Manuka honey is a special type of honey that’s only found in New Zealand. The best Manuka honey is made by bees who pollinate the Manuka bush, extracting the nectar to create this wonderfully potent honey. Compared to regular types of honey, Manuka can be pretty expensive, but it’s used in much the same manner to sweeten drinks and food. It can also be used as a supplement due to its many health benefits.
The Benefits of Manuka Honey
Honey has been used over the centuries and it’s believed that it possesses extra healing properties that offer a wide range of health benefits.
While honey has been used for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes, the medicinal benefits were not proven until the late nineteenth century when scientists discovered that it contains antibiotic qualities.
Honey can help to protect against damage caused by harmful bacteria on the skin, and it can even encourage the production of healthy skin cells, especially by those that have been damaged due to infection. Manuka also features anti-inflammatory properties that can work to reduce inflammation, pain, and redness.
The quality of honey can be affected by type, and how the honey is harvested. Manuka is one of the best types of honey for people who want to use it for medicinal purposes. In fact, this kind of honey can work up to a hundred times more effectively than the regular type of honey.
Unlike regular store bought honey, Manuka features a sort of bitter flavor, but there are some types of Manuka that are sweeter than others.
This honey is naturally rich in fructose and other types of reducing sugars, B complex vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids. The amino acids found in honey are mainly phenylalanine, lysine, tyrosine, and proline. Much of honey’s nutritional value is dependent on mineral content, which includes manganese, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, iron, copper, and phosphorus.
Electrical conductivity testing is done to determine the mineral content found in honey. The higher the conductivity, the higher the mineral content.
People who regularly use this honey for its health benefits have reported an increased resistance to diseases. Many people believe that this is due to the immune-boosting capacity of this honey. Studies have shown that it contains certain substances that help to stimulate cytokine production. Cytokines are the signaling proteins that jump-start the body’s defense mechanisms to fight off diseases and pathogens.
An increase in the production of cytokines is what many researchers believe is behind Manuka honey’s protective actions against diseases and infections.
How to Determine the Quality of Honey
Did you know that hydrogen peroxide is a component of honey? It’s actually what gives honey its antibiotic quality and it’s also found in Manuka honey. The flowers of the Manuka plant actually contains dihydroxyacetone. Additionally, this honey also contains methylglyoxal.
Because Manuka contains methylglyoxal, there’s the Unique Manuka Factor, which is used to determine the quality of all brands of Manuka honey. The Unique Manuka factor is often used to measure the potency of the honey by measuring the compounds. In order for this type of honey to be potent enough for medicinal purposes, it should have a Unique Manuka Factor of five, which is adequate, while ten is the best. A rating of ten or high will label the honey as active Manuka honey or UMF Manuka honey.
Some types of Manuka will also have an MGO rating for the methylglyoxal content. This will be measured from eighty-three for UMF five and up to eight hundred for a UMF of twenty.
What type of Conditions can Manuka Honey Treat
Manuka is perfect for making poultices used to heal burns, scrapes, and wounds and for healing serious sunburns.
When ingested, Manuka can work to lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation. It can also treat gastrointestinal problems, and sinus, ear, and eye infections.
Where can I get Manuka Honey?
You can purchase this type of honey from a wide range of places, such as health food stores, specialty stores, and certain big box grocery stores. Manuka is also widely sold online.
Before you buy, be sure to check the MGO and UMF rating. Some brands are mixed with other types of honey. If you’re buying the honey for medicinal purposes, you’ll want to steer clear of brands that mix the Manuka.
When you’re shopping for this type of honey, you’ll want the honey with a higher UMF rating, but as we have mentioned, this type of honey can be pretty expensive. Certain companies such as Bee’s Inn, Wild Cape, and Manuka Health offer higher than average UMF ratings and are widely used by herbalists and naturopaths all over the country.
Manuka Health is a brand that offers Manuka honey with an MGO rating of four hundred. This honey can be used to cook with or it makes an excellent addition to lotions, body washes, and soaps.
Wild Cape honey has a UMF rating of fifteen and features a mildly sweet flavor. The sweeter flavor makes it perfect for cooking with.
Bee’s Inn Manuka honey has a UMF honey rating of fifteen and has what some people have described as a bitter flavor, which makes it more appropriate for external treatments.
How to Use Manuka Honey Safely
This type of honey can be used as a supplement to maintain health, or it can be used for a wide range of mild conditions.
The honey should not be used on wounds that you cannot stop bleeding. It should also not be used to treat wounds that display serious signs of infection such as redness, or discharge.
Because the honey is so sticky you must cover the treated area in order to prevent debris, dust, and dirt from sticking to it.
If you’re allergic to bees or pollen it is possible to experience an allergic reaction, even with external treatment.
Even the best Manuka honey can cause a significant spike in blood sugar levels in diabetics and is not recommended for people with a diagnosis of diabetes or people who are pre-diabetic.