You may be wondering, “What is Manuka Honey? Never heard of it!”
Well, I have a great love affair with honey. I have been trying out different types of honey; as a result, by trial and error, I have finally found my honey—literally! My honey is sweet, healthy and yummy which is what I have been looking for all my life! So I know you are now dying to know what Manuka Honey is. Well, Manuka Honey is a mono-floral honey produced in New Zealand. It is the hidden secret that possesses more potent antibacterial properties than most any other honey that I have researched. Those antibacterial properties kill more bacteria than ALL available antibiotics.
Why is Manuka Honey is Amazing?
There are Manuka Trees indigenous to New Zealand where the bees gather nectar from the flowers which is how the honey is produced. I am obsessed with Manuka Honey because it cannot be called Manuka Honey unless at least 70 percent of the nectar comes from the Manuka Tree which is one of the reasons why this honey is so extraordinary. Another reason why this honey is extraordinary is because it goes thru three rating systems before anyone can consume it, which will be explained later in this article. Also, because this honey is so special and the healthiest to consume, it is important to spot the real Manuka Honey from the fake Manuka Honey. Unfortunately, there are companies out there that have been known to put inaccurate labels on food products, even honey. Being able to understand this will allow people to get the most health benefits out of this amazing honey, so let’s first discuss what Manuka Honey can actually treat or even cure!
The Health Benefits of Manuka Honey
There are 12 proven benefits of using or ingesting Manuka Honey that can treat a range of medical issues wounds to staph infections. Manuka Honey has been said to been used for thousands of years. Modern research has been proven to back up such historical claims, so here’s what I have found that Manuka Honey can heal or treat:
- Cuts, Sores, Blisters and Burns
Manuka Honey is not only has antibacterial properties but has anti-inflammatory properties. It is one of the most well known topical remedies used as a wound or burn treatment, as it has been stated that the application was more effective for post-operative wounds than using regular antibiotic creams. It was actually a study published in 2003 in the European Journal of Medical Research. Manuka Honey has also been used topically to treat bed sores.
- Eczema, Rosacea and Acne
If your skin issues stem from a bacteria overgrowth then there is a great chance that Manuka Honey will help conditions such eczema, rosacea and acne, which are three somewhat common issues. There are countless testimonials online where people used this topically to treat such skin conditions and then started using it for overall skincare for anti-aging purposes.
- Bacterial Disorders, Bowel Disease and Digestive Issues
A bacterium that causes infectious diarrhea called clostridium difficle was researched and a study showed that Manuka Honey ingested was effective against the bacteria and was a potential source of treatments against bacterial infection. Clostridum Difficle is basically a bacterial infection that attacks the digestive system which is a serious condition that not only causes diarrhea, but also abdominal cramping and fever. This infection could be life threatening.
Manuka Honey can also heal the intestinal lining. Furthermore, it is also said that the honey is effective in balancing the acidity of the digestive system and has the capability to reduce acid reflux. Additionally, a healthy digestive system can lead to a healthy bowel and likely prevent inflammatory bowel disease. However, if you are diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, Manuka Honey will help heal inflammation and reverse oxidative colonic damage.
- Staph Infections or MRSA
As of late, the super bug MRSA has been found to become resistant to antibiotic treatment. And the overuse of any antibiotics only creates immunity to them; thus, causing them to no longer be effective against infectious diseases which is where Manuka Honey comes in handy. Manuka honey has been proven to be effective against certain proteins that MRSA needs to synthesize and build. More studies are being conducted because the medical community is considering this to possibly be a treatment they will use to fight MRSA.
I have used organic raw honey in teas to treat my allergies and studies have shown that Manuka Honey is just as effective in reducing the symptoms of seasonal allergies. It’s another tool in your tool belt during allergy season.
- Dental Diseases, Plaque and Tooth Decay
Unfortunately due to genetics, I suffer from dental issues, specifically gingivitis and periodontal issues. I am constantly searching for remedies or cures because it is not fun to go to the dentist, especially when they are sticking needles in your gums and cutting them up. Then, they make you take Resin which I have no clue what is in it. I always prefer natural remedies over prescribed because most of them are an expensive temporary fix and could be toxic to your body. Most of my issues come from a buildup in plaque which New Zealand research showed that if you use Manuka Honey as alternative toothpaste it can help reduce plaque by 35 percent and help prevent gingivitis and tooth decay because it has a rich source of compounds such as, zinc, calcium and phosphorus which are vital for healthy teeth. My suggestion is to also use baking soda and activated charcoal.
- Sore Throats, Strep, Colds and Coughs
Although regular organic raw honey, if ingested, can be used to treat these ailments, Manuka Honey and Manuka Propolislozenges are great for a sore throat because it is effective in preventing the strep bacteria from spreading. Additionally, the National Cancer Institute recently approved the use of Manuka Honey to also treat sore throats caused by chemotherapy.
- Molluscum Contagiosum
Most of you have probably never heard of this unless you have children but is actually a relatively common benign viral skin infection that causes painless and sometimes itchy bumps on the body. Although this commonly affects children, adults can be affected by this as well. You can leave this untreated but those annoying bumps will not go away for about a year; however, Manuka Honey, if used topically, can speed up the healing process.
