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Manuka Honey Top 10 Health Benefits

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

Manuka Honey - the Best Superfood?

Home Food Nutrition

Honey as a wound treatment is a long-standing practice. In a historical

document from 1392, the method was cited as having roots in ancient

civilizations. Honey is delicious and may have properties that help fight

infection. Use of honey as a healing agent fell out of favor with advances in

medicine and increased use of antibiotics. But as more viruses and

bacteria become antibiotic-resistant, use of honey outside holistic medicine is

enjoying more mainstream attention. Not all honey is the same, however.

Blends of honey and those harvested from largest beekeeping farms may not

have the analgesic benefits found in small-batch natural honey. Manuka

honey, harvested from the Manuka tree in New Zealand, has unusual

properties. Although all honey contains antimicrobial properties, only Manuka

Honey contains non-hydrogen peroxide, with greater antibacterial power.

1. Helps with stomach issues

Adding Manuka honey to your diet can help with a host of stomach issues,

including small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), low stomach acid, and

acid reflux. The antibacterial properties of Manuka honey help reduce harmful

bacteria in the stomach and gut. In fact, in a recent study, one dangerous

bacteria related to all three conditions, Clostridium difficile, was found to be

quite susceptible to Manuka honey’s bactericidal effects. Therefore, taking

Manuka honey is very beneficial in reducing acid reflux and balancing your

digestive system to heal stomach and intestinal imbalances.

2. Treat skin conditions

Both anecdotal and scientific evidence has backed claims that topical application of Manuka Honey helps reduce the inflammation associated with acne breakouts. Those who have eczema may also find relief from honey, as it helps lock moisture into the dry skin and heal open blemishes and rashes. The antibacterial properties, especially those of Manuka honey, help reduce infection risks from rashes and blemishes. For the best results, apply Manuka honey to the affected areas, allow to sit for a few minutes, then wash off with gentle soap and water.

3. Combat resistant infections

Increasing use of antibiotics to treat infections has led to a superbug that has

plagued hospitals over the several years, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus

aureus (MRSA). Antibiotic overuse and drug ineffectiveness have caused

certain strains of Staph to become virtually indefensible using typical hospital

and nursing home medical protocols. This virulent bug is highly contagious, and

for those affected, drastic measures such as intubation or invasive procedures

are the only answer. Researchers at Cardiff University in the U.K. have

discovered that Manuka honey has slowed and even stopped the growth and

spread of MRSA in lab testing. Their conclusions suggest that topical

application of Manuka honey to open wounds and infections in hospitals and

care centers may keep the spread of MRSA at bay.

4. Treat burns and ulcers

First and second-degree burns to the skin, including sunburn, have a high risk

of infection. Topical use of honey has been shown to improve wound healing in

acute cases, pain relief in burn patients, and decrease inflammatory response

in these patients. The antibiotic properties and antioxidant compounds Makua

honey contain have all been shown in lab testing to prevent ulcers. Use of

honey as a wound dressing is still practiced in many areas of the globe, with

studies backing up its usefulness in a lab setting.

5. Boost oral health

Although brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are the best way to

preserve your oral health, honey is also helpful to treat gum disease. Regular

application (not ingestion) of honey can reduce swelling from gingivitis, as well

as soothe and treat periodontal disease. Chewing or sucking a honey product

can reduce plaque on your teeth up to 35 percent. For those with gingivitis, the

same action can reduce ulcer sites and heal inflamed bleeding gums. The

calcium, zinc, and phosphorous found in honey also contribute to healing teeth

and increasing oral health.

6. Help soothe IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome and gut inflammation can make getting the proper

amount of nutrients difficult. They also contribute to embarrassing bathroom

needs and uncomfortable, painful feelings. Adding Manuka honey to part of

your doctor-approved IBS diet can help reduce inflammation in your gut.

Furthermore, regular ingestion of Manuka honey both decreases colonic

inflammation and restores proper lipid peroxidation. Thus it helps your body to

heal naturally. Manuka honey reduces inflammation, and its antioxidant

compounds decrease the levels of damaging free radical molecules in the


7. Calm sore throats

Tea with honey is a universal treatment for those with colds and the flu. Sweet

and soothing, honey can help coat your throat and allow you to swallow vital

liquids. The anti-inflammatory properties of honey can help relax and open up

the muscles of the throat. Recent studies have shown honey to stop the growth of strep bacteria. One of the leading causes of sore throats, strep is typically treated with antibiotics the same type of bug that becoming increasingly drug-resistant. Natural

honey, rich in antioxidants and bacteria-fighting properties, can help eliminate

strep throat. The National Cancer Society has recently added honey as a

recommendation for treating post-chemo sore throat.

8. Help allergies

Honey is created by bees, from ingesting pollen. Consuming natural, local

honey has long been a homeopathic remedy to reduce the symptoms and

duration of seasonal allergies. Those who add honey, especially Manuka

honey, to their diets reported more symptom-free days, and on the days when

allergy symptoms were present, a reduction in the severity of the symptoms.

Research shows that all types of honey reduce the need for antihistamines. At

least a tablespoon full each day can help with the hay fever and seasonal

allergies spring and fall bring.

9. Enhance your beauty regimen

Applying honey to your hair and skin can help improve the luster of both.

Mixing a bit of Manuka honey into your conditioner can leave hair feeling

softer and silkier. For skin treatments, add a bit of honey to your hydrating

facial mask. After washing off, your skin will feel softer and have less redness.

Honey can also be a gentle exfoliant, sloughing off dead and dry skin without

irritating the tender new skin beneath. Honey is gentle enough for even tender

facial skin. This is thanks to its antioxidant compounds that reduce damaged

skin and antibacterial properties to help with infection and irritation.

10. Promote restful sleep

Adding a teaspoon full of Manuka honey to milk at bedtime can boost your

body natural melatonin production. This sleep-inducing hormone helps

slowly reduce glycogen to your cells while you sleep. It allows the repair of

daily damage and calming brain function. Certain conditions, such as sleep

apnea, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, tend to worsen with

poor sleep hygiene. While soothing honey isn't a cure-all for these conditions,

it can give you a better nights sleep. Thus it helps your body to heal and

regenerate naturally.

By Chris, Facty Staff

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