Honey has been used as a magical healing agent for thousands of years. There are hundreds of varieties of honey, but Manuka honey stands out as one of the most unique and potent types of honey.
Manuka honey originates from the Manuka tree in New Zealand, and what sets it apart is the high level of antimicrobials due to the presence of the compound Methylglyoxal (MGO). Methylglyoxal has numerous medicinal properties and it not found in any other variety of honey. MGO occurs naturally in the Manuka flower and the bees transfer it to their honey. It can then remain stable in the honey and body regardless of external conditions. All honey has some anti-bacterial properties due to the hydrogen peroxide present, but enzymes and acids in the body quickly destroy it.
To ensure optimum benefits you want to check the label for a UMF rating of 10+. UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor and this rating measures the honey's ability to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. Anything below UMF 10+ will have insignificant healing abilities.
Manuka honey has super healing abilities for the gut and skin when used both internally and externally.
When taken orally Manuka honey can:
-Relieve IBS, IBD, intestinal inflammation, acid reflux, and bloating
-Aid in digestion
-Re-establish and heal gut flora
-Assist in removing bad bacteria from the gut
The enzymes and pre-biotics in the honey help take the strain off the digestive system and calm inflammation. Because our gut health and skin are so closely related, taking Manuka honey can help heal your skin from the inside out.
You can also apply Manuka honey to the skin for a yummy face mask or help heal patches of skin irritation. It can help soothe acne, psoriasis, burns, wounds, and eczema. Simply slather Manuka honey on the inflamed area and wash off after 30-45 minutes. The high anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help to prevent infection and promote healing. You can apply this treatment daily, if needed.
The best place to purchase is your local co-op or health food store. Depending on the UMF rating you can take 1-2 tablespoons of Manuka honey per day (Ratings of UMF 15+ are highly therapeutic and no more than 1 tablespoon should be taken at a time). The best way to take honey is with a spoon but it can also be added to tea, oatmeal, or warm water. It is also safest to patch test Manuka honey 48 hours prior to putting it on large areas of skin.
Two of my favorite ways to use Manuka honey:
I like to add a teaspoon to my spearmint tea. I recommend spearmint tea for sensitive digestive systems rather than peppermint. Spearmint is cooling to the body, while peppermint has a heating effect which can further irritate inflamed organs.
I also like to use Manuka Honey as a mask. It is great for acne and eczema and very soothing to the skin! Mix 1-2 drops of essential oil with 1 ½ tablespoons of honey. Chamomile and lavender essential oils are my go-to's. Leave the honey on your face for 30-45 minutes and wash off with warm water.