- the wonder ingredient found in manuka.

Additionally, Buckwheat shows comparable levels of antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which explains its popularity as a health food, and higher levels of cellular antioxidant activity.

So is it better than Manuka?

It really depends on what you are after and of course who you ask. Both honey varieties have been vigorously studied, with reports supporting the health claims of both. It is also important to note that both Manuka and Buckwheat have high levels of anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties, as well as MGO’s, so the difference really lies in the details. But perhaps instead of looking for the ‘greatest’, it is best to view buckwheat as another super food to add to your honey rotation. One with a distinct taste and a myriad of health benefits.


Is Buckwheat honey the new Manuka?
Vatorex AG, Pascal Brunner 30 April, 2024
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