- Corneal Oedema
Studies have showed that using Manuka Honey eye drops two to three times a day, in conjunction with conventional treatment, have found it to help reduce and manage corneal odema, a post-operative complaint, and improve eyesight.
- Cancer Treatment
Studies have shown that Manuka Honey has powerful anti-proliferative effects on cancers such as, skin cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. Without chemotherapy the honey has been found to subdue tumor growth by 33 percent. If you are currently seeking chemotherapy, which is extremely toxic, Manuka Honey has been proven to be a pivotal method of alleviating the toxicity and inhibiting tumor growth by 61 percent.
- Insomnia and Other Sleep Problems
Experts say that Manuka Honey is great to promote deep and restful sleep because it releases glycogen in the body which is important for bodily functions during rest and sleep. It also helps stimulate the release of melatonin in the brain which is vital for someone that has insomnia or has problems getting quality sleep. There are many kinds of sleep teas that you can put the honey in. Some people suggest it with milk before bed but I do not promote dairy; however, you can try it with coconut or almond milk.
- Stomach Ulcers
If you worry or are under great stress, you could get stomach ulcers. Medicines also can cause these ultra painful ulcers. H. Pylori is a bacteria often responsible for most ulcers, in which Manuka Honey kills when ingested.
The 3 Manuka Honey Quality Rating Systems
Like the gems, the more authentic they are the more valuable and expensive it gets. But that money will be well spent because the higher rating levels the honey is the more beneficial it is going to be for your health. The three levels are NPA (Non Peroxide Activity), UMF (Unique Manuka Factor), and MGO (Methylglyoxal Content). It is important know that the higher the rating of all three systems translates to it having higher the antibacterial effects. However, honey with a rating below the UMF/MGO scale is still sold as Manuka Honey but does not possess antibacterial effects, thus, why I must explain the rating systems more in depth.
- Non Peroxide Activity
As you learned previously, one way to grade Manuka Honey is by determining the level of NPA. Understanding what NPA is can get very scientific, but in short, it is a measurement of the potency of the enzymes in the Manuka Honey. Hydrogen Peroxide is found in all honeys, even in Manuka Honey. Though Hydrogen Peroxide is quite effective for healing things such as cuts, it is unstable in the presence of air and light which makes it difficult to store and use. In honey it is stable and released gradually. However, storing honey is an issue that must be considered because glucose oxidase, an enzyme found in honey, is reduced by heat, light and some forms of energy such as microwaves. Therefore, some honeys are more sensitive to light exposure than others. The trick is to use the enzyme catalase which neutralizes the activity oxidase, thus, creating non peroxide activity. To measure non peroxide activity, adding the testing process of UMF and MGO is vital. Please know that the NPA rating is not a direct measurement of antibacterial activity which is why all three must be considered. In conclusion, not all Manuka Honey has peroxide activity and not all honey has NPA either. Moreover, there are actually some Manuka Honeys that have both properties, but some have little or none. The honey is also influenced by a seasonal variation with both types of activity (individually) being either present or absent in any particular honey season. When you see Grade A, Active or Active Manuka on the labels, it is expressing the existence of antibacterial activity, either peroxide activity, non-peroxide activity (NPA), or both.
- Unique Manuka Factor
Now that you have learned a bit about the NPA rating, I will summarize the New Zealand trademarked rating factor, UMF. This rating actually refers to NPA in honey. The higher the UMF means it is more potent, which is the reason why honey with higher ratings is more expensive. UMF ranges from 10 to 25 in rating. Very high UMF such as, UMF 20, is considered to have activity with superior antibacterial properties. Medium UMF is considered to be just suitable for helping maintain good health.
- Methylglyoxal Content
MGO is a toxic compound, known to have antiseptic properties which are found in high concentrations up to 1000 times greater than in any other honey compared to Manuka Honey. Furthermore, it is MGO that gives Manuka Honey its unique antibacterial properties. It is also very stable because it is resistant to heat, body fluids, light and enzymatic activity. This compound found in Manuka Honey is considered to be superior to the glucose oxidase enzyme, which as I previously stated, is found in all honeys. Anything higher than 100 mg/kg is considered antibacterial because the higher the concentration means more antibacterial activity. The test done for MGO is most accurate and is also very easy to explain to consumers. MGO 100+ Manuka Honey means that in 1kg of honey there are 100mg of Methyglyoxal. MGO is also a trademark but of the Manuka New Zealand Ltd; therefore, this grade is only seen in their products.
How to Spot Fake Manuka Honey
According to The UK Food Standards Authority, much of what is on the shelves of stores consists of fake Manuka Honey, and could possibly be the same for online stores. Therefore, the authorities have issued a warning that honey labeled Manuka may not be legitimate. A great way to tell if the honey is genuine is to look for UMF is on the label and making sure that your supplier is on the list of UMFHA licensees. The UMF trademark is usually on the front. You most likely will also see MGO which is another trademark pertaining to New Zealand.
You can find a New Zealand packaged and produced, raw, non-gmo project verified Manuka Honey on amazon here.
Warnings About Manuka Honey:
Due to the bacterial spores that cause botulism, babies under the age of 12 months must not consume Manuka Honey. Manuka Honey has a high content of glucose; therefore, diabetics should limit the amount of consumption.