Manuka: Can This Honey Help Your Health?

Q: What is Manuka honey?

A: Manuka honey has become a superstar in the health and wellness industry and has done an excellent job in raising awareness of honey’s healthful properties. Manuka is indigenous to New Zealand and is produced by bees that gather nectar from the Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparuim) and the Kanuka tree (Kunzea ericoides). Manuka honey has a dark color and thick consistency accompanied by a strong, sweet and slightly bitter flavor. Manuka honey is often compared to molasses in regards to its flavor and consistency.  It’s also considered to have thixotropic properties, meaning it starts off in a thick, gel-like form and quickly thins out when stirred or shaken.manuka honey

Q: What are the health benefits of Manuka honey? 

A: Manuka, like all other types of honey, may have some degree of immune boosting effects.  While in the hive, bees add an enzyme called glucose oxidase to the nectar. This enzyme slowly releases hydrogen peroxide with its antibacterial properties.*

Not like other forms of honey, Manuka contains methyglyoxal (MGO), an antibacterial compound also found in coffee, chocolate and wine, but in significantly lower levels. A special rating, Unique Manuka Factor or UMF, has been designated to measure the strength of the honey. Several factors are considered when deciding on a UMF rating, but they average in the 10-25 range.*

While Manuka may have a variety of health benefits when consumed, its niche is its ability to help promote healing externally. That’s right, you can apply this honey directly onto your skin to help promote external healing of wounds, rashes and abrasions.*

Q: What’s the best way to use Manuka honey?

A: There are a variety of ways to utilize Manuka honey. Like any other form of honey, it’s a delicious and healthy way to sweeten your food. Put it on toast, in your smoothie, use it to bake or eat it right out of the jar like Winnie the Pooh!

As for topical application, apply a dab of Manuka honey to the irritated area and leave it alone for 15-20 minutes before washing off. This should allow ample time for the Manuka to work its magic. Manuka has even been touted as an excellent facial mask for firming and promoting healthy skin. Simply apply 1 tablespoon evenly around the face and leave on for 15-20 minutes before washing off. You could also try this at-home facial mask:

DIY Manuka Face Mask Honey facial massage

2 tsp Manuka honey
¼ cup oats
¼ cup apple cider vinegar or water
¼ tsp cinnamon powder

Directions

  1. In a food processor, grind oats into a flour consistency.
  2. In a bowl, combine ground oats with other ingredients until thoroughly blended.
  3. Apply evenly to face and neck areas and leave on for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Wash off with lukewarm water.
  5. Enjoy soft, clear and health skin!

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Vitacost Product Experts

Health & wellness Q & A from Vitacost.com's product expert Ryan Halvorsen. Submit your question to productinfo@vitacost.com

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Health & wellness Q & A from Vitacost.com's product expert Ryan Halvorsen. Submit your question to productinfo@vitacost.com

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