Manuka honey was first discovered in New Zealand, bees pollinated the Manuka bush which is the most beneficial and unique forms of honey. Honey has been for medical purposes since historical times dated back thousands of years ago. Benefits of manuka honey ranges from curing sore throats and digestive problems to Staph infections and gingivitis. Many archeologists have claimed to have found unspoiled honey in pots that have been kept in the Egyptian royals tombs since thousands of years.
Different parts of the island produce different grades and different strengths of Manuka honey and that vary from seasons. Professor Peter Molan and his team from the University of Waikato have been studying the antibacterial properties of honey since the 1980s and have found that Manuka honey has better antibacterial properties over normal honey. They named it as Unique Manuka factor (UMF). UMF is a registered trademark and if a Manuka jar does not have this trademark that means it has not been tested under the Active Manuka Honey Association. This will mean that it is not the authentic Manuka honey or it is being sold illegally.
Benefits of manuka honey or rather just any honey has been praised even since Biblical times, where the Promised Land was known as the “land flowing with milk and honey”. There are more than 300 different varieties of honey and they range from raw and pasteurized, filtered or unfiltered, comb liquid or whipped and local or imported. So, the more expensive the honey the more pure it may be.
Components Of Manuka Honey
Hydrogen peroxide is present in this type of honey as well as other types of honey. This is potent on microbes that can cause infections. Another antibacterial agent is Methylglyoxal (MG) which is present in other honey types but in lesser amounts as compared to Manuka Honey. Due to its higher concentrations, it is a more powerful antibacterial agent. Honey producers have developed a scale to rate the potency of the honey and it is known as ‘Unique Manuka Factor’ (UMF). To be considered therapeutic or potent enough it should be have a minimum of 10UMF and is marketed as “UMF Manuka Honey”.
20 Benefits Of Manuka Honey
1. Nutritional Value Of Manuka Honey
The raw and unprocessed or unfiltered honey contains amino acids, vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. Amino acids like tyrosine, lysine, phenylalanine, valine, arginine, histidine, glutamic acid and proline are present. The nutritional content of Manuka honey is 4 times greater than normal honey.
2. Boosts Immunity
People who consume Manuka honey on a regular basis are known to have more immunity as compared to others. This is due to the high nutritional value in this type of honey. Lab studies have shown that certain substances are able to boost the cytokine production in the body. Cytokines are involved in immune response and help in fighting against pathogens and infections. Thus, this is the reason behind manuka honey benefits for boosting immunity.
3. Relieves Tonsillitis
The lymph tissue makes up the tonsils which is a part of the immune system. They help in fighting of infections caused by pathogens and viruses that try to enter the body via the mouth. Doing so, the tonsils themselves get infected and can be treated with antibiotics or anti-inflammatory pills. A natural method is to consume 3-4 teaspoons of manuka honey every day and it will help fight off infections as well as boost the immune system.
4. Chronic Sinusitis
People who suffer from chronic sinusitis can use manuka honey as it has antibacterial agents that are harmful to Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeroginosa that commonly cause sinusitis. The Methylglycoxal in Manuka honey has the capacity to draw out water and thereby destroy the bacterial biofilms and bring down the sinus congestion. While using conventional antibiotics, these bacteria produce a biofilm; that is made up of a polysaccharide matrix and prevents the antibiotics from entering the sinuses.
5. Relieves Rosacea
Rosacea is a skin condition that is generally characterized by enlarged skin pore size resulting into red and inflamed skin. It is an incurable disorder however; some studies have shown Manuka to completely restore the skin texture in some people. Some of the benefits of manuka honey is that it can cleanse the skin and reduce the pore size. Another benefit is that, it can also reduce the inflammation due to the anti-inflammatory properties that it possesses. The condition can get complication when the skin gets infected with bacteria or funguses. This can also be counteracted upon by Manuka as it has antibacterial as well as antiviral properties. You can use UMF 15 to 20 but be sure that you take a skin sensitivity test before using it.
6. Heals Wounds & Burns
The manuka honey can be used on cuts or burn as it can also be used as a natural anti-septic. On contact with water and other body fluids, the hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen and making the bacteria impossible to live. It also further disinfects the wound by drawing out pus from the wound. The Methyglyoxal present in this type of honey is highly effective against Methicillin resistant staphylococcus and vancomycin resistant enterococci. It further heals wounds faster by triggering cytokine production which is a natural defense of the body.
7. Effective On Ringworm & Athlete’s Foot
Fungal infections can lead to ringworm or athlete’s foot. The powerful anti-fungal properties that raw manuka honey possesses, can fight against the fungus. Athlete’s foot can occur in skin folds where the body is moist and warm while ringworm can occur anywhere on the body. Also, the anti-inflammatory properties of the honey can relieve the pain and itch.
