As of today, there are more than 300 types of honey available in our world, the earth. Manuka honey has got the most buzz and is well-known to many due to its mesmerizing and never-ending list of benefits, which might not be found in other types of honey out there! And this honey is exclusively produced in New Zealand and Australia only.
Sounds interesting, right? Keep reading to know more about why Manuka has become the stand out in the crowd of honeys, and how you can use it well and get the best out of it.
In general, Manuka honey can be purchased either processed or raw, and it is of course produced by the bees which tend to pollinate in the flowers of the Manuka plant. It is certainly one of the most beneficial and unique forms of honey on the planet.
If you are a botanist or horticulturalist, you might know that the scientific name of the Manuka plant is Leptospermum scoparium. But, as it’s commonly referred to as Manuka, that’s what we’ll continue to call it here.
"Manuka” is the native New Zealand Maori’s name for the plant, in Australia the plant is known as “Tea Tree”, but the honey became well known as “Manuka Honey” so that is the name that sticks with it - Manuka Honey sounds better than Tea Tree Honey anyway!
Manuka honey contains higher methylglyoxal (MG) concentration than other, multi-floral honey and this elevates the benefits of Manuka honey amazingly as opposed to other types of honey, and gives it the powerful health-boosting benefits Manuka honey has become famous for.
Having said that Manuka comes with a price tag that may blow away the mind of some people. However, many types of research over the years witnessed that this honey is quite beneficial for our health and, if it’s going to offer these health benefits, it is actually worth its price.
The History of Manuka Honey
It has a superior healing power and aides in curing many diseases. You should not be surprised to know that thousands of years ago, Manuka Honey was essentially used as a medicine.
You can call it one of nature’s well-healed antimicrobial sources. This is because, numerous archeologists claimed that while digging the thousands of years old graves of Egyptian royals, they have found unspoiled honey in vessels. Seems interesting, right?
Many cultures around the world praised honey for being an astonishing healing treasure. Take the example of Biblical times, Ancient Greek folklore, or Far Eastern Vedic tradition, where “land flowing with milk and honey” was known as the promised land.
Many of you would agree that as of industrialization, the honey does not remain the same as it was in the past. The quality has degraded over time. Well, there might have a few exceptions. Out of over 300 varieties of the sweet fluid available today, you can go for the options given below:
- 1Pasteurized or raw
- 2Unfiltered or filtered
- 3Whipped or comb liquid (with the beeswax inside)
- 4Imported or Locally produced
How to get the right Manuka Honey?
Be wary of lots of the honey sold in regular supermarkets. Check the ingredients. When there’s adders and fillers you might as well be eating high fructose corn syrup.
To make sure you are getting real honey, and thus the benefits of real honey, try to go to co-op or online, or a local store selling health foods to find a jar of quality honey.
If you really want the best, especially if you’re looking for honey with healing properties, you’ll want to go for Manuka honey. Yes, it’s expensive - after all it’s exclusively made in New Zealand and Australia, and it holds a wealth of medicinal properties, but, if you’re looking for a natural way to promote healing and health, Manuka honey could be the answer!
Manuka honey is graded on a UMF scale. UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor and this reflects the concentration of MG in the honey. To be considered potent enough to offer any health benefits, you’ll want to find a Manuka Honey with a UMF of 10 or higher. A honey with UMF under 10 is not worth spending the extra money premium Manuka costs as it has very little medicinal value.
But if you aim to get the benefits of the therapeutic effects of Manuka honey, you need to make sure that the minimum rating is UMF 15+. The higher the UMF, the better the quality of Manuka so you should aim for UMF 20+ if possible. Manuka honey with higher UMF tends to be darker in color and has a more distinctive taste as well as potentially greater medicinal powers than those with a lower UMF.
Manuka can be consumed directly or applied to skin, hair, scalp, or body to experience its benefits. Except for a few exceptions, your money actually defines the quality of any products.
Meaning that you get what you pay for. So, decide wisely while choosing your next jar of Manuka extracts.
The Health Benefits of Manuka Honey you may not know
1. Manuka honey soothes common stomach upsets
You may know that numerous intestinal and stomach disorders can happen due to bacteria. So, you can take Manuka internally in order to soothe common digestive upsets.
