Manuka Honey – The Guide and 10 amazing benefits
Where does Manuka Honey come from?
Manuka honey comes from the flowering Manuka bush which is found in New Zealand. It is produced when bees pollinate the Manuka bushes. Although it comes from a Manuka bush, this bush is also commonly referred to as the Manuka plant although it often grows to the size of a tree. The Manuka flowers only appear for 6 to 12 weeks every summer. This is a very important time as the bees then gather the nectar from the Manuka flowers.
What makes Manuka Honey different from other honey?
Manuka Honey is antibacterial and antiviral and can, therefore, help treat various ailments. It contains three important ingredients – MGO (Methylglyoxal), DHA (dihydroxyacetone) and Leptosperin. MGO is what gives Manuka Honey its unique antibacterial activity. DHA is indicative of the age of the honey and Leptosperin is only found in genuine Manuka products. These three ingredients are measured by MGO. This is a standard measure used within the industry to discover the strength of the honey and to ensure that it is a genuine Manuka honey. This rating system is independently audited so customers can rest assured that they are buying a genuine Manuka Honey.
What is MGO rated Manuka Honey?
Genuine manuka honey will have a methylglyoxal MGO rating. This shows that a variety of tests, based on the latest science, have been carried out by New Zealand Manuka Honey producers to prove the authenticity and strength of the active ingredient in their product. 83 MGO is the lowest ranking Manuka Honey.
Why is Manuka Honey so expensive?
There are several reasons why it is more expensive than other honey but mainly it is due to its antibacterial and antiviral activity, activity that is not found in other honey.
The Manuka Bush is only found in New Zealand and that can be in dense bush or in parts that are inaccessible by road and the hives are taken out by helicopter. The bushes only flower for a few weeks each year and if weather conditions are bad, this will affect the ability of the bees to collect the nectar. The workforce is paid a fair wage and the honey is tested, adding to the cost.
The price of Manuka Honey does depend on the strength. Obviously, the higher the strength, the more it will cost.
What level of Manuka Honey is best?
There are two reasons to buy Manuka Honey – medicinal and non-medicinal. If it is non-medicinal, there is no need to buy a high rated honey. You can use 100 MGO. If you are taking it for medicinal purposes, 200 MGO is recommended for general infections or 525 MGO for more serious infections. Anything about 525 MGO is ideal for digestive problems.
How do you take Manuka Honey?
Manuka Honey can be taken directly from the spoon, on toast or diluted in water. The dosage is approximately 1-3 tablespoons per day. It is important to remember that if you dilute the honey, you are diluting the strength of the active ingredient.
Manuka Honey also comes in 16 MGO capsules, ideal if travelling or if you don’t like the taste of honey.
Are there any side effects to Manuka Honey?
There are no known side effects but it can affect blood sugar levels as it contains high levels of natural sugar, so diabetics would have to consult their doctor before use. Also, if you are allergic to honey or bees, caution would have to be exercised in case of an allergic reaction.
10 Benefits from taking Manuka Honey
1. Stomach ulcers
Manuka Honey’s anti-bacterial properties act against H.Pylori which is the bacteria that causes the majority of stomach ulcers.
Psoriasis is a skin condition caused by inflammation and as Manuka Honey has an anti-inflammatory effect on skin, covering the psoriasis in Manuka Honey will help to improve it.
Manuka Honey has a natural soothing effect on dry, tickly throats. It also helps with the mucous that forms during upper respiratory tract infections. Its natural anti- viral activity helps prevent colds.
4. Wound healing
Honey has been used to treat wounds for centuries and Manuka Honey has been proven to be extremely effective in treating leg ulcers, as well as other wounds.
Research has shown that taking Manuka Honey daily reduces inflammation in the colon and increases protection against more attacks.
Manuka Honey fights infections due to its anti-bacterial properties. Studies have show it to be effective against MRSA (63%) and MSSA (82%).
7. Acid reflux
Manuka Honey reduces inflammation in the esophagus, coats the mucous membrane and fights the free radicals that help cause acid reflux.
8. Immune system
Manuka Honey activates immune cells in the body that help fight infections.
A study has found that honey is less likely to raise blood sugar levels than sucrose. The same study concluded that in the future honey might be able to help treat the beta cells of the pancreas. These cells produce insulin.
It is important for diabetics to check with their doctors before taking honey and it might be that the Manuka Honey capsules would be more suitable.
Manuka Honey is safe to use in pregnancy which is good news as it can help with the insomnia that is often experienced by pregnant women, along with the other conditions it is known to treat.