Diet and Nutrition

All About Manuka Honey

All About Manuka Honey

Key Takeaways

  • What makes Manuka honey special compared with other kinds of honey is its remarkable nutritional profile.
  • When purchasing Manuka honey, check the label for the "UMF" (unique manuka factor) quality mark, the industry standard indicator of the honey's antibacterial strength. Or else, you can also look for the trademark antibacterial strength indicator "MGO", used solely by Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd for its products. The higher the UMF or MGO, the better.
  • Manuka honey is getting its name established as a natural source of vitamins and nutrients. Not only is it high in nutritional content, but it also has various health benefits that can help people who consume it.

What is manuka honey?

Manuka honey is one of the most beneficial and unique kinds of honey in the world. It is produced by bees found in New Zealand that pollinate the Manuka bush. Manuka honey has a wide range of uses, including the treatment of certain diseases such as digestive illnesses, staph infections, gingivitis, and sore throat.

What makes Manuka honey special compared with other kinds of honey is its remarkable nutritional profile. Ordinary raw honey has long been identified for its tremendous immune system-boosting and nutritional abilities. In general, raw unfiltered honey is a great source of calcium, amino acids, iron, manganese, potassium, zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and B vitamins such as B6, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. But with Manuka honey, the nutritional content is four times greater than that of regular honey. This is known as the unique Manuka factor. Manuka honey also contains hydrogen peroxide, an antibiotic naturally found in honey, and methylglyoxal, or MG, a great antibiotic compound that is found in large quantities in Manuka honey. The methylglyoxal in Manuka honey is what makes Manuka a cut above other kinds of honey. Some types of honey have low quantities of MG while other do not have it at all.

Where to buy Manuka honey?

Manuka honey is available in some health food stores and online. When purchasing Manuka honey, check the label for the "UMF" (unique manuka factor) quality mark, the industry standard indicator of the honey's antibacterial strength, or a reference to "NPA", or non-peroxide antibacterial activity. UMF scores are as follows:

  • 0 to 4 – unnoticeable amount is present
  • 5 to 9 – low levels are in the product
  • 10 to 15 – contains useful levels
  • 16 – high-grade, has superior levels

To derive the most benefit from taking Manuka honey, a high UMF level Manuka honey must be used. Or else, you can also look for the trademark antibacterial strength indicator "MGO", used solely by Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd for its products. The higher the MGO, the better.

What are the health benefits of Manuka honey?

Manuka honey is getting its name established as a natural source of vitamins and nutrients. Not only is it high in nutritional content, but it also has various health benefits that can help people who consume it.

Below are some of the health benefits of Manuka honey:

Reduces acid reflux and balances the digestive system

Manuka honey has natural antibiotic properties; thus, it is a great choice for digestive problems such as small intestine bacterial overgrowth, acid reflux, and low stomach acid. A recent study has shown that the bacterium called Clostridium difficile, one of the most dangerous bacteria related to digestive problems, is susceptible to the bactericidal effects of Manuka honey. Therefore, Manuka honey is essential in reducing acid reflux as well as it helps balance the digestive system to heal the stomach and intestinal imbalances.

Can control staph infections

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been a problem through the years. It spreads rapidly, making people affected by it end up having invasive procedures including surgery to save their lives. However, recent research from Cardiff Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom discovered that Manuka honey can down-regulate the most powerful genes of the MRSA bacteria. Thus, Manuka honey is beneficial in naturally keeping MRSA at bay.

Treats gingivitis and periodontal disease

Since Manuka honey has antimicrobial properties, it has been proven that sucking on or chewing a Manuka honey product can cause a 35 percent reduction in plaque and a 35 percent decrease in bleeding gums in people with gingivitis. These improvements are also due to Manuka honey’s high mineral content, notably, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus, which help build strong teeth.

Stimulates immune cells

Manuka honey can stop the growth of strep bacteria, which cause sore throats. This is because this honey stimulates the body’s immune system and the production of cytokine. Cytokines are signaling proteins that are involved in the immune reactions of the body. Manuka can also be used to treat throat inflammation caused by chemotherapy.

Improves sleep

Manuka honey can help promote deep sleep. It gradually releases glycogen, which is needed for important bodily functions, while a person is sleeping. Adding honey to milk drunk before bedtime can help the body release melatonin, which is needed for deep sleep.

Great nutritional supplement

Manuka honey is naturally rich in a host of vitamins and minerals such as fructose, amino acids, B-complex vitamins, enzymes, calcium, iron, copper, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, sodium, and magnesium.

Prevents and fixes damage to the colon

Manuka honey has been found useful in preventing colon inflammation and in repairing damaged colon lining caused by chronic IBD, or inflammatory bowel disease.

Various uses of Manuka honey

Manuka honey has a wide range of uses. It can be taken orally as is, or in paste form, or it can be mixed into a drink, among other ways of ingesting it.

To get the most out of Manuka honey, take 1 to 2 tablespoons a day. Simply swallow it. If the honey is too sweet for you, you can add it to your tea or other beverage, mix it into yogurt, or spread it on toast. Adding cinnamon to Manuka honey can help boost immune cells, which can help with faster recovery from illness.

Manuka honey can be used as a facial mask, cleanser, or toner for the treatment of acne and eczema. Because of Manuka honey’s healing and antimicrobial properties, it is a good choice in helping to treat these skin conditions. Also, the hygroscopic nature of Manuka honey draws out dirt from the skin and grime trapped in the hair follicles. It also aids the free flow of natural oils. Apply a Manuka honey mask onto the face or other affected areas. After a few minutes, wash it off with water and a gentle soap. Do this every day for the best results. This procedure can also improve skin tone and texture. Manuka honey can also be mixed with shampoo or used as a hair mask to enhance shine.

Manuka honey can also be used as a wound dressing as it promotes rapid wound healing. It also helps prevent infection in venous ulcers due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial characteristics.

Manuka honey is a good remedy for cough and tonsilitis, as it soothes the throat’s lining as well as reduces irritation and discomfort.