Have you heard of Manuka honey but not sure what all the buzz is about?
While Manuka honey has become a hot topic of conversation in the media of late, its origins date back hundreds of years.
Bees are magical, industrious creatures and the liquid gold they crate has been used medicinally for its antibacterial properties for years. Today, honey is no foreigner to the realm of superfoods and it is proclaimed to be a natural remedy for the treatment of various ailments. The enzymes in honey create hydrogen peroxide, along with many other beneficial vitamins and minerals. But not all honey is equal, and some honeys, such as Manuka honey, are many times more active than others.
So what is Manuka Honey and why is it special?
Although Australia has been using the word Manuka since European settlement, people at the time had little knowledge or understanding of Manuka honey and its benefits. Thankfully, as time and studies have progressed we now understand how special Manuka is and the powers that it holds. Manuka honey is produced by bees from the flowers (nectar) of the Leptospermum species plant, which is native to Australia and New Zeleand. The critical force behind the active antibacterial effect of Manuka honey is the Methylglyoxal (MGO), contained in the nectar of the Leptospermum flowers on which the bees feed. The strength and potency of Manuka products is directly measurable to the level of MGO present (i.e. the higher the MGO the higher the strength and benefits of the honey).
Unlike a lot of other honey’s, Manuka retains its activity, even when other natural honey factors like osmotic properties, acidity and hydrogen peroxide, are neutralised. When the remarkable factors of Manuka were first discovered, it was found that the special activity of the honey remained even when the peroxide had been removed – a property of the honey known as ‘non-peroxide activity’ (NPA).
What are the healing properties of Manuka Honey and how can it be applied?
Manuka honey has strong antimicrobial properties and has been scientifically proven to kill superbugs (antibiotic-resistant bacteria) that cause serious infection. Manuka also contains wound healing and anti-inflammatory qualities, making it a commonly used wound dressing to protect against Golden Staph and other infections. Additionally, Manuka can be used to aid sore throats, gingivitis, gastric upsets, allergies, acne and eczema, burns and wounds and improving all round immunity and digestive health.
This aromatic, thick honey has notes of different florals and flavours, making it a delight to eat. The higher the MGO, the richer or stronger in taste the honey gets and the more powerful its healing powers become. Used across pharmaceutical, medicinal and cosmetic applications, Manuka honey truly is the liquid gold of the honey world.