The antibacterial attributes would help you to balance bacterial growth in the small intestine and help to decrease acid reflux by terminating Clostridium difficile bacteria in your stomach. Otherwise, you might suffer from the overproduction of stomach acid.
2. Medicine for acne and bad skin conditions
Manuka contains many embedded antibiotic attributes that essentially help to lessen the bacteria from your skin and body and thus help you to get rid of bad acne from your face and even body.
The application method of Manuka in treating acne is quite simple and straightforward. Take a drop (or two drops) of honey and apply on the pimples and leave it for a few minutes. Then rinse it off with fresh water.
If you wish, you can take preventive measures with Manuka as well to keep your face clear and smooth. Simply, apply it on all over the face and leave it for 20 minutes like a face mask before rinsing it off.
Furthermore, you can apply a small drop of it to the affected regions of your face and leave it on overnight. Read more about using honey to treat acne here.
3. Get softer and more youthful skin
In order to get softer and more youthful skin, you can use Manuka alone or with masks and essential oils at your bedtime. You can rinse the masks off after 30 minutes.
If you aim to get rid of dead skin cells, add a bit of brown sugar with face masks as it will increase the exfoliant properties of Manuka honey which eventually will help to eliminate dead skin cells.
4. It offers beneficial detoxing properties
You can even get the beneficial detoxing properties of Manuka in the form of detox tea drink. It will help you to improve your digestive function of stomach, liver, and intestines, and thus make your toxins move through your organs much more quickly so that they can be eliminated from the body.
Simply take a cup of herbal tea, add a spoonful of Manuka honey, drink and enjoy knowing that you’re helping to “detox” your body.
5. Manuka honey helps to treat minor wounds, burns, and scars
Manuka honey really shines in the department of wound healing and management. The anti-inflammatory properties of the honey have been repeatedly shown to improve the healing time of cuts, sores, wounds and burns.
So, if you’ve got a wound that needs some help healing, clean the wound first, then add manuka honey to the dressing before applying it to the wound. Change the dressing once drainage from the wound starts to seep through. Your wound should heal up in no time!
6. It can avert gum disease
The honey comes with many beneficial nutrients like zinc, calcium, and phosphorus. The good news is the antimicrobial and antibiotic properties of the honey would help to prevent periodontal disease, such as gingivitis.
What is most interesting is, if you allow a small sum of it to melt into your mouth, Manuka honey will help you to reduce plaque on the teeth while keeping you in a preponderant position to decrease bleeding gums.
7. Get rid of free radicals with Manuka
Foreign substances and toxins like free radicals can disturb your body and your skin. Thankfully, Manuka comes with pinocembrin, an antioxidant that can help your body to war against such foreign invaders and make them rapidly move them out from your body in the form of waste. This process will make you look and act younger.
8. Can give you softer hair when you combine it with regular shampoo
Are you suffering from frizzy and dull hair? You need not to worry at all as you can mix Manuka honey with regular shampoo and apply this combo in your hair.
It will help you to lessen environmental dirt and toxins while giving you a softer and more manageable hair to style.
9. Get your own and natural conditioner without silicones
Did you know that you can prepare your own and natural conditioner with Manuka honey?
Take the same amount of honey and olive oil and apply to your damp hair. Leave the combo of olive oil and Manuka for 30 minutes before washing out your hair with shampoo. It will make your hair silky and soft. Just remember, you need to keep in mind that you need to do this treatment well before you apply shampoo on your hair so plan your hair washing time accordingly.
10. Manuka can be used as a hair removal tool!
Did you know you could use Manuka for hair removal? Forget buying wax strips from the store and try this instead!
Simply boil 1/3 cup of honey with 1 cup of sugar, and one piece of lemon. Submerge cotton strips fully in the mixture of honey, sugar, and lemon and then apply to your legs.
Once the mixture dries pull off quickly like regular wax strips. The hair will easily pull away sticking to the applied cloth strips. The cloth strips can be washed gently and then stored to be reused next time you need hair removal.
11. Can avert MRSA infections
The Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (also known as MRSA) is a type of bacteria that could prevent the healing process of the cuts, wounds, and surgical scars.
Researchers have identified a usage of Manuka honey, which can avert MRSA from making a larger surgical wound or prolonging the healing process in the hospital, and eventually can help you to have a speedy recovery.
12. Manuka can be used to inspire hair growth
Don’t suffer from thinning hair any longer! By combining manuka honey with your regular shampoo, you can boost your hair growth and have a lush, full head of hair.
