Most of us spread it on bread or stir it into hot drinks. But there are better reasons to have Manuka honey in your pantry!
Manuka honey is one of New Zealand’s most coveted exports. Its health benefits as a nutrient, medicine and ointment have been well-documented in scientific studies. So what is it that makes this national treasure so amazing?
Manuka honey is cultivated from the native Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium).
Like most raw honeys, Manuka honey contains a naturally-occurring antibacterial agent which helps to support the good health of the bees. This is due to the enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide. In other honeys, this agent is easily destroyed by heat and light.
That’s where Manuka honey is the game-changer.
The antibacterial ingredient in Manuka honey is referred to as the Non-Peroxide Antibacterial activity level. This activity level remains stable once the Hydrogen Peroxide activity has been destroyed.
Basically, this means the antibacterial power of Manuka honey is still active and it doesn’t lose its potency when exposed to heat, light or dilution. This is known as the Unique Manuka Factor – or UMF.
The UMF grading system is a quality trademark that can only be used by licensed New Zealand brands who have met set criteria. The number represents the UMF level – that is, the degree of antibacterial activity in the honey. The higher the number, the more potent the honey. Honey with a UMF of 10+ to 15+ is considered an effective potency. The highest and most powerful rating is UMF20+ – the queen bee of honey!
In fact, studies have shown that the in vitro activity of Manuka honey can kill off antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as E.coli and treat chronic wound infections not responding to antibiotic therapy.
So, what does one do with this amazing stuff?
How to Use Manuka Honey
Repair and Renew Skin
Studies show that the antibacterial activity in Manuka honey and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier for wounds. burns and itchy skin conditions, preventing infection and stimulating repair. As a natural moisturiser, Manuka honey helps to boost hydration by absorbing moisture and drawing it into the skin.
- Wounds: Apply a layer of manuka honey to the affected area every 12 hours. Cover with gauze or a bandaid.
- Itchy/dry conditions: Apply a layer of manuka honey to the area and either leave uncovered or cover with gauze for at least an hour.
- Beauty: See here for great skin care recipes with Manuka honey
Soothe a Sore Throat
The anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties in Manuka honey make it an effective natural treatment for throat infections. It helps to stimulate the immune system, reducing the duration of the infection. Best of all, honey coats and soothes inflamed mucous membranes – a welcome respite from gargling iodine!
- Take a spoonful neat, or mix with warm water and lemon juice. Avoid boiling the water as this may destroy the natural components.
The natural prebiotics in Manuka honey help to boost levels of good bacteria in the gut, allowing the digestive system to rebalance itself naturally. Better gut bacteria means fewer digestive issues such as bloating and discomfort.
Boost General Health
Manuka honey is loaded with immune-boosting nutrients: amino acids. B vitamins (B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid), plus trace minerals including Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. It provides a quick, nutritious energy boost – great as a pick-me-up when you’re craving something sweet.
- Health maintenance/immune support: Take 1-2 teaspoons a day.
- Rundown or at risk of infection: Take up to 3 teaspoons a day.
Where Can I Get It?
Manuka honey is now available on PureNature! This high-quality honey is sourced from Waitemata Honey, who are a registered member Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association. This means their honey is tested in approved laboratories to determine its precise UMF® rating.