Manuka (Man-oooh-kaahhh) honey is produced by European honey bees foraging on the manuka or tea tree (Leptospermum scoparium) which grows uncultivated throughout New Zealand and southeastern Australia.
I wish I was writing this post from a more comfortable place, however.... I have a cooking wound :( Note to self, late night cooking is just a NO! Accidently burned the tip of my pinky on the oven last night and OMG it still hurts 24 hours later. As I do.....I quickly turned to nature's healing products and viola - MANUKA HONEY! I found some at Trader Joe's today and was so excited! My finger has now been marinating in honey and a bandaid for about 2 hours. So far so good!! In addition to just a healing agent for burns, this magical gooeyness has so many benefits!
Why is it different than regular honey?
Manuka honey is known to have a much higher concentration of a natural antibacterial compound called methylglyoxal (MGO) compared to regular honey. Manuka honey has a considerably higher level of enzymes than regular honey. These enzymes create a natural hydrogen peroxide that works as an antibacterial. Some strains of this New Zealand honey are particularly rich in hydrogen peroxide, methylglyoxal (MGO) and dihydroxyacetone. This is what sets Manuka apart from regular honey. To measure the potency and healing factor of Manuka, we refer to the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF), measuring the antibacterial strength of Manuka. This will often be displayed on the bottle and in the price!
* @traderjoes just started carrying it! 10+
*@People's Co-Op in Ocean Beach, if you're a local San Diegan :) carries a 20+ brand
4-9 Maintenance level with general honey health benefits
10-14 Supports natural healing and bacterial balance
15+ Superior levels of phenols that are highly therapeutic but shouldn’t exceed taking 1 tbsp at a time
B vitamins (B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid)
Ok, so we know it is "healing" but what exactly can it be used for?
Low stomach acid, low production or not enough Hydrochloric Acid, can lead to a slew of problems, but to name a few leaky gut, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and IBS (irritable bowl syndrome) are results of what happens when you cannot properly digest foods. Undigested carbohydrates ferment, fats can go rancid and proteins putrefy, which can break down the lining in your stomach, allowing bad bacteria and foods to enter the bloodstream through the intestinal lining. With the beneficial factors of manuka being an antibacterial, Manuka honey is very beneficial in reducing reflux and balancing your digestive system to heal stomach and intestinal imbalances.
2.) Skin - Acne and Eczema
Repairs skin: Manuka promotes skin regeneration, repairs cellular damage and lessens scarring.
Hydrates: When applied to your skin, manuka will hold in moisture and absorb moisture from the air for a dewy, glowing complexion.
Anti-aging: Because of its moisturizing properties, manuka retains moisture without making skin oily, the first step in wrinkle-free skin. It also inhibits MMP, a group of enzymes that destroy collagen.
3.) Sore Throats & Immunity
Strep Throat, caused by streptococcal bacteria, is the perfect match for Manuka honey bc of it's antibacterial properties. For sore throats, I like to use this remedy combining honey and raw garlic! In addition, Cytokines are chemical messengers secreted by your immune cells to organize immune responses, such as the production of immune-boosting cells. In a study published in the “Journal of Leukocyte Biology” in 2007, researchers isolated a compound in manuka honey that stimulates the production of cytokines. Their findings may explain why the honey is helpful in healing acute and chronic wounds.
4.) Burns, Wounds and Ulcers
Applying honey causes a reduction in inflammation and scar contractures, and the antioxidant effect of honey in neutralizing free radicals. Together with antibacterial action, low pH, high viscosity and hygroscopic effect, all contribute to the efficiency of honey in burns treatment. Full article for more sciency stuff :) Simply apply honey to the wound and cover with a band aid. Reapply as needed.
Manuka Honey helps to promote restful deep sleep. It slowly releases the glycogen needed for essential bodily functions during sleep. Yummy as a natural sweetener to tea before bed.
Reducing inflammation is healing for the gut, injuries and wounds. By internally ingesting manuka, or using topically, this magic substance can heal flare ups and discomfort of all kinds.