13. This honey helps to promote your sleep
You can now have a sound and restful sleep if you consume a spoonful of Manuka honey before bedtime. The honey is a great tool in balancing sugar levels in your blood. It helps to slowly release glycogen that is required to uphold bodily functions at the time of sleep.
Manuka honey also helps your brain to release melatonin, which is indispensable for proper and sound sleep.
14. Manuka is a great source of Nutrients
Manuka honey is a great source of many vital vitamins and minerals, which are quite indispensable for your body. Copper, calcium, iron, sodium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and B vitamins are all plentiful in Manuka honey.
So, you can now leave your vitamin capsules and pills behind, which are jam-packed with artificial ingredients, and start taking Manuka as your all-in-one supplement.
15. It can stop your flu bugs and cold problems
Manuka helps to improve the body’s immune system to repel cold viruses and flu bugs. The honey could also stimulate the creation of cytokine that is indispensable for monocytes- the cells accountable for a decent immune function.
Manuka could also halt the development of a common bacteria, generally known as strep bacteria, which can create dreadful throat infections. So, don’t forget to take a daily dose of Manuka Honey whenever cold and flu season hits.
16. Manuka is an ideal cure for your dandruff
Generally, anti-dandruff shampoos smell bad and come with plenty of laboratory-generated and artificial chemicals. You can now say goodbye to your anti-dandruff shampoo and start using Manuka as an ideal cure for your dandruff.
You simply need to mix a small amount of the honey with regular liquid Castille soap and use that mixture to wash your hair.
The antimicrobial attributes of manuka will essentially help to prevent the fungus, which causes dandruff. The honey also offers healing and soothing properties to avert the itchiness when you get such a scalp condition.
17. The great substitute for a post-shave treatment
From now on, you can apply manuka as a great substitute for a post-shave treatment instead of conventional after-shave gel or cream. You just need to take a thin layer of the honey and apply to the affected areas right after shaving.
The healing attributes of the Manuka will help to lessen the itchy bumps and redness caused by shaving. Leave the layer of it for about 10 minutes and then rinse it off with fresh water. You can use this solution not only for your face but your body too.
18. Manuka heals warts effectively
The intrinsic antiviral properties of Manuka can be applied effectively to heal warts on your fingers. You need to take a bit of honey rather than an ointment and then apply in the affected regions. Finally, cover that region up with a quality bandaid.
In order to get an optimum and quick result, you need to apply Manuka at least three times a day and change the bandaid with a clean or new one at least once a day. The wart will reduce in size and ultimately heal up soon.
19. Use Manuka to fight off the bad breath of your mouth
You may know that bad breath is instigated by an overflow of bacteria in the mouth. To avoid the embarrassment of bad breath or halitosis, you can mix some warm water and a pinch of cinnamon with a bit of Manuka honey and use this solution as a mouth gargle or mouthwash after brushing your teeth.
You’ll have fresher breath that stays fresh for ages - if it gets bad again, repeat!
20. It helps to avert allergies
The pure honey is made from natural pollen, and thus it can help the body’s immune system to develop a resistance shield.
Hayfever and allergy symptoms like sinus pain and sneezing may arise more often and get worse during certain seasons when the air is full of pollen.
An allergic person should consume honey on a regular basis to avoid any probable discomfort, especially when allergy season is here.
It’s best to be proactive and start taking manuka honey regularly before the allergy season really hits - it’s probably more economical than doctor’s bills and allergy medicines.
21. It can be combined with a massage oil for a soothing massage
We’ve already learned that manuka is blessed with anti-inflammatory attributes, which essentially would help your muscles and skin tissue to relax.
So, you can take the benefit of soothing your skin with Manuka while taking a massage or giving a massage on your legs, arms, and shoulders. You simply need to add a bit of golden liquid to your favorite essential oil and a carrier oil, and then apply as needed to wherever your body needs a soothing massage.
22. Fade Scars
You can heal your scars much faster and allow your scars to fade away as soon as possible if you simply use some Manuka on them.
Simply apply some manuka to your scars twice a day and watch them fade away!
23. Manuka is a natural energy powerhouse
During midday, many people prefer to have chocolate, candy, coffee, and the like to give a boost of energy. However, the good news is, Manuka is natural sugar energy. So, taking a small amount of this can give a similar result. This also comprises many nutrients, which are vital for our body.