8. Prevents Hair Loss
Hair loss is mainly caused because of undernourishment of the scalp and deficiency of nutrients and vitamins. One of the benefits of manuka honey is to prevent hair loss. It can do so, as it has a high mineral content, B-complex vitamins and amino acids that rejuvenate the hair follicles and nourish the scalp. Massage honey on to the scalp and leave it on for a few minutes before a hair wash. Or you can also mix a teaspoon of honey with your normal conditioner and wash vigorously.
9. Prevents Split Ends & Frizz
Frizz and split ends generally occur due to lack of hydration and thus, leads to breakage. To strengthen the hair, use a teaspoon of honey with your conditioner and massage well. This will hydrate the scalp and will make your hair silky smooth.
10. Prevent Dandruff
Dandruff is generally caused due to a dry scalp or fungal infections. Malassezia globosa and Malassezia furfur are the funguses responsible for dandruff and folliculitis. In this case, manuka honey can help hydrate the scalp and reduce dryness while the anti-fungal properties can fight the fungus-causing dandruff and other scalp problems. It further cleanses the scalp of dead skin cells and promotes the growth of hair follicles. Hence it helps you to get rid of dandruff.
11. Relieves Eczema & Hives
Eczema and hives are a result of autoimmune and allergic problems. They are characterized by scaly skin and dry skin; eczema can be worsened by scratching which may lead to oozing from the skin and skin peeling. These conditions can be further complicated by bacterial and fungal invasions. The benefits of manuka honey for the skin is that they moisturize and protect or fight against these opportunistic bacteria and funguses.
12. Improves Oral Health
According to a study done by the School of Dentistry at the University of Ontago, New Zealand; people who ate manuka honey and chewed propolis show a 35% reduction in plaque and bleeding sites in people with gingivitis. This is due to the fact that this honey has calcium, phosphorous and zinc that prevents tooth decay. It also controls tooth plaque and thus improves the overall health. The anti inflammation property in this honey; helps to relieve the inflamed gums in gingivitis and also the disease pyorrhea that leads to severe gum infection.
13. Relieves Colon Issues
Inflammatory bowel disease is characterized by stomach pain and cramps while Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) is characterized by stomach pain, diarrhea and constipation. Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBD) shows inflammation and structural changes in the bowel lining and is similar to ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. One of the benefits of Manuka honey is that is effectively prevents inflammation and damage to the colon lining caused by IBD. A study shows lab rats that underwent chemically induced colonic damage were orally administered with manuka honey; it not only reduced inflammation but also protected the colon from structural damage.
14. Relieves Gastritis
Gastritis is characterized by an inflamed lining of the stomach, bloating, pain, vomiting, indigestion and heartburn. This is commonly caused due to bile reflux, excessive use of aspirin or alcohol intake and bacteria Helicobacter pylori. These bacteria can survive in highly acidic environment and it can also cause stomach ulcers that may lead to stomach cancer. According to study published in 1994, Manuka honey has been found potent against 7 different strains of Helicobacter pylori but was not observed in other types of honey. This could be because the stomach enzymes deactivate the hydrogen peroxide present in the honey but was not effective on deactivating Methylgyloxal in this type of honey.
15. Improves Acne
Acne is most commonly caused due to bacterial invasions in the skin. This leads to inflammation and redness. Due to the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of the manuka honey, it can help treat and prevent acne and reduce the inflammation.
16. Natural Remedy For Coughs
Honey has anti-inflammatory properties that helps soothe the lining of the throat and decreases irritation and discomfort. This type of honey is more effective than the normal honey as it not only has hydrogen peroxide but also has Methygloxal that is potent to infection causing pathogens.
17. Detoxifying Agent
Manuka honey has an elixir effect that helps in boosting energy and also enhances the quality of life. It detoxifies the body by neutralizing free radicals and also improves the skin texture.
18. Improves Sleep
Honey helps in releasing the chemical melatonin that plays a vital role in aiding natural sleep. It also slowly releases glycogen that is needed essentially for body functions during sleep. Drinking honey in milk right before going to bed can help you get a good sleep. Poor sleep is associated with disorders such as type2 diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis and stroke. Thus, by getting a good sleep can help lower these and other health issues.
19. Lowers Cholesterol
Honey has natural sugars that aid in lowering bad cholesterol in the body. Studies have shown that women who substitute sugar to honey can effectively lower their LDL cholesterol. This is one of the many benefits of manuka honey.
20. Anti Ageing
Methylglyoxal present in manuka honey is a powerful agent in slowing down the process of aging. It has been shown to increase collagen in skin cells. This honey also contains amino acids that support and protect collagen and thus gives you youthful looking skin.