Ooo your kisses, sweeter than honey.. Hmmm.. Well maybe? Why is Manuka Honey the new wonder cure? Not all honey is created equal though.
Manuka honey is a specific type of honey that is produced in New Zealand and comes from bees that pollinate only the Manuka bush. We have always known that honey was good for sore throats and other health ailments but as of recent the honey craze, and its many celebrity endorsers have set their sights on Manuka Honey specifically. Manuka honey offers many unique health benefits that differ from your “regular honey.” It is most known for is amazing antibacterial properties, wound/burn healing properties. What makes Manuka honey so different and allows for such a price hike? Lets break it down. Manuka honey contains three important compounds, hydrogen peroxide, methylglycoxal, and dihydroxyacetone. These three compounds make up the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) which is a global measurement system to determine the level of antibacterial properties each batch of honey contains. UMF isn’t present in all manuka honey strains so make sure your bottle has a UMF (or Kfactor if it is Wedderspoon honey) reading on the bottle. UMF reading under 5 are not considered medicinally beneficial so look for UMF 10+ to get a real benefit. Any honey with a of UMF16+ is considered superior high grade quality and even though it will likely be more expensive it will offer the most health benefits.
If you happen to come across Wedderspoon Manuka honey, they use there own grading system called the K factor. The K factor refers to the level of active manuka pollen grains in the honey. And of course the higher the K factor the higher the quantity of pollen grains. For example honey with K factor 12 guarantees 65% of the pollen are manuka pollen grains vs K factor 22 which guarantees 90% are manuka pollen grains. And as expected the higher the K factor the more superior the honey quality which likely means it will be more money, honey!
So is it worth it.. I mean can it really do all it claims to? Well Kourtney Kardashian is a huge fan and recently became global brand ambassador for Manuka Doctor.. so right there I’m sold! But just in case you are looking for another reason to try it I have a few.
Manuka Honey is known to help with quite a few health related issues as well as help keep our skin and hair looking beautiful.
Lets look at things in more detail.. starting in order of importance..
Improve skin complexion
Manuka has antibacterial properties as well as it is very hydrating. So topical application helps to combat acne prone skin as well as provide deep hydration while helping to slough off dead dull skin cells. Also spot treatment on pimples that have already popped up and ruined our lives helps to decrease the length of time they are camped out on our face.
Increase hair growth and shine.
Using manuka honey as a hair rinse or a hair mask on a regular basis has shown promising results for helping to improve hair’s complexion and to increase growth.
And what ever else it does…. J/K
Aids in IBS and IBD
Taken orally Manuka honey has shown to offer protective benefit to the colon as well as decrease inflammation. It helps to decrease pain associated with Gi disorders as well as decrease free radical damage.
Sooth sore throat and increase immune activity
Honey for sore throat is not new.. and no matter the type we know that honey will sooth a sore throat but manuka offers to take it one step further. Due to its antibacterial properties it can help attack the bacterial that might be causing the illness. Not only that but studies have shown that manuka can help to up regulate important immune cells which helps improve our immune system.
Treat or prevent SIBO and other conditions associated with low stomach acid or increase bacteria such as H. Pylori
Due to its strong anti-bacterial qualities manuka can help fight off bacteria which can cause an overgrowth and lead to stomach and intestinal issues.
Treat topical skin infections.
Many hospital and nursing home patients suffer from a stubborn infection called MRSA. This is a staphylococcus infection which is very resistant to many antibiotics and therefore difficult to treat. It progresses fast and has often lead to massive IV antibiotic use or even skin grafts and amputations. Manuka honey has been heavily used to treat MRSA and other topical skin infections because it offers a unique form an anti-biotic treatment. It is often used for burns as well to ward of infection but also because it helps to increase wound healing time because of its antioxidant properties.
Prevent tooth decay and gingivitis.
This is somewhat supervising since we assume its sweetness will only contribute to cavities. But because of its powerful antimicrobial activities it does almost the opposite. Studies have shown that sucking on a candy or chewing a honey chew decreased the plaque buildup. (recipe to make your own manuka pops?)
Manuka honey is not found at the grocery store in the honey aisle, so if you read this and decided you wanted to try it, it would be best to head to a health food store or the organic/wellness section at the supermarket. And if you stopped reading this at Kourtney Kardashian and ran out the door to buy it.. then you probably figured that out on your own! One thing to remember that even though honey has very little risk for side effects and is safe for most.. babies under the age of one should not be given this or any type of honey due to the risk of Clostridium Botulinum.