Manuka honey has many health benefits. Manuka honey is often promoted as a superfood. Because it treats many ailments, including allergies, colds, flu, gingivitis, sore throats, staph infections and numerous types of wounds.
Manuka honey can also increase energy, detoxify the body, reduce cholesterol, prevent diabetes, improve sleep, tone the skin, reduce hair loss and even prevent frizz.
In addition to being a great antiseptic and preventing the proliferation of microorganisms, manuka honey has antioxidant properties and its application can be both external and internal.
What is manuka honey?
Manuka honey comes from the nectar extracted by the bee from the bushes or manuka trees (Leptospermum scoparium) native to New Zealand and southeastern Australia. The shrub or manuka tree belongs to the family of Mirtaceae and is the only species of this family that can be found in the islands of New Zealand. It is a kind of evergreen tree.
Manuka, not only has the ability to grow in low fertility territories, but also has the ability to endure in places exposed to strong winds and extreme climates. In addition, it can also be found in totally waterlogged sites such as swamps and is highly tolerant in difficult environments for botanical life.
Properties of manuka honey
The methylglioxal present in manuka honey has two main properties: antibacterial and antiseptic.
The antiseptic property of manuka honey is reinforced by the presence of an enzyme that generates oxygen peroxide which is known as hydrogen peroxide. That makes it effective when used to treat skin problems such as ulcers, burns and wounds.
As for its antibacterial activity, manuka honey is very useful for combating resistant bacteria such as the pylori helical character and others such as golden staphylococciand enterococci.
Manuka honey is unique to treat various types of skin problems such as infected wounds, wound healing, burns, eczmas, insect bites …
As you see it has several benefits, in the next section I will enter a little more in each of them.
Benefits of manuka honey
Manuka honey has been traditionally used to improve wounds, treat sore throats, prevent mouth problems, and improve digestive problems and others.
That has made science look at manuka honey and little by little more benefits are being added to the traditional ones.
Let’s look at what kind of problems manuka honey is beneficial for what values it can be useful for you.
1. Antibacterial benefits
One of its incredible capabilities is that it isolates your wounds from antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus.
Staphylococcus aureus, golden staphylococcus as it is known in some areas is an anaerobic bacterium.
Either for skin infections, throat, folliculitis, furunculosis or conjunctivitis. You can use manuka honey as a remedy. (Remember to check with your doctor first)
2. Sore Throat problems
If your throat hurts, manuka honey can help you. Its antibacterial properties can reduce inflammation and attack the bacteria that is causing you pain.
I guess you will know the properties of honey in general to prevent throat problems. Manuka honey is also very active against the bacteria responsible for infections due to its unique antibacterial properties that you will not find in other types of honey.
Remember that it is the methylglioxal that only exists in this type of honey. It is quite amazing that there are studies that indicate reductions in the levels of the bacteria responsible for sore throats in patients treated with chemotherapy after consuming manuka honey for a while.
In addition, manuka honey is a valid alternative in the treatment of mucositis, an inflammation inside the mouth and throat that can cause ulcers or sores.
3. Wounds, burns and skin scars
It is one of its traditional uses and in 2007, manuka honey was approved by the US FDA (an agency that regulates medicines in the United States) as a valid option to treat skin wounds.
The explanation is in its antibacterial and antioxidant properties, when applying manuka honey on wounds a protective barrier is created that prevents infections while its components act on the bacteria present.
There are studies that document its effectiveness against diabetic ulcers, this is the conclusion of one of them: “It represents an effective treatment for NDFU (neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers) that leads to a significant reduction in healing time and rapid disinfection of ulcers”
4. Oral health
The incidence of periodontal disease is very high, in the United States 50% of the adult population has some type of this disease. To prevent periodontal disease we must reduce the bad bacteria present in our mouth and keep the good ones that help us to have good oral health.
Well, there are studies that show that manuka honey is effective in minimizing the growth of some bad bacteria such as P. gingivalis and Actinomycetemcomitans.
It may seem a bit odd to drink honey to improve oral health because of its sweet taste, but not all sweet is bad. Also keep in mind that we are talking about its antibacterial effect and in that manuka honey is unique.
5. Treats gastric ulcer
Gastric ulcers are one of the most common diseases that affect the human race. The pylori helical character is the bacterium responsible for most of them.
And, although there are no definitive studies, everything indicates that manuka honey is effective in treating these ulcers.
Its effectiveness is not fully confirmed although it seems to help. It seems to be a good try. After all, manuka honey is a totally natural product and with hardly any contraindications.
6. Acne treatment
Acne is normally caused by hormonal changes but can also be caused by poor diet, stress or bacteria. Manuka honey can help you keep your skin free of bacteria and therefore have less acne or minimize its effects.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties so it can also help you with the pain and itching caused by acne.
7. Antioxidant properties
Studies have shown that it is a natural preservative for the tenderest meats. And it is not only anti-microbial, but it is also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
8. Arthritis or joint inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory action attributed to certain concentrations of this honey, make it a product used to soothe joints or muscles pain. In this case, it can also be applied to the skin.
At this point, it is important to emphasize that, although there are a large number of studies on the virtues of manuka honey, large-scale tests have not yet been carried out in humans, so their properties that, if true, they could make this type of honey a possible natural substitute for antibiotics, reducing the risk of resistance to these drugs.
However, experts such as Isabel Escriche believe that there is “a great marketing campaign” around the benefits of this product, because although it does not doubt its antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it states that other honeys also have them.
Contraindications of manuka honey
With manuka honey, you have to take practically the same precautions as with honey in general.
For example, do not give it to children under one year of age, avoid it in diabetic patients or fructose intolerant and of course do not take it if you are allergic to honey or bees. Come on, normal precautions. It is a natural product.
See, manuka honey has a lot of health benefits. But manuka honey does not replace the use of antibiotics prescribed by the doctor. The treatment of infections with honey should be carried out under medical supervision.