Manuka honey is a type of honey that is only produced by bees who pollinate the manuka bush in New Zealand. Much of the honey is collected from bushes that grow naturally, rather than on manuka bush farms created for that purpose.
Manuka honey can be considered a premium type of honey and has a more distinctive sweet taste with a touch of bitter. This type of honey is special because it contains more healing compounds than that of your regular store brand honey. It can be eaten just like honey, or made into recipes, but is also beneficial for direct application to the skin. People may also choose to eat it directly from a spoon as a supplement to their healthcare routine.
Why Choose Manuka Honey?
Many people who suffer skin conditions may wonder why they should choose Manuka honey over regular honey, or even a lotion. Honey has traditionally been used by our ancestors for centuries. They didn’t have antibiotics or manufactured medicine during these times, so the information about healing properties of certain natural ingredients was passed down from generation to generation.
It wasn’t until the 19th century that the medicinal benefits of honey were studied. It was discovered that honey contains many compounds that have antibacterial properties.
Manuka honey has an even higher concentration of these compounds. Manuka honey contains several types of compounds that aid in healing and curing infections. Some of these are MG and hydrogen peroxide which are both known for their antiseptic properties. Hydrogen peroxide is often used to clean wounds, so it can be a surprise that’s is one of the compounds of honey, but makes honey’s healing properties easier to understand.
It’s believed that manuka honey has a higher concentration of these compounds because the nectar of the manuka plant contains a compound called dihydroxyacetone. This results in the honey having a compound called methylglyoxal (MG) which is rarely present in other types of honey. This compound is created after the conversion of the dihydroxyacetone compound found in the nectar of the manuka flowers.
Besides its healing compounds, the honey also contains high levels of amino acids, vitamin B, and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
Manuka honey is highly desirable to people who are seeking its extra-special healing properties. There is no other type of honey available that has such excellent healing qualities.
Here is an infographic for quick info :
What Are the Skin Benefits?
Honey is particularly beneficial to treating skin ailments and infections due to its antibacterial compounds. It can naturally stop harmful bacteria from reproducing on the skin. It also possesses healing properties that will help to heal the skin from a variety of ailments.
Here are just some of the skin benefits of using manuka honey.
- It can cure anti-fungal skin infections, such as yeast or athlete’s foot.
- It’s helpful for curing harmful skin infections such as staph or MRSA.
- It can heal acne and keep the acne bacteria that causes pimples from coming back.
- Eczema and psoriasis itching will be calmed down and encouraged to heal.
- Burns will be soothed and encouraged to heal.
- Skin cuts and wounds will heal faster and have less chance of infection.
- It can ease the pain of burns and help heal them.
- It eases skin redness.
- Manuka honey aids in the healing of scars.
- The honey rebalances the healthy bacteria on your skin.
- Gives an overall glow to your skin.
- Will soothe pain from bruises and aid in healing.
Use Manuka Honey to Cure Acne
Since manuka honey has many healing properties, you can use it to heal and cure your acne too. With regular treatments, your acne will not return.
Acne is generally caused by the propionibacterium. This microbe can get out of control in your skin’s oily pores. Your pores can cause an immune response that results in red swollen bumps which results in pimples. When they get worse, they can grow white heads and break open to reveal pus. These can become unsightly and cause scarring over time.
The antibacterial properties will work on the acne bacteria of your skin to help the blemishes heal up, and to actually keep the propionibacterium at normal levels on your skin, so further breakouts are prevented. There is also acne vulgaris that primarily infects hair follicles. Manuka honey is beneficial for both of these types of acne.
Ingredients for Manuka Honey Face Mask
You can make your own healing mask to help your skin heal itself of acne. Making your own skin mask is easy and simple to do, and only takes about half an hour of your time at night.
Collect together the following supplies to make your own manuka honey mask.
- A jar of 100% manuka honey.
- A teaspoon.
- A clean washcloth and towel.
- Access to a sink.
Steps to Apply Honey Mask to Skin
It’s really simple to apply your healing manuka honey skin mask. Just follow the steps below.
- Wash your face and pat it dry.
- Don’t apply any moisturizer.
- Measure out one teaspoon from your jar of manuka honey.
- Close the jar.
- Use your fingers to massage the honey on your face.
- No other ingredients required!
- Smooth it evenly over your face, avoiding hairline, eyes, and mouth.
- Leave your honey mask on for at least thirty minutes.
- Use warm water and your washcloth to wash the honey off your face.
- Pat dry with a towel.
- Apply one honey mask a day until your acne has healed up.
- Continue applying the honey for every three or four days afterwards, to prevent the acne bacteria levels from getting out of control on your skin.
How Long Will it Take to Work?
You should begin to start seeing results in about three days. This will be the time required to heal up the small skin eruptions, while stopping the acne bacteria from causing more inflammations.
Over the next two weeks you should see your skin return to normal. Keep up with your honey mask treatments, as you’ll need to continue applying them to skin to prevent further outbreaks.
