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 In a historical
document from 1392, the method was cited as having roots in ancient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
By Chris, Facty Staff