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10 Health Benefits of Manuka Honey

10 Health Benefits of Manuka Honey

Brought to you in collaboration with Manuka South.

Discover the versatility of Manuka Honey!

Manuka honey is a quintessential New Zealand product, revered and enjoyed all over the world. We know it for the sweet, rich flavour we love to slather onto our toast and mix into our tea. But it’s so, so much more than that.

Manuka has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it supports the gut and the immune system, and it can also remedy oral diseases.

There’s a reason (or many reasons) why Manuka honey has been a tried-and-true remedy for many ailments for centuries! We would be very unwise not to follow the ways of those before us and use Manuka honey as far more than a tasty toast topper. Before you buy Manuka honey, there are a few things you ought to know, so you can make the very best use of our favorite sticky elixir.

Read on to find out 10 things you need to know about Manuka honey before buying…

10 things to know about manuka honey before buying...

1. It’s anti-bacterial

Manuka honey has antibacterial properties thanks to the Methylglyoxal (MG) and hydrogen peroxide it contains.

Manuka honey has been proven time and time again to be a powerful weapon against illness-causing bacteria. Not only does it kill bugs, but it provides moisture and nourishment…double bonus! This is why honey has been used as a treatment for wounds and illness for centuries. But what does this mean for you on a daily ba 

  • You can use your Manuka honey as a topical treatment for keeping acne, burns and wounds clean and lubricated.
  • Dab a Manuka honey and tea tree formula onto stubborn pimples.
  • Rub Manuka honey on to cuts and at the outset of a skin infection (go to the doctor too, of course!).
  • You can also use Manuka honey to help kill mouth and throat infections...but more on that later...

2. It’s a humectant

One thing many of us are very familiar with (especially during Winter and especially past a certain age) is dry skin. Dehydrated, dull skin is uncomfortable and makes us look older than our years. To treat this, we need to use skincare ingredients which lock moisture into the skin and keep it there.

Manuka honey is a humectant which means it attracts much-needed moisture to the skin. If you have very chapped lips, hands or heels you can combine Manuka honey with nourishing oils (avocado or jojoba are great choices) to create a potent, homemade remedy.

Manuka honey skincare ranges are also very popular thanks to their use of the sweet stuff combined with other skin-friendly natural ingredients. You could easily make your own Manuka night cream by combining high-quality Manuka honey with a plain, fragrance-free face cream and rubbing it into the face, hands, and anywhere else suffering from dryness.

3. It’s anti-inflammatory

Honey has anti-inflammatory properties which have been harnessed by humans for centuries.

Inflammation is the body’s response to injury or irritation. It’s designed to help the body to repair and heal, which is generally a good thing! However, chronic inflammation can happen when certain irritants or health issues are constantly triggering the inflammation process.

This isn’t so good, as it can cause long-lasting damage to the cells over time. When it comes to inflammation of the skin, Manuka honey is a fantastic remedy. Chronic inflammation of the skin can be the result of many causes such as irritating products, infections (such as cellulitis), or skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.

When you apply Manuka honey to inflamed skin, it can reduce the redness, swelling and pain while remaining very gentle. The moisturizing and antibacterial properties work with the anti-inflammatory properties to cleanse, protect and soothe irritated or wounded skin. If you’re experiencing an outbreak of irritated skin, try rubbing a dab of Manuka honey into the affected area to see if it helps.

It's anti-inflammatory

4. It can support healthy teeth and gums

It seems a little weird to think of something so sweet as being healthy for your teeth. But studies have shown that the antimicrobial properties of Manuka honey can fight against oral conditions such as gingivitis.

Manuka honey can even help to reduce the amount of plaque build-up on the teeth, which helps to reduce tooth decay. Keeping the gums and teeth healthy can actually help you to enjoy a healthy heart, as strange as it may sound at first!

While keeping a healthy mouth won’t directly prevent heart disease, prolonged oral disease can increase your chances of developing heart disease. If you are suffering from gum disease such as gingivitis, talk to your dentist or doctor about using Manuka honey as a natural remedy. Studies have shown that by rubbing Manuka honey on damaged gum tissue, the nasty bugs are killed and the cells are stimulated to begin healing and repairing. Pretty impressive, right

 “Because Manuka honey contains methylglyoxal (a powerful anti-microbial) it can help to kill harmful bugs in the gut and prevent gastro illnesses.”

It can support healthy teeth and gums

5. It supports healthy digestion

Digestive issues are shockingly common in our busy, stressful modern society. Many people experience ongoing tummy woes and are constantly trying to find solutions to ease the pain.

