Medical grade Manuka honey refers to a kind of honey that is generated by the honey bees that pollinate a native bush in New Zealand called Manuka.
The honey is then harvested, packaged carefully, and sold to treat a range of medical conditions. Today, we shall dive into what makes Manuka honey so special and explore its most notable uses.
The Healing Power of Honey
Mankind has used honey for millennia to treat a wide variety of illnesses. The most noteworthy benefit is that honey contains antibacterial properties, and thus it comes in handy when dealing with conditions like pneumonia and typhoid that are brought about by bacteria. Also, some kinds of honey support the repair of tissue damage following infection.
Not all honey is the same. The healing power of honey depends on a number of factors, including its type, and how and when it was harvested.
In fact, some types are hundreds of times more powerful than others. In that regard, scientists have discovered Manuka, a special type of honey that has superior antibacterial properties.
Components of Manuka Honey
Honey produces hydrogen peroxide, the component that gives it antibacterial power. Manuka honey, however, has other components, besides hydrogen peroxide, that give it antibacterial value.
Manuka honey contains lots of methylglyoxal (MG), a compound that exists in most honey but only in small proportions. The high amounts of MG in Manuka honey result from the conversion of dihydroxyacetone, a compound found in manuka flowers.
This high concentration in MG gives Manuka honey antibiotic effects but there also may be other compounds contributing to its unique medicinal power.
Rating the Potency of Medical Grade Manuka Honey
Producers have come up with a scale to rate the power of medical grade Manuka honey. This scale is known as the UMF (acronym for Unique Manuka Factor). The UMF normally corresponds with MG concentration as well as the amount of other useful agents in the honey.
If you’re looking for best manuka honey that’s powerful enough to offer therapeutic benefits, I recommend going for that with a rating of 10 UMF and above. Such honey is usually marketed as ‘Active Manuka Honey’ or ‘UMF Manuka Honey’.
Manuka honey is mostly utilized as a natural treatment for wound infections. It is seen as the go-to remedy in times where bacteria are continually growing resistant to traditional antibiotics.
Advocates of this honey also claim that it can help deal with other conditions, including sinus infections and acne.
The Benefits of Manuka Honey
The main advantage of using Manuka honey is that it’s not only antibacterial but also resistant to bacteria. That means that bacteria are not able to develop tolerance toward its antibacterial effects.
Manuka honey has been showed to be effective at treating conditions ranging from a sore throat to blemishes on the skin. Other medical benefits associated with this honey include:
What Does Science Say?
Unlike with most other alternative treatments, there is scientific proof for the healing power of Manuka honey.
Here is some of the evidence supporting the potency of this honey:
Manuka honey is acidic, with a pH of around 3.5. For that reason, the honey is able to promote healing. With regard to that, the acidity blocks enzymes associated with the breakdown of proteins and peptides, which the body needs for the repair of damaged tissues. The honey also contains high amounts of sugar, which helps protect wounds during recovery.
Manuka honey is very low in moisture, and thus it will easily draw fluids from your wound. That way, it removes waste and speeds up the healing process. The honey goes as far as drawing water from the invading bacteria, leaving them frail. This further boosts the healing process.
The antibacterial properties in Manuka honey are able to annihilate numerous bacteria species, including the Staphylococcus and the Streptococcus. The honey has also been showed to be effective at dealing with the Clostridium difficile, a resilient disease-causing organism that easily spreads in healthcare settings.
Some researchers suggest that Manuka honey can effectively fight infections that have a biofilm (a thin, slippery bacteria layer). If established to be accurate, this will be a huge medical breakthrough because infections that form a biofilm are seen as untreatable.
For these reasons, the FDA has approved bandages imbued with Manuka honey for both prescription and OTC sales.
How to Use Manuka Honey
Manuka honey might alleviate irritation and inflammation linked to acne. To use the honey for skin care purposes, just apply it to the skin directly. Ensure that you cover the affected areas completely and leave the mask for at least an hour for excellent results.
Manuka honey might also be useful in treating eczema. Based on research, you may achieve better results if you mix it in equal proportions with beeswax and olive oil. For great results, try applying the mixture thrice per day.
Digestion and immunology
To enjoy the digestive benefits associated with the honey, try taking a tablespoon or two of it every day. You can either take it alone or mix it with regular food or tea. You could spread Manuka honey onto whole-grain toasts or add it to your cup of yogurt.
Suffering from a sore throat?
Add a tablespoon of the honey to your cup of tea every morning or take it alone. This can help ease the sore throat quickly. If, on the other hand, you’re not suffering from any condition, this is a surefire way of boosting your immune system and preventing yourself from falling ill.
Do you have a minor cut or scrape on the skin?
Manuka honey may be able to help you. To determine the amount of Manuka honey that should be applied to the wound, watch the amounts of fluid leaking from it. The more the fluid, the more the honey needed to dress the wound.
Keep in mind that the honey should not be applied to the wound directly. What you should do is apply it to a bandage and then apply the bandage to the cut. It’s advisable to change the bandage frequently as the honey removes more amounts of the fluid from the wound. Try using a waterproof or sealed bandage as it helps keep the honey in the bandaged area.
Manuka honey is not just any type of honey; it’s unique in that it can help you deal with a wide range of conditions naturally. New studies are underway and in the near future, this honey might just be showed to treat illnesses that conventional medicines are unable to deal with.
The best thing about the honey is that there’s no limit to how much you can you can take. However, if you have diabetes or are allergic to other types of honey, try talking to your doctor first.