Manuka honey is a superfood. It is a neutraceutical having nutritional and therapeutic benefits and is widely accepted as a food and medicine by all generations, civilizations and cultures, both ancient and modern. Today, a great deal of scientific research has been conducted on Manuka honey benefits which we will study in detail.
What is Manuka honey?
Manuka honey (Leptospermum scoparium) is the honey obtained from bees that feed on flowers of tea tree or Manuka bushes. These bushes are native to parts of New Zealand and Australia. Professor Peter Molan of New Zealand can be accredited with having researched this superfood and he has addressed many questions like why this particular type of honey is so beneficial in treating cuts, wounds, burns, acne and scars as well as in preventing infections in radiotherapy or cancer patients.
Top 5 Manuka Honey Benefits
1. Aids digestion
Manuka honey soothes the lining of the stomach and can be beneficial in treating acidity, bloating and digestive irritation. It is particularly recommended to patients who suffer from ulcers, IBS and inflammation of the digestive tract. You can take a spoonful of honey as is or mix it up with some milk, juice or water to aid digestion, prevent constipation and acid reflux.
2. It is a complete health tonic
Manuka honey has many antioxidant and anti-microbial compounds which prevent common illnesses. Taken regularly, your immune system gets strengthened to fight microbes and pathogens that cause these diseases or allergies. Antioxidant properties of Manuka honey can also prevent or delay premature aging.
3. Skin conditions
Compared to regular honey, Manuka honey has superior antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits. As a result, it can be used for healing cuts, wounds, burns and acne and acne scars. It is also ideal for use as a cleanser in place of harsh, drying soaps. This helps in preventing excess dryness of skin. The antibacterial and antioxidant properties of manuka honey lighten scar tissues, and prevent breakouts of pimples. When applied to burns and wounds, honey can prevent secondary infections and blisters. Of all manuka honey benefits for the skin, acne fighting is the most important one.
4. Soothes upper respiratory illness
Manuka honey is very beneficial against coughs, colds and sore throats. You can take a spoonful of it to stop pain in throat infections, clear the airways, soothe the nasal passage and relive congestion.
5. Boosts energy levels
A spoon of manuka honey can provide you with much needed sugar to give you a burst of energy. Add it to your morning cereals and smoothies or spread it over your toast for an energy filled breakfast.(However, the high sugar content of manuka honey makes it unsuitable for diabetics).
Do not feed manuka honey to infants under the age of one. Also, honey can be toxic if it is collected from toxic pollens. So make sure you source the honey from reputed vendors. As stated above, diabetics may want to refrain from eating too much of it.
How To Choose Manuka Honey
You can rate and compare Manuka honey with other honey types through two standards or ratings: the UMF and the MGO. UMF is Unique Manuka Factor while MGO stands for methylglyoxal. The UMF rating indicates the antibacterial activity of Manuka honey and should ideally be a number above 10. (A UMF rating of above 10 means that it is Active Manuka Honey). Currently of course, you can only buy active manuka honey only and the UMF rating is the worldwide standard for testing honeys all across the globe.
The MGO on the other hand is not a standard as it is currently only used in New Zealand. That said; the MGO is also an indication of the anti-microbial activity of Manuka honey. When buying Manuka honey, watch out for UMF trademark on the label. Also make sure there is a license number on the side or the back. If these are absent, then the honey is of dubious medicinal value.
We will now discuss a simple manuka honey mask for acne treatment.
Manuka honey mask for Acne
Manuka honey acne treatment is the most popular among all of its benefits. Many teenagers and adults have cured acne with its regular intake as well as its topical application. To add honey to your diet, you can simply switch from regular honey to Manuka honey. Though a bit expensive, it will be totally worth it. You can also mix the honey up with some water and lemon juice to apply to face and neck. This works as a toner/astringent or even a cleanser that can clean your skin without stripping it off its natural oils.
Here is a simple manuka honey acne mask:
- 1 tbsp raw manuka honey
- A pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 capsule of Vitamin E oil
Mix all ingredients and apply to face and neck focusing on problem areas. Massage gently in circular motion. Leave it on for 20 minutes (or up to 1 hour) before rinsing clean. Both nutmeg and manuka honey are anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. They help soothe acne inflamed skin. Honey can also destroy P.acnes bacterium, clean out excess sebum and prevent future breakouts.