Manuka Honey-Benefits, Medicinal Uses, and Side Effects
Manuka Honey Benefits, Uses and Side Effects
Manuka honey is monofloral honey predominantly produced in some of New Zealand regions. The bees collect the pollen and nectar entirely from the flowers of ManukaTeaTrees (Leptospermum Scoparium), and its benefits make the difference from all other types of honey.(1Trusted Source)
What is Manuka Tea Tree?
White-pink or reddish flowers blooming, commonly called manuka or manuka myrtle, Manuka tea tree is a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family Myrtaceae which naturally occur in New Zealand and southeast areas from Australia but are mainly found in the drier eastern coastal area of the North Island of New Zealand.
Why Manuka and not another type of honey?
Well, because it is more than simple table honey, it is not the honey you have probably used to, the taste, the density, the color, and the power as shown below.
The Meaning Of Manuka K Factor
What is Manuka K Factor?
Manuka K Factor, also referred to as UMF or Unique Manuka Factor, it is a quality mark which identifies natural manuka honey that's produced in New Zealand.
It signifies the particular type of properties only found in Manuka Honey, and the UMF is what separates this purity and the quality of honey from others:(2Trusted Source)
Nutrition Facts Of Manuka Honey
This UMF of Manuka Honey's claim to fame. High-quality honey that demonstrates this unique trait is considered medicinal grade honey and has been shown in laboratories tests to kill even bacteria and resistant microbes.
Manuka honey is an effective and superior treatment for wound infections.
The high natural sugar which Manuka Honey contains creates an environment with a very few water molecules, and this makes difficult for microorganisms to grow.
Besides, do not allow for pathogens to grow due to the low the low pH level.
Bees add enzymes to the nectar for forming the honey during the developmental stage. One by-product of this enzyme is hydrogen peroxide.
The enzyme activity increases when Manuka Honey is diluted by a wound or other bodily fluids, creating an antiseptic which is antibacterial and does not cause tissue damage.
The UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) is an antimicrobial composition which creates an environment impossible to survive for microbes and bacteria.
Due to the presence of hydrogen peroxide studies have shown that all varieties of honey have some levels of antibacterial activity (presented below) but Manuka Honey has up to 30 times:(3Trusted Source)
Below, we are reviewing this topic in detail and showing all of the 11 benefits of manuka honey and more.
Health Benefits of Manuka Honey
Honey has always been and will be a culinary delicacy and a significant medical remedy for millennia.
Prescriptions found in Sumerian clay tablets had a vital part in medicinal use, and also in Ayurveda and Siddha (traditional medicine originating in ancient Tamilakam (Tamil Nadu-South India) and Sri Lanka.
In Ayurveda and Siddha, honey in considered as predigested food because it is easily digested specially mixed with medicines which are quickly absorbed by the body and through blood circulation spread across the system.
Siddha also prescribes honey for ushna (heat, hot)- such as impurities in the blood, vomiting, gas problems, excess mucous.
In ancient Egypt was used in skin, eye diseases, wounds and burns were also found in the tomb of Tutankhamen and other pharaohs.
The benefits of Manuka Honey described above are usually found in any quality honey, but Manuka is the Queen, up to 4 times than average.
**Manuka honey contains anti-fungal, antibiotic, antibacterial, properties that are beneficial in many such ways when is used as a health/medical product.
Burns victims are treated with Manuka honey-impregnated bandages, these help keep damaged areas moist and destroy infections and allow for new clean tissue to grow.
**Manuka honey works against infections, including infections like MRSA(Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), leg ulcers where day to day man-made treatment has failed, sore throats, stomach, indigestion, heartburn, reflux acid, gastroenteritis, ulcers, tooth, gum problems, and seasonal allergies.(4Trusted Source)
**Manuka honey is rich in lactobacillus (live in our digestive, urinary, and genital systems) and bifidobacteria (probiotic to maintain a healthy digestive tract) which improves the health of the immune system and aid digestion.
**Every type of honey contains many kinds of natural sugar, especially fructose and glucose which unlike sugars/sweeteners are separate and acts as an energy source.
**For practitioners of yoga the honey is a blessing, brings balance to the blood chemistry and makes the system more vibrant. Before beginning the practice, taking water with honey can open the system.
For yogis one of the sadhana (practice, learning) in Maha Shivratri period (or Great night of Shiva) is to consume a mixture made with honey, neem leaves, and peppercorns which can help the practitioners to become more receptive to the possibilities of Mahashivratri.
** If you apply Manuka honey on the affected area for a few minutes (and wash with a gentle soap) can help in skin condition in case of acne, cuts, grazes, chemical burns, psoriasis, eczema.