24. Honey is a simple hair lightener
Forget bleaches and commercial hair lighteners that can be damaging to your hair - use manuka honey to naturally lighten your hair!
Simply mix honey, olive oil, and cinnamon together and apply that mixture on your hair. Leave your hair for the next 6 hours and then wash your hair out with fresh water for naturally lighter hair.
25. Make your own lip scrub
We generally use a lip scrub to soften flaking and chapped lips, but almost all of them are made with chemicals developed in the laboratory. If you are after an edible and natural lip scrub, you can now make so with Manuka, olive oil, and sugar.
If the lip scrub gets into your mouth in any way, you need not to worry as it is 100% safe and edible.
26. Manuka helps in reducing dark circles under your eyes
Do you know that you can decrease dark circles under your eyes by simply applying Manuka?
Apply a thin layer of honey under your eyes and leave it for 10 minutes. Rinse off your eyes before putting cold cucumber slices there. It will help you to look much more refreshed while helping you to reduce dark circles under your eyes.
27. Make your anti-aging serum with Manuka honey
You can prepare anti-aging serum with Manuka by yourself. In doing so, you just need to mix your favorite essential oil and carrier oil with some manuka honey. This natural anti-aging serum can be applied on your face before going to bed.
The antioxidant attributes will help you to make your skin younger and keep so for a longer period.
28. Manuka honey helps to offset dryness while bathing
The chlorine used in a bathtub (filled fully with water) with a soap bar can make your skin unpleasantly dry. So, as the bathtub is filling up with water, apply 3 tablespoons or 45 ml Manuka into it.
You’ll step out of the tub with softer skin and won’t need to use as much moisturizer.
29. It is effective for cuticle treatment
You can use Manuka for cuticle treatment as well. To do so, you need to mix up some sweet almond oil and beeswax with a small amount of manuka honey. Apply this mixture as a nail and a cuticle treatment before going to bed.
Rub the mixture thoroughly on your cuticles, and fingertips and the adjacent areas. Once you wake up from sleep, you will feel that your cuticles are noticeably softer.
30. You can use Manuka honey as a cough suppressant
Take a cup or glass of hot water and mix a bit of honey into it, and then drink it to suppress an annoying cough. The natural antibiotic attributes in the Manuka will help your throat to heal more quickly from a probable infection.
Benefits of Manuka Honey video:
Nutrition Facts of Manuka Honey
The amazing nutritious properties make Manuka different from others.
To fully access the nutritious and healing benefits of manuka honey make sure you get raw or unfiltered manuka honey. While all types of honey contain some nutrients, let’s explore just how amazing the nutrition profile of manuka honey is.
- 4Amino acids
- 11Vitamin B6
- 12Thiamin (a variant of B Vitamin)
- 13Riboflavin (a kind of B Vitamin)
- 14Niacin (fall under the group of B Vitamin)
- 15Pantothenic acid (it is also a types of B Vitamin)
The most impressive fact is that it is blessed with up to four times the nutritional content than that of normal flower honey! This makes it unique and the most exclusive honey in the world.
The Unique Factor you may expect from Manuka Honey
In the year of 1981, a group of researchers from the University of Waikato, New Zealand identified that Manuka honey contains a significantly higher level of enzymes as compared to regular ones.
These enzymes produce a natural hydrogen peroxide, which acts as an antibacterial element. To some extent, this New Zealand honey is also richer in methylglyoxal, hydrogen peroxide, and dihydroxyacetone.
As mentioned before, the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) is used as a global standard in classifying and gauging the antibacterial strength that lies with Manuka. By looking at UMF, you can be assured that you are essentially buying special honey which comes with medicinal quality.
Not to mention, the UMF may not be found in the nectar of all Manuka flowers, and regular honey only contains the hydrogen peroxide and antibacterial properties, which are common to most types of honey.
So, the uniqueness of UMF Manuka as compared to other types of Manuka honey is that the natural UMF antibacterial property that greatly improves the effectiveness of it. On the flip side, the regular Manuka only contains natural hydrogen peroxide which is also available in UMF Manuka honey.
While light, heat, and enzymes can easily destroy the hydrogen peroxide, common in most honey in the body, the UMF attributes of Manuka is not as it is extremely stable by nature.
