What is Manuka honey you might be asking? Well, manuka honey has become very popular because it is considered a superfood. Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush, and have many health benefits. Manuka honey has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Back in ancient and biblical times, honey was used to treat wounds, burns, sores, and boils. Manuka honey stands out from the regular honey and sets it apart because of Methylglyoxal, which is an active ingredient responsible for the antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. The UMF which stands for Unique Manuka Factor is what makes the manuka antibiotic. The UMF is a grading system that uses a scale of 5 to 20 to gauge the strength of each batch of the honey’s antibacterial strength. Three levels of the compound found in the manuka honey are Leptisperin, a nectar from the manuka bush, DHA a type of omega-3 fatty acid, and methylglyoxal an antibacterial component. The UMF Honey Association oversees the grading system.
The higher the UMF number, the stronger manuka honey’s antibacterial properties to treat wounds, cuts, burns and sores. Having a UMF grade of 12 or higher is considered medical grade and can be used on a bandage to treat cuts and wounds. To be considered potent enough to be therapeutic, manuka honey needs a minimum rating of 10 UMF. In 2007 the US FDA approved manuka honey as an option to treat wounds.
Some of manuka honey benefits include:
Bacteria in the stomach is a leading cause of stomach ulcers, and manuka honey with its antibacterial agents help to kill these harmful agents and heal the stomach naturally.
If you are having trouble sleeping, mixing a bit of manuka honey in your tea or milk will help with a good night’s sleep. The manuka honey helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and contributes to the release of melatonin, the hormone required for both recovery and rebuilding of the body tissues during your sleep cycle.
If you suffer from tooth decay and any periodontal disease like gingivitis, the enzyme in the manuka honey, methylglyoxal effectively kills these germs. It also helps heal damaged and bleeding gums and helps freshen your breath and strengthen your teeth.
A sore throat, especially during the coming winter months, is very annoying. To soothe the throat pain, take a spoonful of the honey to relieve the pain. The honey stimulates your immune cells, causing them to keep the infection away. The honey also inhibits the growth of the Strep bacteria which is a leading cause of sore throat.
We are in allergy season right now and it is a large problem in the country. Many people suffer from some form of hay fever, and when taking the manuka honey to fight off allergies and sinusitis, studies have been shown that many patients claim that their symptoms have improved. Manuka help reduce sugars in the bloodstream because it has a lot of fructose and other minerals which it is perfect for anyone suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. Type 1 sufferers who are on insulin should not use the manuka honey for treatment. As we get ready for the cold and flu season, our immune system gets weakened by all different external factors which make us sick.
Taking two to three teaspoons of manuka daily will strengthen your immune system. The antibacterial properties of the honey will help keep the infection away. Manuka honey also helps if you already have a cold or flu. The honey antimicrobial features are strong enough to reduce coughs and other symptoms of the flu.
For a beauty treatment, it is great for the skin and hair. The antibacterial properties help to kill bad bugs in your pores without irritating your skin with harsh chemicals. The manuka has a natural alkalinity of 4.5 which lowers your skin’s pH making it more acidic. Acidity kills the germs, so one method is rubbing the honey into your skin, or making a paste for a facial mask and letting it sit for a few minutes and then rinsing it off. You will see amazing results after this treatment and you will have a healthier skin in no time, and the cost will be minimal with your own home do it yourself spa treatment. Adding it to your scalp will help to rejuvenate any hair loss which sometimes can be a lack of vitamins in the body. Eczema and acne are also healed by treatment with the use of manuka honey with its antioxidant properties. If you are a chemotherapy patient, manuka can help with the side effects. Patients complain of severe sore throat and manuka helps to heal the pain.
Side effects of manuka honey are:
If you are allergic to bees, you might suffer from an allergic reaction to the honey. If you are taking blood thinners and drugs for seizure, you could have a reaction with the honey. You need to consult your medical doctor before you start any new regimen.
With all the healing benefits of manuka honey, it is naturally good for your nutrition. It is rich in vitamins like amino acids, enzymes and B-complex vitamins. Also, vitamins like thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), and B6. Manuka is served raw so all the important vitamins will not be lost. With all these vitamins and minerals in the honey, taking it daily will find you getting sick much less frequently. Make sure the New Zealand manuka honey you purchase has a UMF of 10+ or higher. Trader Joe’s carry the manuka honey with a UMF of 10+.