Manuka honey is produced only in New Zealand. It gets its name from the tree that the bees pollinate – the Leptospermum scoparium tree, commonly known as manuka or tea tree. This is different from the tree that we normally think of as tea tree, which is the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. Both plants are related, since they both come from the myrtle family.
All honey has antibacterial properties. Honey was even used by the ancient Egyptians. It was even found in Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb, and was still edible, since honey never spoils. Like all other types of honey, manuka honey contains naturally-occurring hydrogen peroxide. It also contains a higher concentration of antibacterial ingredients than other types of honey, namely methylglyoxal (MG). It also lacks water and is highly acidic, making it a very inhospitable environment to microbes, which is why it will not spoil.
Manuka honey looks and tastes different from other types of honey. It is very thick and rich, not clear like other honeys. It has a very mellow flavor. This honey can be eaten, but it is best used for its medicinal properties. This is not your everyday honey, since a jar can cost around $20 to $40 dollars or more. Each jar has a number on the label, the UMF number. UMF stands for unique manuka factor. Basically, the higher the UMF number, the greater the potency.
Here is what manuka honey can do for you:
1) It has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can heal many inflammatory disorders
2) It can prevent gum disease by reducing plaque buildup
3) It is great to have around the house, as it can treat minor cuts and burns. (If the cut or burn is very severe, be sure to seek prompt medical attention.)
4) It is great for many skin disorders, such as acne, skin rash, ringworm, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, etc.
5) It can help with fungal infections and candida overgrowth
6) It is used in many hospitals around the world to heal MRSA – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the super bacteria which is resistant to antibiotic treatment, but manuka honey can help to get rid of it. It is also used in hospitals to treat slow-healing bed sores.
7) Cold and flu remedy: It boosts the immune system, and can cure sore throat, since it is both antibiotic and antiviral.
8) It can be very effective against H. pylori, the bacteria in the digestive tract responsible for stomach ulcers; it can also help to decrease stomach acid
9) Beauty regimen – it helps to increase collagen in the skin to make skin healthier
10) It is a superfood, containing many vitamins and minerals
11) It can also help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, constipation, and gastroenteritis, by its anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties – it reduces the inflammation in the gut, and also kills pathogenic bacteria
• If you are allergic to bees, be very cautious when using manuka or any other honey
• Do not give honey to babies under 12 months, as it can cause botulism
• Those who are diabetic still need to be conscious of the sugar they consume, including manuka honey