Honey has always been used to treat illnesses and wounds because it has natural antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties. However, not all honey is created equal. The properties in a specific honey have to do with what kind of honey it is. This is determined by where it came from and what kind of flowers the bees pollinated.
Manuka honey is a particular type of honey that only comes from New Zealand and Australia. It is made by bees that pollinate the Manuka tree, a plant native only to those two countries. There are a number of Manuka honey uses that justify adding this honey to your shopping list. So if you love honey, here are 6 Manuka honey uses to try today.
6 Manuka Honey Uses
The most obvious of Manuka honey uses is to eat it! Manuka honey is delicious. It has a dark golden color and a strong flavor that gets more intense over time. As with most darker colored honeys, Manuka honey is not as sweet as your common clover honey. It has a more bitter taste like molasses, and can have a bit of an herbaceous flavor. It is a perfect addition to a cup of tea, a smoothie, or any other drink that needs a little added sweetener. It is also delicious spread on a piece of bread or a muffin.
Manuka honey can be more expensive than your typically honey, but it can last for years because it is slow to crystallize. Store your jar in a cool, dry place in a kitchen cabinet or your pantry and use it little by little.
Treat Minor Wounds
The magic of Manuka honey comes from the fact that it contains the compound methylglyoxal (MGO), which is a natural antibacterial. Because of that, Manuka honey is typically used to treat minor wounds and burns.
Although some research has shown that small burns seem to be soothed by honey, that does not necessarily mean you should take a jar of honey out of your pantry and slather it on the next time you burn yourself taking something out of the oven. It might help, but not all honey has the same level of antibacterial properties. The amount of MGO differs in each batch of honey. That is because the amount of Manuka nectar differs in each batch. The more nectar from the Manuka tree, the higher the MGO.
The Manuka honey used to treat wounds is medical-grade honey, which means it is specially processed and sterilized. If you put Manuka honey from your kitchen on a wound that is inflamed, chances are it is going to sting like crazy. That’s because Manuka honey is acidic. Another reason to use medical-grade honey over that honey bear you use for your afternoon cup of tea.
Soothe a Sore Throat
Honey is a great home remedy to ease a sore throat. Because it is thick and sticky, it coats the inside of the throat and can provide some temporary relief from the discomfort of a sore, raw throat. Coating an irritated throat with honey can also help temporarily ease a cough. Manuka honey’s antiviral and antibacterial properties can help reduce inflammation and attack the bacteria that causes the sore throat pain.
Next time you have a sore throat or an irritating cough, take a spoonful of Manuka honey. You will be happy you did.
Protect Your Oral Health
Of all the Manuka honey uses, protecting your oral health may be the most surprising. Research suggests that Manuka’s antibacterial effects might just benefit your teeth and gums. The antibacterial property of Manuka honey is thought to attack harmful oral bacteria that causes plaque, gum inflammation, and tooth decay. In one study, participants were asked to either chew on a honey chew for 10 minutes or chew on a piece of sugar-free gum after three daily meals. The honey group showed a significant reduction in plaque and bleeding gums as compared to those who chewed on the sugar-free gum.
Researchers have found that regularly consuming Manuka honey may help decrease constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and irregular bowel movements. Manuka honey’s antioxidant properties reduced inflammation in rats with various types of irritable bowel disease. The MGO in Manuka honey helps make it effective against bacterial infections of the stomach. Manuka honey might even be effective in controlling certain kinds of bacteria in the stomach. Besides that awesome MGO, there are a number of enzymes in honey that assist with faster digestion, specifically when it comes to digesting carbohydrates and sugars.
There is no specific amount of how much Manuka honey you should eat to receive the benefits to your digestive health. One teaspoon of Manuka honey three times a day between meals is recommended for best results.
Treat Your Skin
Manuka honey is great for soothing dry skin. Its ability to soothe inflammation makes it a great addition to your skin care routine. Manuka honey lotions make your skin feel silky smooth. If you have eczema, psoriasis or other skin issues, a lotion or cream with Manuka honey may help provide some necessary relief from that dry, itchy, and irritated skin.
Some studies have also shown that Manuka honey can help clear up acne thanks to its antibacterial properties. Using a facial cleanser with Manuka honey should remove bacteria that infects pores and causes acne. It may even be helpful when applied as a spot treatment on blemishes.
Some people use straight Manuka honey in their skin care routine. You can use it to wash your face or apply it directly to a blemish. But there are also a number of skin care products on the market that contain Manuka honey.
Manuka honey may just be the magical elixir you have been searching for all your life. It is delicious. It is a natural remedy for a number of minor ailments. Plus, it can help boost digestive, skin, and oral health. All of these Manuka honey uses certainly make it worth adding to your pantry and to your medicine cabinet.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out A Natural Mama’s Medicine Cabinet to make sure you have everything you need for the next cold and flu season.
Sources: Manuka Honey, What to Consider When Planting Manuka, The Claim: Honey Can Soothe a Burn, Honey Traveler: Manuka Honey, The Effects of Manuka Honey on Plaque and Gingivitis: A Pilot Study, Effect of different doses of Manuka honey in experimentally induced inflammatory bowel disease in rats, 6 Benefits of Manuka Honey in Digestive Health, Can You Use Manuka Honey for Acne?
Photo Credit: unsplash.com