If you regularly suffer the embarrassment of acne, you may also wish to use a honey mask every day for a week leading up to a special event so that your skin looks its best on that special day.
What Type of Manuka Honey is Best?
Manuka honey needs to be made in New Zealand to be authentic. This is because the manuka bush only grows in New Zealand, and the bees need to collect the nectar from the bush’s flowers to make the honey. Yes, bees collect nectar from other types of plants, but this would not be called manuka honey, or have many of the beneficial healing compounds that are contained in the manuka honey.
It’s possible that you could purchase a brand of honey that contains manuka honey and regular honey. It’s important to read the labels. There is little point in purchasing honey that has little manuka honey in it. You can’t expect to receive the same healing properties from these lower quality brands.
Manuka honey should cost more than your regular honey. If it doesn’t, you need to ask why. Another factor to help you in your purchase is to check its UMF. Look for a UMF rating of over 12 plus.
There are many great brands of manuka honey. Here are five to purchase, and you can be assured of their quality if you buy one of these brands.
- Manuka Health
- Wild Cape
- Bee’s Inn
What is Unique Manuka Factor (UMF)?
The Unique Manuka Factor is abbreviated to UMF. The UMF is a rating that is used to measure the potency of the manuka honey. It’s in direct relation to the amount of MG—methylglyoxal—that it contains.
Since this honey is used for its medicinal properties, it’s important that it have a good UMF rating. Usually this is measured on a scale of 5 and up to 20. 10 is pretty good, but most experts agree that a rating of 12 or higher is better.
The UMF rating is governed by a list of regulations from the UMF Honey Association. The honey is tested in the lab to ensure that it conforms to it’s rating. Most honey manufacturers must have each batch of honey tested to conform to regulations before they can even label their jars.
Where Can I Buy Manuka Honey?
You may have discovered that you can’t simply purchase manuka honey from your regular grocery store’s or supermarket’s shelf. But there are many other places where you can buy manuka honey.
- Speciality food stores.
- Vitamin and supplement shops.
- Sports nutrition shops.
- Natural foods shops.
- Local craft fairs or festivals.
- Manufacturer’s websites.
- Amazon website.
- Recommended Read : Manuka Honey Reviews – How To Pick The Right Manuka Honey
Other Health & Beauty Benefits of Manuka Honey
Besides being beneficial for skin care, manuka honey has many other health and beauty benefits.
Here are several ways you can use manuka honey to heal your body, and make yourself more beautiful.
- Take it orally to help control stomach upsets such as acid reflux and ulcers that are caused by H. Pylori bacterium.
- Use it to help cure gingivitis and periodontal diseases.
- Beneficial for those suffering from IBS or IBD bowel conditions.
- Take it when you’re suffering from C. Difficile or other types of diarrhea.
- Manuka honey can help heal damage caused to intestinal lining from any number of diseases, and prevent future damage.
- Use it to ease sore throats caused by colds or flu bugs.
- Take it to generally boost your overall immune function.
- It’s good to take to soothe sore throats caused by chemotherapy treatments.
- Use it to improve your seasonal allergies and increase your tolerance to bee pollen allergies.
- Can be used to exfoliate the skin.
- Can be made into a variety of nutritional shakes.
- Good for eliminating free radicals on the skin that can affect healthy skin cells.
- Can be made into a detox drink.
- Add to honey and use to cure insomnia. It will help the body to release glycogen which is needed for the body to sleep. It’s also a carb, which is good to eat at bedtime to promote sleepiness. The milk will also help the body to release the melatonin which is required for sleep.
Side Effects & Safety Measures
There are some safety measures that you should take into consideration before treating any skin condition or medical conditions with manuka honey. If in doubt, always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional.
- If you’re allergic to pollen or bee stings, you may want to try manuka honey with caution—rub a small bit on your inner wrist to see if you get a reaction.
- Wait until a wound has stopped bleeding before application.
- Avoid getting it into your eyes.
- Use your manuka honey on developing skin conditions.
- If you’re treating a bad skin condition or illness and see no improvement in three days, visit a physician.
- You may see conflicting advice in using this honey to treat diabetes. Since it’s a sugar, you can fit into your daily carb allowance, but there are few studies that have found that it can improve your condition.
- Use caution when treating children as they often can’t explain how serious a medical condition may be. It’s best to book a doctor’s appointment for them.
- If you are using manuka honey and traditional medical treatments, let your physician know. Drug interactions are rare, but always possible.
- Use common sense. If your throat is extremely sore, or you have a bad illness or injury, book an appointment at the doctor’s office before any treatment.
You may find that your first jar of manuka honey for skin benefits gets used up quickly. You’ll find many more uses for your healing honey than what are listed on this page. But once you get started, you’ll find that your second bottle won’t be used up as quickly, as you’ll have rebalanced your body for optimum health. A jar of manuka honey is great for your medicine cabinet so you can have it on hand any time you have a wound or a skin infection.