How to Authenticate Original UMF Manuka Honey?
The word Manuka describes not only the scientific term Leptospermum scoparium, but also K. ericoides. Manuka honey is commonly collected by beekeepers and originates from New Zealand (and some parts of Australia through locally available producers.
The UMF scale is used to measure the level of antibacterial properties in the Manuka honey. Although the lowest UMF scale for this honey is UMF 5 as recognized by the scientists, it is generally not considered quality honey unless it contains at least UMF 10+. The range of UMF 10 to 15 is considered a beneficial level and beyond that (i.e., UMF 16 or above) is known as superior quality.
When you are in the store in order to buy a jar of Manuka honey, you need to keep in mind certain things. A genuine Manuka honey jar always will have four key characteristics which are as follows.
The UMF consortium states that the UMF scale essentially identifies the antibacterial properties or special non-peroxide activity of Manuka honey as well as compares it to a disinfectant or phenol. In other words, the rating has a direct correlation to the standard of phenol. For instance, UMF scale of 20+ is equal in power to a 20% solution of phenol.
You might be wondering, what is the perfect UMF rating? Well, it depends on your purpose. However, laboratory tests have identified that the Manuka with UMF 12 to 15 is quite effective against different types of resistant bacteria. The following explanation may help you to choose an ideal Manuka honey.
UMF 0 to 4 means non-therapeutic honey
UMF 4 to 9 denotes for general honey with health benefits
UMF 10 to 14 defines Manuka honey that supports bacterial balance and natural healing
UMF 15+ indicates honey which contains greater levels of phenols (highly therapeutic honey), and thus you should not consume more than 1 tablespoon at a time.
On the flip side, a Manuka honey maker, Wedderspoon also created another measurement tool named as K Factor is also used in measuring the antibacterial properties of Manuka honey.
The official website of Wedderspoon states that KFactor 12 ensures 65% of the pollen grains are Manuka pollen grains, KFactor 16 ensures 75% of the pollen grains are Manuka pollen grains, and KFactor 22 ensures 90% of the pollen grains are Manuka pollen grains.
The K Factor introduced by Wedderspoon's includes 5 “key factors” as follows.
- 1The honey should be unpasteurized and raw
- 2This is produced as well as packed exclusively in New Zealand
- 3Non-GMO verifies the project
- 4The honey is observable from hive to home
- 5Free of glyphosate, antibiotics, and pesticides
Are There Any Side Effects Of Manuka Honey?
In general, Manuka honey is very safe to eat or apply on a body on a daily basis and thus it is essentially safe for most of the people. Having said that you might be one of a very few who may need to consult with their doctor before consuming this honey.
You may fall under this category if you are:
Having any type of honey may disturb blood sugar levels as it contains a high amount of natural sugar and Manuka may not be the exception. So, better not to take the risk and consult your doctor prior to consuming this sweet fluid if you are already affected by diabetes.
People who are allergic to bees or honey
Some people may be exceptionally allergic to bees or honey. So, if you are one of them and get an allergic reaction when you try to ingest or apply other variants of honey, then you need to be cautious before taking Manuka as well.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies under the age of 1 year old avoid the consumption of honey due to the risk of infant botulism.
To summarize, Manuka is quite safe for most people over one year old. Nevertheless, if you are suffering from diabetes and allergic to bees or any type of honey, you should talk to your doctor or a healthcare center first when you consider taking this exclusive type.
The Bottom Line
Manuka honey is a real gem and one of the great blessings available in nature for us. What makes it unique from other types of honey is the immense health benefits, nutritional, energy boosting, and antibacterial properties of it.
Manuka can easily take care of your hair, face, scalp, and body in improving not only your health condition but also improving your beauty. It would be a real pleasure and beneficial to apply it instead of antibiotic ointment or hydrogen peroxide to your skin.
When it comes to beauty care, a Manuka honey mask is fun and quite easy to use. It is really simple to wash off that mask once done, but getting the magical healing properties of it.
You will see and feel the difference once you start taking Manuka honey for both of your health and beauty purposes. Hopefully now you can see that there are so many ways to use and incorporate Manuka honey into your life for both health and beauty purposes.
We hope you’ve found at least 1 manuka health benefit that you might like to try. Let us know if you try any of these tips - we’d love to hear how manuka honey works for you!