Well, it turns out that Manuka honey can help. Manuka honey has special enzymes which enter the gut and help to break down and digest food efficiently. What’s more, honey is a pre-biotic which means it provides food for those healthy, helpful bacteria we have living in our gut.

Because Manuka honey contains methylglyoxal (a powerful anti-microbial) it can help to kill harmful bugs in the gut and prevent gastro illnesses.

Add Manuka honey to smoothies, tea, spread on rice crackers or simply make a habit of taking a teaspoon each morning before breakfast. You might just find that your stomach issues begin to improve, (with proper medical advice and procedure of course)

6. It can give you an energy boost

When the 3 o’clock slump rolls around and you feel like taking a nap at your desk, take a little spoonful of Manuka honey instead. Manuka honey can provide you with a hit of energy to keep you alert and ready to tackle the day.

Honey contains healthy carbohydrates, natural sugars and a raft of nutrients to support energy levels. It’s known that some athletes choose honey to fuel their workouts or training sessions.

If you’re facing a heavy gym workout, pop a spoonful of honey into your water bottle or eat it straight. It’s a far healthier option than turning to sweet treats, energy drinks or even a chemical-laden pre-workout drink.

It can give you an energy boost

7. It can help soothe cuts and scrapes

If you have boisterous kids who are always running through the door complaining of scraped knees, Manuka honey can help.

The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties of Manuka honey penetrate the wound and help to accelerate healing. It has been proven that Manuka honey actually encourages cells to start the healing process quickly and effectively, while providing gentleness and very little possible side effects.

By killing bugs and preventing them from spreading, honey stops wounds from becoming infected. It’s also known that the moisturizing properties of Manuka honey helps wounds to heal more quickly and without scarring.

Instead of using a sting-inducing, alcohol-based solution to treat your kids’ cuts, scrapes and burns, use a high-quality Manuka honey first.

It can help support immunity

8. It can help support immunity

There’s a reason why people suck on lemon and honey lozenges during colds and flus.

One reason is that the antibacterial properties of Manuka honey kills bugs in the throat and in the gut, accelerating the recovery process.

It’s also been proven to be pretty powerful at fighting sinus infections, music to the ears of anyone who suffers from regular sinus issues.

This is because Manuka honey is fantastic at killing the specific bacteria which causes sinus infections.

Manuka honey contains a special compound which increases the production of a chemical messenger called cytokine which sparks the production of cell which support the immune system.

9. There's a Quality Rating (so choose carefully)

Not all Manuka honey is created equal!

There are some pretty stringent and scientific testing processes which indicate the potency of Manuka honey. The most common rating system is the UMF system, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor. It all relates back to the amount of antibacterial components in the honey (methylglyoxal and leptosperin).

There has to be a certain amount of these two components in order for Manuka honey to be classified and marketed as Manuka honey. The higher the UMF, the more powerful the antibacterial abilities of the Manuka honey. 

For treating wounds and skin issues, look for the highest UMF you can find, (15-24+ is very high!). For general everyday edible use for simply enjoying the flavor, you can use a Manuka honey with a lower UMF rating the lowest is 0-5+).

it's incredibly versatile

10. It's incredibly versatile

As we’ve just learnt, Manuka honey is an extremely impressive substance…not to mention delicious.

Before you keep your Manuka honey tucked into the back of the pantry to be used for the occasional toast or tea, remember how versatile it is. Think of it as a multi-purpose product which belongs in the kitchen, the bathroom and the medicine cabinet.

You could keep one in the pantry for edible purposes (low UMF), another in your bathroom to use for skincare and another in the first-aid kit to use for infections, wounds and scrapes (high UMF). It’s no secret that Manuka honey is an expensive product, especially very high-quality brands. However, the versatility and potency of Manuka honey justifies the price if you find yourself saving money on other, more chemical-laden remedies.

Now that you know how versatile and powerful Manuka honey is, you can begin to utilize it in a range of different, creative ways. Dab a little bit of high-quality, high-UMF Manuka honey on to acne, wounds, inflamed skin or dry, scaly skin. Mix it with a little hot water and sip to kill the bacteria surrounding a sore throat.

Sneak a teaspoon to help your digestion along and boost your immunity and add it to smoothies for a morning energy blast. Take a look through your cosmetics collection and your first-aid kit to see if there’s anything there which could be replaced or supplemented with Manuka honey.

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