A rarity in it's own right, Manuka honey is nothing short of wonderful. It's sticky, full-flavored substance not only tastes amazing (on literally everything), but it’s medicinal and therapeutic advantages are almost too good to be true.
This golden honey is made when bees pollinate their nectar from the Manuka bush, also known as the "tea tree" where it's widely cultivated in New Zealand.
In the last decade Manuka has won the attention of scientists and medical professionals alike for its health boosting properties that regular honey can't compete with.
This versatile treat can help boost skin renewal, aid digestion, fight diseases and most importantly help put our sugar pangs at ease.
But to get the most out of this miracle honey, you should make sure it’s ‘active’. The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) is a scale determined by the Honey Research Unit in New Zealand. If verified as a level 10 or more it's then considered ‘active’ and the more active your Manuka, the more health benefits you’ll get.
Sounds like a pretty sweet deal right? According to a study, 58% of people that consumed Manuka honey said they thought it was better than others, but weren’t sure why.
So to set the record straight we got chatting to biochemist and founder of Elethea Luxury Beauty, Nausheen Qureshi to discover what really makes Manuka honey better than the rest.
1. It makes your skin look younger!
A pot of Manuka is a fantastic idea for any skincare regimen. Its amazing plumping benefits have been put to good use in the beauty world and now, more often than not, Manuka is seen as a key ingredient in many of our beauty staples.
Nausheen says, “Manuka honey is an incredible antibacterial substance because it has been shown to contain 70 times more reactive Methylglyoxal (MG) than normal honey. The more MG, the better the antibacterial capability."
So why is that so good for your complexion? Nausheen explains,"MG has been shown to increase collagen cross-linking, which identifies Manuka honey as having healing properties for the skin and promoting structural growth of the collagen within the dermis layer.”
Healthy collagen = happy youthful skin!
2. It stops infection!
The healing power of honey has never been disproved, particularly in New Zealand where Manuka has been used to cure cuts and fight infection for more than 4000 years.
“On the skin, Manuka honey provides the ideal treatment for wound healing because it keeps the water content on the surface of the skin high through osmosis. It also prevents bacterial infection from a wide range of bacteria strains.”
3. It heals your problem areas
This sticky golden indulgence is more than just a yummy treat - it can also be used to perfect your skin from any irritations.
Nausheen says, “As an anti-inflammatory, topically applied Manuka honey can provide relief from spots, rosacea, eczema and other irritations and lesions on the skin.”
Why not pamper your skin with Manuka then? Apply the honey all over your face or on 'problem areas' and leave it to dry for 10-15 minutes. When finished, wash away with lukewarm water.
The results will be beautiful!
4. It balances your pH
If you’re suffering from an out-of-whack pH balance it’s time to sort out your dermis and get your skin looking fresh again. The natural pH balance of Manuka promotes healing and banishes bacteria - the perfect recipe for a balanced pH.
“Elethea has chosen Manuka honey as a key ingredient in our Revitalising High Protection Fluid SPF30 for not only its high antibacterial capability, but also its naturally occurring acids which help to dislodge dead skin cells, and its ability to balance the pH level of the skin surface that is vitally important to skin health.”
5. It keeps your skin hydrated
For a brighter, more radiant complexion go for a more natural skincare solution and give Manuka honey a shot. Loaded with antioxidants, this mono-flower honey not only offers protection against free radical damage, but it also helps keep skin hydrated and soft too. It even helps to even out the appearance of scars!
6. It can soothe dry eyes
Honey and eyes don't sound like they'd be the best of friends, but hear us out on this one. Manuka honey can be used in eye drop solutions to relieve and soothe dry eyes - because of its ability to draw water from surrounding cells through osmosis this is a super effective treatment and can even be made at home.
Add a teaspoon of Manuka to warm water and mix. Use it as a dropper for the next few days until the infection clears. Even better, you can use the same solution to treat ear infections too. A cure has never sounded so easy!
7. It's a superfood
Manuka honey contains an alphabet of vitamins and minerals, much more than any other types of honey. Who doesn't love a bit of honey? It’s definitely not going to be difficult to incorporate this immune-boosting food into our meals.
8. It helps you digest
Prone to bloating and digestive discomfort? You can use Manuka to soothe a range of issues including stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux and indigestion. Simply dissolve a teaspoon (or two) into a mug of hot water or some warm milk. Now let the Manuka magic begin...
9. It boosts your energy!
If your day needs some pepping up you can pop a swirl of Manuka honey into your tea or devour it on a slice of toast for an instant early morning energy boost. Make sure it’s consumed with complex carbohydrates and not on its own as otherwise you’ll become victim to the midday slump.
10. It fights against diseases
Some research suggests that Manuka honey can help fight against drug resistant superbugs such as MRSA and VRE and can possibly also alleviate respiratory conditions such as Asthma.
Seriously - anyone else blown away right now? We never thought bee juice could be this powerful.
To get your very own pot of golden goo, check out Manuka Honey World for a selection of the best honeys available!
Now that you've had your Manuka education will you be swapping your regular honey for some sweet Manuka? Tweet us @sofeminineUK