Manuka honey is derived from the Leptospermum tree that is native to New Zealand and Australia. The indigenous people from both lands have been using Manuka in their traditional medicines for centuries. In recent decades laboratory studies in both countries have identified unique health and healing properties found only in some Leptospermum species in New Zealand and Australia. Following on from extensive clinical testing in Australia, New Zealand, and other countries, the unique value of Manuka has been recognized worldwide
More recent research has shown that one of the major components that are attributed to the unique antibacterial activity in Manuka honey is methylglyoxal (MGO) and this chemical marker is now used as an indicator of the strength of activity in Manuka honey. MGO is measured in parts per million (ppm) and the NPA is measured as a percentage of phenol equivalent.