The health uses for Manuka honey have been widely documented, and research is now catching up to confirm what people have known for centuries. Here are five uses for Manuka honey to help your health.
What are the main active ingredients in Manuka Honey?
Australian and New Zealand tea trees are tough. After millions of years of evolution in relative isolation, they’re masters of fighting off nasty bacteria, fungi and other damaging microbes. Introduce them to honeybees and they’re purely and simply, a medicinal “freak of nature”. And right here in Australia, we’re lucky enough to reap the benefits! So what’s in Manuka honey that’s so good?
Methylglyoxal (MGO): Methylglyoxal naturally occurs in the human body. You produce MGO when you eat carbohydrates. Its key purpose in the body is to reduce inflammation and attack the bacteria that cause soreness and pain. In this sense, consuming additional MGO through Manuka Honey is akin to taking a vitamin or protein supplement but instead of nutritional benefit, you’re giving your body the power to fight infections and inflammation.
Leptosin/Leptosperin: This is a glycoside that doesn’t exist anywhere else in nature except in the Leptospermum (tea tree) varieties found in Australia and New Zealand. Leave some trees to evolve for millions of years in isolation, and they create powerful new substances. Once pollen from Australian and New Zealand tea trees is processed by bees, the resulting Manuka Honey contains a novel bactericide. In other words, it literally kills bacteria unlike anything else on Earth.
Hypohalous Acid Producers. Together with Leptosin, Manuka honey contains Methyl Syringate, a naturally occurring anti-fungal. Put these two together and your body produces (via some biochemical reactions) hypohalous acids. Their role in the human body? Kill viruses and other pathogens.
Bonus active ingredients: Manuka honey is a bit of a ‘perfect storm’ of health benefits, with smaller quantities of other naturally occurring anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatories, pro-biotics, anti-oxidants and even cancer-fighting tumor cell growth inhibitors (read more here). It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals – and it’s sooooo gooey and yummy too.
1. Helps the digestive tract
Because of its natural antibiotic and antibacterial properties, Manuka honey is a great medicine for any bacteria-related digestive disorder. Manuka honey has been shown to be very beneficial at reducing acid reflux and balancing your digestive system to heal stomach and intestinal imbalances.
Manuka honey also contains oligosaccharides, which are an important source of nutrition for healthy bacteria in the intestines. It is proven to improve gut health and reduces bloating. The honey serves as a pre-biotic, which helps the digestive system rebalance itself. It can be used to minimise any abdominal discomfort and digestive disorders if taken regularly.
2. Combats staph infections (MRSA)
U.K. researchers from Cardiff Metropolitan University discovered that Manuka honey downregulates the most potent genes of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
Manuka honey has also proven beneficial for healing infected and non-infected wounds, burns, leg ulcers and surgical incisions etc. as the honey stimulates the production of cytokines (immune cells). Some scientists now suggest that regular topical use of Manuka honey on cuts and infections (especially in the hospital and nursing home setting) may keep the infection naturally at bay.
3. Boosts energy
Manuka honey is enriched with enzymes and minerals, which makes it an ideal staple to help boost energy when you are tired or sick. The high nutrient density helps support the body’s functions, which is vital for achieving strong immunity.
4. Improves sore throat and boosts immunity
Manuka honey has antimicrobial properties, which can fight harmful bacteria and viruses. Methylglyoxal (MGO) works effectively against bacteria. It provides support for the body’s respiratory and immune systems to help them stay healthy and fight off diseases like influenza, common cold, sinus infections or coughs.
Manuka honey’s anti-inflammatory properties can be very helpful during a sore throat. It can be taken as a sore throat tea, with warm water or simply eaten straight from a spoon, letting the honey slowly trickle down the throat to help soothe and shorten the severity and length of the sore throat.
Research has shown Manuka honey stimulates immune cells, and has been shown to stop the growth of sore throat-causing Strep bacteria. It’s no wonder so many people say they have instant relief from taking a spoonful of Manuka honey when they don’t feel well.
5. Improves sleep
Manuka honey has been shown to promote restful deep sleep, acting as a natural sleep aid by slowly releasing the glycogen needed for essential bodily functions during sleep. Add honey to milk before sleep to help naturally release melatonin into the brain, which is necessary for deep sleep.
Discover the health uses of Manuka honey for yourself
Choose your Manuka honey wisely
Note that not all Manuka honey is created equal, and we’re not talking about the strengths. Be aware that authentic Manuka honey originates only from Australia and New Zealand. Manuka honey needs careful filtering to maintain its medicinal properties. Some Manuka honey products have had “all the goodness processed out”. Our Manuka honey originates directly from Australian beekeepers and we take care to preserve the powerful MGO levels. We also guarantee strength and quality through independent analysis testing of each batch.
*The active strength of all Manuka is based on levels of MGO (methylglyoxal) per kilogram. For example, AB’s Manuka Honey 900+ is scientifically tested for MGO (methylglyoxal) with a content of 900+ per kilo.
Disclaimer: We are not doctors; you should always seek the advice of a medical expert before commencing any treatment. We simply know the quality of AB’s Honey products and our Manuka Honey is the bee’s knees with a rich and distinctive earthy taste and a deep rich dark colour.