Manuka honey: a new panacea?
Honey? Don’t we already know that? That’s right! But Manuka honey does not seem to be just any honey. This honey has other properties and medicinal properties. And that is why you pay at least 10 times as much for a jar of Manuka honey than for a ‘normal’ jar. What can Manuka honey do that normal honey cannot? You can read that in this article.
Honey in general
Earlier we wrote the article: ‘ Is honey healthy? All fables and facts at a glance! ‘. Our conclusion was that honey is not magically lower in calories compared to sugar. Nor that it is processed any longer. They are fast sugars.
The advantage of honey is that it has an antibacterial effect and is a probiotic. And also that honey is an antioxidant with associated benefits.
Where does Manuka honey come from?
Manuka honey comes from New Zealand. The Manuka tree or shrub grows there. This tree is sacred to the Maori. The leaves and bark of the tree have medicinal properties. For example, they help with respiratory, urinary, and fever disorders.
The Manuka tree is also called the tea tree, or tea tree. The leaves of the shrub can also be used to make tea. The flowers are white or pink. This shrub used to be considered a weed, but it is now one of the most popular plants in New Zealand
Manuka honey comes from honey bees that get nectar from the flowers of the Manuka bush. The honey that arises afterward tastes and looks different from the honey you know. For example, it is a lot darker and tastes somewhat bitter and spicy.
The benefits of Manuka honey
Manuka honey contains amino acids, B vitamins, potassium, iron, and zinc. What makes the honey so special are these three substances:
- Methylglyoxal (MGO)
- Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)
The reason why Manuka honey is known as a ‘ superfood ‘ is because of the substance methylglyoxal. When the nectar is converted into honey, dihydroxyacetone also turns into methylglyoxal.
Manuka honey is best known for its antibacterial effect. Resistance to antibiotics appears to be a major problem, so scientists are looking for other solutions. Manuka honey looks very promising.
The honey also seems to work well against bacteria that are difficult to combat. Bacteria that are already resistant to antibiotics. Not a single bacterium has yet been discovered that is also resistant to honey.
Helps against viruses
The honey is also an antiviral. So it not only helps against bacteria but also against viruses. The MGO in the honey attacks and kills the virus. This property is also very promising.
In America, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even approved dressings dipped in the honey. Of course, they use the very best honey for this. Honey that you can’t just get in the store.
The honey can help heal wounds. This advantage also applies to other types of honey. Manuka honey, however, has a low pH value, making it antibacterial. The acidity stops enzymes that slow down the process.
Honey is generally low in moisture and draws moisture from a wound. This aids in the removal of waste and speeds up the healing process. Harmful bacteria need water to survive.
In addition, the antioxidants ensure that the honey has an anti-inflammatory effect. The more MGO, the better the honey works for wound healing.
A completely different advantage is that it is also good for your digestion. One to two teaspoons a day supports digestion. It helps complaints such as diarrhea, constipation, and irregular bowel movements.
Studies into these benefits are still ongoing. Promising studies have been done in rats and in laboratories. There are also people who support these benefits from the experience. Actual research has yet to support this.
Finally, it can help with skin problems such as acne. Not surprising given the aforementioned benefits. You can make a mask out of the honey and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. The honey may also work against eczema in combination with olive oil and beeswax.
The cause of the acne determines whether the honey helps you. Acne often occurs due to hormone imbalance or changes. In that case, the acne will remain, but the honey can support the skin and its recovery. The effect is greater with stress, a bad diet, or a specific bacteria.
Buy Manuka honey
If you want to buy Manuka honey, know that a jar is anything but cheap. It is even the case that with a less expensive pot you also sacrifice quality. Moreover, Manuka honey must have a quality mark, otherwise, it is not real Manuka honey.
The quality is indicated by a UMF assessment. The higher the number, the higher the concentration of MG. And therefore also the stronger the medicinal effect. There are four levels:
- 5+: can be used as a food supplement and sweetener.
- 10+: to be used as a mild medicine.
- 15+: can be used for more specific ailments because of a good antibacterial effect.
- 20+: has a very strong antibacterial effect and is therefore of top quality.
Manuka Honey which is produced in Australia has a different label. These are certified by the Australian Manuka Honey Association.