Parched skin, sore throat, or in need of sugar? Honey is one solution that fits most problems (1). While all kinds of honey are good for us, there is one kind of honey that stands out amongst the others — Manuka honey. If you thought that honey was just an alternative sweetener, Manuka honey is here to give you a couple of other benefits. It is a therapeutic food that can heal cuts, calm acne, and boost probiotics. Celebrities and netizens are going gaga over this honey as it proves to be a panacea to the skin, gut health, and other health issues.
What Is Manuka Honey?
This honey has an exotic origination. It comes from the Manuka tree in New Zealand. While the real honey is only native to New Zealand and Eastern Australia, it’s not so difficult to spot one of the bottled versions in the supermarkets. The Manuka flower produces nectar that’s highly concentrated and has more antibacterial properties than any other honey.
However, how do you know that the stores aren’t conning you with local honey wrapped in fancy bottles? Look for the abbreviations UMF, on the container. Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) is a label that indicates that the honey is certified and meets the standards of the UMF Honey Association. The trademark is a sign that the honey is tested for its strength and quality of its signature properties and composition. These compounds hold utmost importance as they make Manuka beneficial to one’s health.
How To Use Manuka Honey?
The easiest and the sweetest way to enjoy this honey is to lick it off a spoon. But, if you want to add it to your foods, you can stir a spoonful of honey in your tea, smoothies, or drizzle some over breakfast bowl.
Additionally, you can also give your usual moisturizer a miss and use this honey as a skin moisturizer. It works wonders on dry skin and the skin that’s affected by eczema (2). It can be applied in its raw form or can be combined with shea butter and coconut oil before application on the skin.
Manuka honey can also be used as an immune-boosting cough drop when combined with peppermint tea and lemon juice.
Benefits Of Manuka Honey
1. It Boosts Overall Immunity
Keep some Manuka honey handy as the germiest season of the year approaches. If you have a cold or flu, have a spoonful of Manuka honey. Its powerful antibacterial properties can support overall immunity and boost the resistance to infections. Manuka honey works effectively against different types of bacteria and fungi (3).
2. It Can Relieve A Stuffy Nose
If you have a stuffy nose and you are not a fan of saline nasal sprays, fret not. We have Manuka honey to your rescue (4). Unlike the saline nasal spray, Manuka honey thins out the mucus and makes it a pleasant experience for the users. If you want to give it a try, talk to your doctors first.
3. It Can Treat Acne
When the bacteria called P.acnes hangs out on our skin, it leads to breakouts and acne. These bacteria clog the pores and multiply, triggering those bumpy, red, swollen cysts. This overgrowth of the bacteria can be controlled by the hydrogen peroxide, antioxidants, and anti-bacterial compounds present in Manuka honey (5). However, you can shop for products that contain Manuka honey instead of slathering honey directly on your face.
4. It Is A Powerhouse Of Antioxidants
Now that we have said it multiple times, Manuka honey is rich in antioxidants. In fact, among the six popular types of honey, this one ranks the highest in its antioxidant composition (6).
5. It Can Boost The Gut Health
Our gut houses some “good bacteria” called the probiotics. These keep our gut healthy. Good news is that Manuka honey can boost these little creatures and increase the growth of certain Lactobacillus probiotics (7).
6. It Helps Treat Wounds
The high levels of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds in Manuka honey have gained a popular reputation for treating wounds (8). The power of Manuka honey isn’t just limited to treat wounds, but it extends to healing ulcers, burns, infections, and surgical wounds. That said, all kinds of honey have healing properties. It’s just that Manuka is much more powerful than its fellow honey variants. Honey can heal certain burns 4-5 days quicker than conventional dressing and it can also be more effective than antiseptic in healing infected wounds after surgery (9). So, if you can’t find Manuka, you can go with regular honey too.
That’s sweet, isn’t it? Who knew honey could do all that! In addition to these, Manuka honey also has a lower glycemic index than white sugar, which means that it doesn’t spike your blood sugar level as much as white sugar. Considering the fact that Manuka honey can benefit all the aforementioned ways, you might want to make a pitstop at the closest supermarket or order it online. But, be sure to check for the UMF certification.
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