Honey has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, including wounds, burns, sores, and boils. This is because honey contains natural antibacterial and antioxidant properties that promote healing, while also keeping the wound moist and forming a protective barrier to prevent infection by microbes.
While there are many types of honey available, manuka honey has become increasingly popular due to its unique qualities. It is produced by bees from the nectar of the manuka bush, a native plant of New Zealand. This type of honey is well-known for its potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which offer numerous benefits. In fact, in 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Manuka honey as a wound treatment option.
Distinguishing characteristics of manuka honey
Manuka honey is distinct from other honey types owing to its elevated levels of methylglyoxal (MGO), a naturally occurring compound responsible for its antibacterial properties.
The MGO content of Manuka honey varies across different types, with some having higher levels compared to others. The antibacterial potential of manuka honey is correlated with its MGO content, which is measured in MGO units, ranging from 100 to over 1000.
Manuka honey also contains additional useful compounds, including hydrogen peroxide with antiseptic properties, and dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is converted into MGO within the honey. These compounds collaborate to provide Manuka honey with its therapeutic and curative properties.
Aside from its antibacterial properties, Manuka honey contains various other beneficial compounds, including hydrogen peroxide, which has antiseptic properties, and dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is converted into MGO in the honey. These compounds work together to give Manuka honey its powerful healing properties.
Health benefits of using manuka honey
Manuka honey has been extensively used for its medicinal properties, specifically for treating the following health conditions:
- Digestive problems. Manuka honey can promote the growth of good bacteria and reduce gut inflammation, thereby improving digestive health.
- Immune system. Manuka honey can improve overall health and bolster the immune system based on available evidence.
- Skin conditions. Manuka honey exhibits antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in treating acne, eczema, and other skin conditions.
- Sore throats. For centuries, Manuka honey has been a popular remedy for sore throats, and it can significantly alleviate the severity of symptoms.
- Wounds and burns. Owing to its natural antiseptic qualities, manuka honey aids in wound healing, reduces the likelihood of infection, and helps prevent scarring.
Other uses of manuka honey
Manuka honey has multiple applications for enhancing health and well-being.
- Consumption. Manuka honey can be consumed on its own or added to various beverages like tea, smoothies, and others. It can also be used while cooking or baking.
- Skincare products. Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, manuka honey is a widely used ingredient in skincare products like face creams, serums, and lotions.
- Topical application. For treating wounds, burns, and skin conditions, Manuka honey can be applied directly to the skin.
Choosing the right manuka honey
When selecting manuka honey, it is essential to opt for a high-quality product with a significant MGO level. To guarantee the quality of the honey, look for the UMF (unique manuka factor) label, which is a certification that ensures the quality of manuka honey. The UMF rating ranges from 5 to 20 and represents the strength of the honey’s antibacterial properties. A rating of 10 or higher is deemed good quality and the best Manuka honey.
Manuka honey is a highly valued product with numerous health benefits. It is produced by bees that pollinate the manuka bush in New Zealand and has a distinctive composition that distinguishes it from other types of honey. This special honey is known for its antibacterial properties, ability to aid wound healing, and effectiveness in reducing symptoms of specific digestive issues.
Although it is crucial to note that not all manuka honey products are of equal quality, selecting a 100% pure product from a reputable source ensures obtaining a high-quality product that provides the desired health benefits.
Robert Haynes, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.