We’re all familiar with honey, but have you ever heard of manuka honey? This special kind of honey is definitely having a moment in the health and wellness community. I didn’t know much about it honestly, until my curiosity got the best of me! So I did some research and want to share with you just why manuka honey is so special, and how you can use it to support your personal health and wellness.
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What is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is a specialty honey that is produced by bees that pollinate the manuka tree. The manuka tree is closely related to the Tea Tree tree. (Yep, the one that produces Tea Tree essential oil!) As a result, the honey these bees produce possesses many of the same qualities as Tea Tree oil. It’s antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and rich in antioxidants.
Additionally, manuka honey has even more of the same beneficial vitamins and minerals that your average raw honey contains. Manuka honey has up to 4 times the amount of amino acids, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and more. It also possesses the same antibacterial qualities as raw honey. So if you consider the beneficial qualities of the manuka tree, on top of the impressive vitamin and mineral quality of this honey, you can start to see why people are so enthusiastic about it!
How is Manuka Honey Graded?
A scale called the “unique manuka factor” (UMF) appraises the potency of manuka honey. A rating of 10 or higher indicates that the honey contains high levels of antibacterial agents. Honeys rated at 10 and above are generally labeled “active manuka honey” or “UMF manuka honey.”
Manuka honey with a UMF rating of 16 or higher possesses therapeutic levels of antibacterial agents. (Simply put, this is not a honey you would want to consume very much of in one sitting.) However, it does make an excellent addition to any medicine cabinet!
7 Uses for Manuka Honey
1. Treat Minor Wounds
You can use manuka honey to treat minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. The therapeutic qualities of the honey will fight infection and speed up the healing process. Simply cover the affected area in a thin layer of the honey.
2. Treat Skin Conditions
Manuka honey can help treat acne, rosacea, hives, and eczema. Apply a thin layer of honey to the affected area. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then wash the area with a gentle soap and warm water. Repeat daily for the best results.
3. Promote Oral Health
Studies suggest that chewing or eating manuka honey can help reduce plaque and gingivitis. The minerals in the honey are great for teeth, too.
4. Soothe a Sore Throat
Manuka honey helps to heal inflammation and boost your immune system. It also helps stop the growth of harmful bacteria (like the ones that cause strep.) Swallow a small spoonful of manuka honey when you feel a sore throat may be coming on.
5. Treat Digestive Issues
Eating manuka honey (around 1 Tablespoon per day) can help eliminate acid reflux and soothe other digestive problems. Add the honey to tea, yogurt, or you can eat it plain. (But be warned – it has a pretty strong medicinal taste!)
6. Relieve Allergies
Studies suggest that consuming a small amount of manuka honey daily can help to reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies.
7. Sleep Better
Manuka honey slowly releases a substance called glycogen into your blood stream when ingested. Glycogen supports your body’s essential functions during sleep. This kind of support can help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested.
As a general disclaimer, I am not a doctor and cannot give out medical advice. This post is written for reference purposes only. Use your best judgment, and seek the advice of your health-care professional.