As years pass by, we come across different products that gain popularity because of their health benefits. And one of these products is the Manuka honey. You have probably seen it in your favorite celebrity’s Instagram feed or wellness blogs, but what is really so unique with this distinctive-sounding honey?
What is Manuka Honey?
The name itself comes from the fact that it is produced by the bees that pollinate the Manuka flower. And if you want to find the best Manuka honey brand, you’ll notice that this honey is pricier compared to your typical store-bought brands. This is because the Manuka flower itself is rare and only blooms once a year. It is also native to New Zealand in areas that are only accessible via helicopter, so its production costs more in contrast to other types of honey.
You might ask, “Why go through all this trouble just to harvest this honey?” And the answer to this is because of the health benefits unique to Manuka. A typical honey has antibacterial properties because of hydrogen peroxide. However, Manuka honey is a unique medicinal honey that it even has a special UMF rating.
UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor that is graded by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association. As a buyer, this serves as your guide for you to know how strong a honey’s antibacterial capacity is. The higher the UMF rating is, the more beneficial it is for the health. At the same time, having this system will let you know if what you’re getting is indeed a genuine product.
Manuka honey has a high level of methylglyoxal (MGO), which is responsible for its antibiotic capacity. This is also the same reason why you can use this honey for wound bandages, soothing sore throat, facial mask for acne, or daily supplement to improve digestive health.
But before you get skeptical, these benefits aren’t even “claims” because they are backed by numerous studies. You will discover how different experts are starting to see Manuka honey not as an alternative medication, but as a potential candidate for use in mainstream medicine.
As you have read, Manuka honey is both a healthy and medicinal product. But how can one use it to be able to reap its health benefits?
What are the Ways to Use Manuka Honey?
As a Raw Supplement
Manuka honey has a taste that you can describe as earthy, slightly bitter, and not as sweet compared to other types of honey. It is also thicker and darker in color, unlike the syrup-like consistency and look of your usual store-bought honey. So if you’re someone who’s not fond of something too sweet, you will enjoy having Manuka honey straight off the spoon.
If you want to satisfy your sugar cravings, a tablespoon of Manuka honey a day might just do the trick. And best of all, you will even improve your digestion or alleviate symptoms such as constipation and diarrhea. You can also find relief in taking a tablespoon of Manuka honey if you are experiencing sore throat. The honey coats the inner lining of your throat, and the MGO content is the one responsible for killing the bacteria and reducing inflammation.
At the same time, even though honey is sweet, it’s antibacterial effects can improve your oral health, unlike with other sweets that contribute to tooth decay. Manuka honey can attack the harmful oral bacteria responsible for plaque formation. And as we all know, plaque formation leads to gingivitis and tooth decay.
As a Sweetener
Even though Manuka honey is not as sweet as regular honey, it still makes an excellent sweetener alternative. Besides, if you’re giving in to your indulgences, might as well do it the healthiest way possible, right?
For example, you can incorporate Manuka honey on your morning tea or smoothie. It adds a bit of rustic and sweet flavor that both sweet-tooths, and non-sweet-tooths can appreciate.
You can also use it just as you would with an ordinary honey by pouring it on yogurt, pancakes, toast, or even in salad dressings. You are reducing the amount of unhealthy sugar in your diet and taking advantage of the healthy components in this special honey.
According to DiligentChef.com, you can also switch sugar in your recipes with Manuka honey. To give you an idea, you can use it when baking or cooking that doesn’t require very high temperatures so that you’re not damaging the beneficial components in the honey.
As a DIY Mask for the Face and Body
Besides the consumption of honey on its own or in other foods, Manuka honey also makes an excellent facemask for all you DIY-lovers out there. Face masks and lotions don’t have to be riddled with chemicals because you can use honey to moisturize, soothe, and kill the germs on your skin.
And if you have sore spots or even eczema, you can use Manuka honey as a spot-on to relieve them. This is because Manuka honey both has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, so it’ll work even for acne. However, it is always best to consult your dermatologist in case you have allergies.
As a Wound Treatment
Did you know that Manuka honey is a medical-grade treatment for wound care? In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Manuka honey for wound dressings. Again, it is still best to consult with your doctor if you’re planning on using it for antibiotic care. But to give you an idea, you can make your own would dressing by putting honey in a bandage. Just remember to never use the product directly on the skin. And for deeper cuts, your doctor should be the one to assess if you’re compatible with using Manuka honey bandages.
Manuka honey helps fasten wound healing and tissue regeneration because it acts as an antibiotic and an antioxidant. Besides killing the microbes that can worsen the infection, it also maintains a healthy environment for the wound by protecting it so that it heals faster. You will find different studies that showed how this medicinal honey is truly useful for wound treatment ranging from diabetic ulcers and even burns. Manuka honey is also an ideal treatment for making scarring less painful for patients that are recovering.