Honey has been used for centuries to promote healing. Folklore is littered with the magical properties of honey, which says something about the widely believed notion that honey does – in fact – have a power to heal.
This notion is strengthened by the number of case studies and clinical research that has been done to explore the many health benefits of honey. No one can deny honey is special and contains properties that are beneficial to the health and well-being of those who consume it. However, not all honeys are the same.
Manuka honey, pronounced Monica, is one of those honeys which exhibit a peculiar strength.
What Is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is a derivative of the Manuka flower, a blossom native to New Zealand. For a few weeks in spring, the tea trees are in full bloom and are buzzing with activity from some of the smallest of Earth’s hardest workers: bees.
Bees migrate toward these blossoming flowers in search of sweet nectar. The timing of the harvest is crucial, as the flowers are only open for a couple of days. Once the nectar has been gathered, the bees bring it back to their hive, deposit the nectar into the honeycomb and begin the process of making honey.
The Benefits of Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is highly sought after for its incredible health benefits and uses. Though abundant in its benefits, here are a few highlights:
- Antibacterial Properties: Honey has been used for centuries due to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, or its ability to kill existing bad bacteria and inhibit new bacteria from forming. Research indicates there is yet to be bacteria that are resistant to the properties of honey, which means it could be useful in situations when all other antibiotics have failed.
- Treats Wounds and Minor Burns: Manuka is available at a medical grade, which is stronger than most Manuka honeys you find in stores. This medical-grade Manuka honey acts as a strong barrier between an open wound or burn and the outside world. This thick barrier keeps pathogens out of the wound, which gives the wound time to heal.
- Reduces Inflammation: Because of its antibacterial properties, Manuka honey also has the ability to reduce inflammation and prevent it from further spreading. This makes it an excellent candidate for use against sore throats and acne, and it’s also thought to help heal and prevent stomach ulcers.
- Natural Sweetener: A healthier alternative to white sugar sweeteners, Manuka honey is excellent when added to tea, cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, etc. In fact, its uses in this manner are quite numerous. Anywhere you see a call for a sweetener, substitute it with honey and benefit from its healing properties.
Where to Find Manuka Honey
When looking for Manuka honey, make sure that it has a UMF – or Unique Manuka Factor – of 10 or more. The higher the number, the more potent the mixture. This grading scale is unique to Manuka honey and it’s important to look for it on the label to distinguish it from counterfeit honeys.
Manuka honey is available at some grocery outlets and is available at online retailers. Though Manuka honey is sold at a premium, the benefits far outweigh its price tag.