Manuka honey is a skin tone and texture elixir, wrinkles remover; uses in a detox drink you get inside and outside benefits. Applied diluted honey by gently rubbing every day for 2-3 min on the affected areas, help to treat seborrheic dermatitis, and dandruff.
**Manuka honey improve sleep (adding honey to your milk before bedtime release melatonin (a hormone made by pineal gland which informs your body when is time to sleep and wake up) into the brain and it is helpful for a deep sleep.
**This honey it is also used as a treatment in tooth infections.
After the tooth is extracted, applying manuka honey has been shown to minimize the risk of developing inflammation which is a painful condition.
Other evidence indicates that Manuka Honey can alleviate gastric ulcers.
**Tepid water with manuka honey it is beneficial for RBC (red blood cell) which are responsible for carrying oxygen in the blood and can take care of anemic, breathlessness, fatigue, depression conditions by raising the level of hemoglobin.
Also helps to reduce the effects of LBP (low blood pressure), HBP (high blood pressure), hypotension, and hypertension.
It is still a small experiment but also seems to prevent low WBC (white blood cell) count in chemotherapy consuming 2 tsp/day of manuka honey during this period. (As if is still an experiment consult a doctor before start consuming if you are in this kind of state).
**Another and maybe the most important benefit of this wonderful natural manuka honey is that it seems to have the ability to kill cancer cells. It has been known to inhibit cancer growth which puts it at the top of the list in naturally fighting cancer and destroying the cells infected.(5Trusted Source - 6Trusted Source)
Cost And Availability of Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is priced reasonably at about $18.00 -$500 depends on UMF and brand.This is for the genuine product with the UMF label which is the only identifier you should be looking for when purchasing.
The higher the UMF grade of Manuka honey, the better the quality and medicinal purpose. The better the quality, the higher the price.
The label is easily identified and only buy authentic Manuka honey if you want the full benefits. And if looking for the therapeutic type of product always look for a rating of at least UMF10+.
For daily purpose is recommended UMF 5+ or lower.
As I said before, availability of manuka honey is increasing as demand goes up. The demand for this product has increased solely due to people realizing the vast redeeming qualities.
Manuka honey is available in a plastic or glass jar, as a wound-care dressing, in cough medicine, in lozenges and beauty products.
It can be purchased pretty much all over the world but be sure to check to make sure it is available where you are. If not, you can find online options for purchase.
Side Effects Of Manuka Honey
It is generally believed that products made from 100% natural ingredients do not cause any side effects.
This is true for all products that are being sold in the market.
However, quite a few people are allergic to certain foods such as bee products, shellfish and even some types of plants. When these people look forward to ingesting any of the products mentioned above they are likely to display signs of a reaction.
The reactions can be mild or even severe enough to prove fatal. Under the circumstances, it is important for people to get information about any side effects, which they may feel when taking products like Manuka honey.
Manuka honey, when taken in levels beyond the recommended dosage, can cause blood sugar to rise.
This can be dangerous for people who suffer from Diabetics. Drugs used for chemotherapy are intense and leave behind plenty of reactions on the patient.
Using Manuka honey at this stage is likely to cause swelling in the throat and hormonal imbalances that people would not want to become prone to.
If you want to start consuming for therapeutic purpose, but your immune system is too weak, you are under chemotherapy, or you have other serious illness, consult your doctor before consuming.
Depending on your requirements, it is best to eat honey straight 1-2 tsp/day using a wooden spoon. Personally, I take 1tsp on an empty stomach.
Why a wooden spoon? To just scoop out, it is o.k, but not to use it for a long time and never let for overnight a metal spoon in your honey.
The acidic pH (few are alkaline) found in honey react with most metals (except gold). The reaction changes the quality of the honey by taking up metallic ions.
Avoid hot milk, water or tea with your honey which can destroy some of the natural enzymes that are healthy for you. Use tepid water or room temperature.
Be careful to not confuse quality honey with high fructose syrup named ``honey``which you find in all supermarkets.
Do your best to get organic honey which is actually organic raw honey and means that heating is not allowed above 95 degrees F.
But it depends on each country`s, brand standards and conditions which must follow good organic management.
And don`t worry about wings, legs of dead bees or other impurities which you think would be found in organic raw honey because they`re strained out before bottling.
Almost of Manuka Honey are bottled in a plastic jar, and I think they are BPA- free, but you can change it into glass one and left overnight.
Due to the density and shape of the jar, honey tends to remain in the corners and on the walls.
And as I'm a Manuka loving and I do not forgive the last drop, I put tepid water in the jar and shake it up till nothing remains by making a delicious Manuka shake or adding it to my favorite smoothie.
The bees are very intelligent and do not fly over a radius of more than 3 km of squares from the hive. So to know more about your honey try to find out in what kind of area the beehive is.
Quality honey is made in an area that over a radius of at least 100 km of squares there are no factories or traffic.