The latest health fad taking the world by storm is manuka honey. But what exactly is manuka honey? And why are people going so crazy about it?
We will explore that in this article today.
What Is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is a special type of medicinal honey produced only by the bees that draw nectar and pollen from the flowers of the manuka bush in New Zealand.
And while this geographical rarity is definitely one of the reasons behind its stardom, the bigger (and more valid) reason is that this special type of honey has antibiotic properties that are graded on the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) scale from 5 to 20 for medical viability.
The Unique Manuka Factor
The unique manuka factor of every batch of manuka honey is determined by testing the concentration of 3 different compounds within the honey, namely DHA, leptisperin, and methylglyoxal, all of which have antibacterial properties.
Therefore, higher the concentration of these compounds, higher will be the UMF of the manuka honey.
In fact, manuka honey with a UMF of 12+ is considered medical grade and is used in bandages to heal wounds, bed sores, burns, and cuts.
Why Is Manuka Honey So Good At Healing Wounds And Infections?
When you apply manuka honey to a wound, the first thing it does is absorb excess water, plasma, and impurities from the area. This prevents wound infection and speeds up the healing process.
Additionally, the antibiotic property of its medicinal compounds give this honey the ability to kill bacteria that can cause festering of wounds, restore the pH of the skin, and get rid of dead skin cells once the wound has started to heal.
Other Medicinal Uses Of Manuka Honey
Doctors have used manuka honey for treating diabetic and arterial ulcers and acute burns, and the results have been positive and promising.
In fact, applying manuka honey to wounds have shown to reduce the risk of contracting community-acquired MRSA (a deadly, antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus).
Should I Use Manuka Honey If I Am Allergic To Bees And Pollen?
If you are hypersensitive to bee stings and pollen, it's best to avoid manuka honey since, fundamentally, it is still a type of honey and therefore will contain the saliva of honey bees and stray pollen grains.
Otherwise, there are no reported side effects of using this product.
Where Can I Buy Manuka Honey?
Since this honey is only produced in New Zealand, it's best to buy it online from vendors certified by the UMF Honey Association. This will protect you from scams and buying low-quality honey with UMF less than 5.
How To Eat Manuka Honey
Manuka honey can be eaten the same way as regular honey - spread over toast, as a sugar replacement in beverages and sweets, or directly by the spoonful.
Just remember: the texture of manuka honey is more granular and viscous at room temperature, so it will feel less like a liquid and more like a thick spread.
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