Manuka honey is a New Zealand – native honey known for its anti-bacterial properties – giving it healthier attributes than traditional honey. Produced by bees pollinating the flower Leptospermum Scoparium, this plant is also known as the Manuka Bush or Manuka Tea Tree.
For a long time, Manuka honey has been a part of traditional remedies, from healing wounds to providing tooth decay; People also find it good for dealing with a sore throat. So, what are the top 5 benefits of Manuka honey that have generated a lot of buzz?
Before we get down these benefits, it is important to know what is Manuka Honey?
What is Manuka Honey?
As we already mentioned, Manuka Honey is honey native to New Zealand grown from the Manuka bush found in the coastal regions of New Zealand. It is produced by Apis Melifera, European bees. The scientific community says it originated during Miocene Aridity – nearly 20 million years ago.
So, this honey has a rich history that gives it rich features and medicinal properties.
Here are some of the key characteristics of Manuka Honey:
Colour: Colour is one factor in which Manuka does differ from traditional honey. People describe its colour as ranging from dark cream to brown, the higher the grade the stronger the colour profile
Consistency: Consistency is where Manuka honey takes on firmer features. It has viscosity and is not runny like traditional honey.
Taste: New Zealand natives describe the taste of honey as earthy, with a bitter aftertaste. It is also not as sweet as standard honey – making it suitable as a sugar substitute.
Anti-bacterial properties: The anti-bacterial properties of Manuka honey are because of a natural active ingredient called methylglyoxal or MGO. It is due to the presence of DHA – or Dihydroxyacetone in the Manuka flowers.
Monofloral: Traditionally, honey is derived from multiple flowers. Manuka honey above grade 100MGO is monofloral manuka flowers.
5 Benefits of Manuka Honey
Due to the features we just highlighted, Manuka honey is anti-bacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. Therefore, people derive the following five benefits from them.
Help in Healing Wounds
Since ancient times, honey has been used as a remedy to heal wounds from everything from burns to sores to boils. However, it wasn't until 2007 that the USA's FDA (Food and Drug Administration) stepped up and approved the use of this honey to treat wounds.
It is not just the anti-bacterial nature of this honey that helps with wound healing; it is the lack of moisture. The firm texture adds a bid of dryness around the wounds. And the viscosity of this honey prevents any pollutants from entering, and in doing so, it prevents microbial infections.
A two-week study was done to assess the efficacy of manuka honey in this reward. Doctors prescribed them to 400 patients complaining that their wounds weren't healing. Within a week, researchers witnessed an 88% decrease in wound size.
But the healing properties of Manuka honey aren't limited to injuries. Diabetic ulcers that cause foot sores that force diabetic patients to stay in hospitals can also be treated with Manuka honey. You only need to apply it like an ointment, and the results will be yours to see.
In addition to the anti-bacterial and textural properties, many medical practitioners – even surgeons prefer Manuka honey to heal wounds because it was observed that it is less painful. A Greek study found that patients that received manuka honey as the ointment to heal their eyelid wounds experienced less pain and stiffness.
Good for Skin Infections
Manuka Honey has been known to help with dealing skin infections. It also has antifungal properties – making it suitable remedy for ringworm and tinea infections. Scientist suggest that Manuka can “fine tune” the immune system to deal with stubborn skin conditions such as dermatitis.
Soothe a Sore Throat
Having a sore throat is quite daunting. Your focus is affected, and the pain can aggravate when it persists for a long time. Manuka honey can provide you with much-needed relief in that situation.
Repeated coughing often increases the inflammation that ends up causing a lot of main. With its anti-bacterial properties, Manuka honey helps removes bacteria and soothes sore throats by coating the inner lining of your throat – giving you a soothing sensation.
The impact of Manuka honey on the sore throat was studied in patients undergoing chemotherapy for neck cancer. It was found that Manuka honey is extremely effective against Streptococcus Mutans, which is a type of bacteria that causes throat pains.
Avoiding tooth Decay
One of the most surprising side benefits of manuka honey is preventing tooth decay. Surprising because most ailments around the tooth have been attributed to eating sweet stuff. However, Manuka Honey's anti-bacterial properties come into play and attack the bad oral bacteria that cause cavity issues.
It then coats the region with good bacteria that are always on guard to deal with the bad ones. It is also important to note that because Manuka honey only has mild sweetness, it doesn’t cause cavity issues.
Supporting Gut Health
Manuka honey is a great probiotic source of non-digestible carbohydrates known as oligosaccharides. These good bacteria help with a good digestive system.
Also, Manuka honey has also been found to be a great treatment for gastric ulcers, and its anti-inflammatory effect manages infections that cause these issues. Researchers have also found that Manuka honey can cure gut infections caused by clostridium difficile.
Is Manuka Honey Safe for Everyone?
While it is easy to admire so many positive factors about this traditional cure, it is also important to remember that it is not safe for everyone. Following are patients that must talk to a doctor before consuming Manuka honey.
- Infants: Children younger than 12 months shouldn’t be given Manuka honey since their stomachs aren’t fully formed – making digesting the honey difficult.
- Diabetic patients: While manuka honey is a good sugar substitute, it is a sugar-based product. That is why a person with diabetes must consult the doctor about the dosage before consuming.
- Allergic individuals: People allergic to honey might have an allergic reaction to Manuka honey.
Manuka Honey is unique. Medical practitioners – both modern and traditional – can take advantage of its anti-bacterial properties and consistency to cure various ailments. And it can enhance the healing effects when used with conventional treatments. However, care must*
*Consult a medical practitioner if under any medication.