Maori are the local residents of New Zealand who have long discovered the miraculous “health benefits of the manuka honey”. The term manuka honey was derived from a native manuka bush (aka tea tree, in Australia, they call it the Jelly bush) that are being pollinated by the bees.
For several years, the indigenous people of New Zealand have been reaping the health benefits of manuka honey which became a part of their traditional medicinal culture.
It was actually only in the late 19th century when the world began to discover the potential healing benefits of honey. Researchers found out that this substance contain powerful natural antibacterial components.
In Sydney Australia (University School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences), a group of scientists conducted an experiment to test the potency of the manuka honey. They exposed a large variety of bacteria into the substance and they were surprised by the result. Nearly all types of bacteria got killed which is so impressive. The University of Wakaito in New Zealand also gained the interest to conduct further studies into this miraculous substance. So they formed an organization called “Wakaito Honey Research Unit”. Their main objective is to discover the antibacterial properties of the manuka honey and how does it terminate bacteria.
Back in 2004, the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain finally acknowledge the use of sterilized medical-grade manuka honey granting it the license for medical practitioners to apply for wound dressing purposes.
Common Health Benefits of Manuka Honey
There is actually a long list of manuka honey health benefits so let us just consider those that are only in the common category.
(Note: from this point onward, we will be using MH as an abbreviation for the term manuka honey.)
1. Health Supplements
Similar to royal jelly, MH is also a supreme health supplement that is highly recommended to be taken regularly. If you are the type of person who is often involve with physical or outdoor activities then you will be surprised to know that MH can boosts your energy and immune system enhancing the quality of your life.
2. Good for Healing Wounds
Research and experiments have already proven that application of MH for treating wounds is very effective. It can even treat wounds that standard treatment cannot cure. But more interestingly, MH can also reduce pain relief to patients who are experiencing burning pain on their wounds. And as stated above, NHS approved the use of MH for wound dressing because it promotes rapid healing.
In addition to healing wounds, medical experts also found out that MH can prevent infection to individuals who have venous ulcers.
3. Effective Cure for Sore Throat
Did you know that sore throat is caused by viral or bacterial infections?
Common viral infections resulting to sore throat is called “flu mononucleosis” or common cold. Suffering from this condition will make you experience fever, headache and swollen glands.
However, bacterial infections is a more serious condition than the viral type because it can lead into “scarlet fever” or “strep throat”. The risk is that, if not treated then it could lead into rheumatic fever which in turn can cause damage to the heart valves. Gladly, MH has the antibacterial properties that can kill almost all kinds of bacteria including streptococcus.
4. Regulate Proper Digestion
MH contains some kind of natural pre-biotic which can regulate proper digestion of your gut. This component actually nurtures the good bacteria inside your gut aiding your digestive system to re-balance itself in a natural way.
For those who are suffering from digestive disorder, this substance can help reduce inflammation relieving abdominal discomfort and bloating.
5. Dental Care
Some researchers have already performed studies about the application of MH for dental care. They derived into conclusion that MH have a therapeutic effect for treating gingivitis and periodontal disease. By chewing MH product on a regular basis, a significant decrease of plaque being formed is decreased. And for those people who are suffering from gingivitis, they will notice less bleeding sites.
6. Improve Sleep
Most people who have trouble sleeping are those with serious health issues such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and etc… One of the best way to prevent them from getting worse is to obtain a good quality sleep.
In order for you to achieve a good quality sleep, experts suggest that you should add the honey into a milk then drink it before bedtime. By doing this procedure, your body will release melatonin into your brain which is responsible in putting you down into a deep sleep. Aside from melatonin, MH also releases glycogen which is essential for your bodily functions as you go through your sleep.
7. Beauty Treatment
Aside from health treatment, MH also has beauty benefits. Some studies revealed that MH is quite effective in curing acne, free radicals in the skin and many other forms of skin infections. When it comes to enhancing your skin, MH is a natural moisturizer which can greatly improve skin hydration. Researchers explained that MH can absorb moisture directly from the air and draw it in into the skin.
Other than skin application, it can also be used along with your shampoo or use it as hair mask to bring shine to your hair.
Manuka Honey Negative Side Effects
Unfortunately, manuka honey is not meant to benefit anyone who uses it. There are some individuals who will use it but instead of reaping the health benefit, they suffer from its negative side effects.
So what are the negative side effects of manuka honey?
1. Allergic Reaction
A large number of people around the world do actually have allergic reactions when it comes to bee products. The common component on the honey that triggers the reaction are due to the pollen or the bee venom. Once ingested or applied by an allergic person, the following symptoms can be observed:
– Rash or hives
– Wheezing or coughing
– Difficulty swallowing or stomach upset (involve nausea and vomiting)
If you noticed any of those symptoms after consumption or use of the honey, it is best advised that you should seek medical attention. Some allergic reaction could result into serious conditions, worst is death.
2. Affect Blood Sugar Levels
MH is rich in carb and sugar where too much consumption of this substance can affect your blood sugar level which is bad for your health. But the good news is that, “The Journal of Pakistan Medical Association” found out that honey does not cause dramatic increase in blood sugar provided that it is taken in small amount on a regular basis. Since it does not have that much impact on blood sugar as compared to regular sugar, it can be served as an alternative sugar for those that have Type 2 diabetes.
3. Weight Gain
If you are taking MH regularly as your supplement then you have to know that this substance is rich in calories. Assuming that you are consuming 1 tablespoon on a daily basis without making any changes on your diet and exercise routine, you will gain 6 pound of weight over the course of a year.
So if you want to avoid gaining weight while taking MH as supplement then you should make some adjustment on your daily workout. In terms of diet, you can use honey as a replacement for sweeteners. Instead of using sugar on your tea or coffee, use honey.
It is highly advised not to use any kind of honey products for babies under 12 months of age. Experts found out that honey is a source of bacteria spores that causes botulism.
Where and How to Buy Manuka Honey?
Not all products in the market are created equal. Some are actually fake while some have different levels of potency when it comes to their antibacterial power. Honey producers call this level or scale as UMF or “Unique Manuka Factor”. They are scaled with a number rating ranging from 5 to 16.
When buying a certain manuka honey product, it is important to look for its UMF rating specified on its label. The world market recognizes such product composing a minimum of UMF5 rating. However, experts claim that this rating is not sufficient enough to bring good results. The suggested rating must have at least UMF10+ level of antibacterial components. Higher UMF rating means that they are superior quality products.
So where is the best place to buy manuka honey products?
It is easy to obtain manuka honey products from any local grocery stores in New Zealand. But if you are not from this country, your best option is to order it online. Although, you have to make sure that you are buying authentic MH products. You can take advantage of the customer reviews and testimonials from various websites and forums as they can really help in determining genuine products.