Benefits of Manuka Honey Compared to Ordinary Honey
What is Manuka Honey?
Manuka Honey is a special type of mono-flora honey produced by bees that gather nectar from the Manuka bush, Leptospermum scoparium, which grows uncultivated throughout New Zealand. It can also be found in a few parts of Australia. Due to the natural properties, Manuka Honey varies in its color, texture, flavor and consistency from batch to batch; it largely depends on the harvest period, process method and storage condition.
4 Major Benefits of Manuka Honey Compared to Ordinary Honey
1. Manuka Honey has higher antibacterial activity
Non hydrogen peroxide activity (NPA) in manuka honey adds tremendous values for it to perform higher antibacterial strength than hydrogen peroxide antibacterial activity found in ordinary honey.
2. Manuka Honey is not affected by catalase enzyme in body tissue and serum.
Catalase enzyme will breakdown hydrogen peroxide in ordinary honey thus affecting its antibacterial properties whereas Manuka Honey is not affected by this enzyme.
3. Manuka Honey is relatively stable and heat resistant
Enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide in ordinary honey is destroyed when honey is exposed to heat and light. In contrast, non-hydrogen peroxide activity in Manuka Honey could be more stable during storage.
4. Manuka Honey is active under all situation
Unlike ordinary honey which required dilution to activate antibacterial activity, Manuka Honey provides full strength even when it is undiluted.
Scientific Research on Benefits of Manuka Honey
1. A study in European Journal of Medical Research showed that Manuka Honey had an 85% success rate in clearing up infections of post-operative wounds; as compared to normal antibiotic creams which had only 50% success rate.
2. Study at one of the New Zealand hospitals demonstrated that victims of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) – a type of bacterial infection, had fast wound healing after treated with Active Manuka Honey.
3. Another study mentioned Manuka Honey treatment over 9 months provided quick healing over serious bacteria-infected skin ulcers compared to modern conventional treatments which had not responded to skin ulcers.
Manuka Honey Rating System
Generally, there are two-unit standards used to indicate the strength of Manuka Honey, UMF® and Active:
UMF® is the registered trademark of New Zealand Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) and is used by licensed users;
Active is used by users who are not registered with UMFHA
Both UMF® and Active rated Manuka Honey were obtained through laboratory testing to evaluate for its antibacterial level. Rating is positively correlated to antibacterial strength; the higher the rating, the higher the antibacterial strength.
Manuka Honey Benefits
1. Improves skin health
Inflammation, irritation, and other skin conditions associated with acne can be managed using manuka honey. You can treat the affected area by applying a thin layer of honey directly to the skin.
Leave the mask on for 15-60 minutes for effective results.
This product can also soothe eczema. A 2003 study suggests that applying an equal mixture of manuka honey, olive oil, and beeswax three times every day can help to alleviate atopic eczema.
Is Manuka honey good for staph infection?
This honey has strong effects against Staph A, the bacteria responsible for eczema.
2. Supports digestive health
Manuka honey gives you digestive benefits when taken daily, either directly or with food. You can spread it onto bread or add it to water, tea, and yogurt.
3. Enhances immunity
Taking manuka honey each day can boost your immune system, preventing you from developing minor illnesses.
Standard honey has hydrogen peroxide, a compound produced from bee enzymes. Manuka honey is even more potent as it has MGO, a substance responsible for attacking germs.
The higher the MGO content, the more the antiviral and antibacterial properties in the honey.
4. Antibacterial effect and sore throats
Studies show that manuka honey can treat infections with a biofilm, a slippery layer of bacteria. This product has no microbial resistance; hence, it is a useful option against long-lasting infections, which defy antibiotic therapy.
Conditions, such as bed sores and skin conditions resulting from burns can be treated by dressing them with manuka honey.
Studies done on patients undergoing chemotherapy for neck and head cancer have shown that taking manuka honey helps to reduce the level of Streptococcus mutans. This bacteria causes sore throats.
Manuka honey is also responsible for reducing the harmful effect of oral bacteria, which enhances mucositis, a side effect of chemotherapy and radiation.
5. Wound care
This product is effective for treating minor cuts and scrapes due to its acidity and the presence of pH levels ranging between 3.2 and 4.5. The acidic properties help to promote healing. They also block the activity of enzymes, which dilute the effect of proteins and peptides responsible for body repair.
The high levels of sugar in manuka honey are also suitable for tissue protection, while the low moisture-content speeds up the healing process. It accelerates the process of drawing out bacteria-infested fluid in the wound.
You should apply the honey depending on the amount of fluid leaking from the injured part. The more the leakage, the more honey you should spread on the bandage.
You can use sealed or waterproof dressing to keep the manuka honey from being diluted or change the bandage frequently.
6. Can improve sleep
Taking manuka can help you sleep better as it releases the glycogen necessary for essential body functions when asleep. It also helps the body to release melatonin into the brain, promoting natural, deep restfulness.
It is, therefore, recommended that you take manuka honey with milk before going to bed.
7. Helps with seasonal allergies
A study evaluating the effect of honey and pollen on allergies indicated that the consumption of manuka regularly could ease seasonal allergy symptoms. The patients in the research reported a 60% drop in symptom score and 70% fewer days with severe symptoms.
The researchers also suggested that the use of manuka honey may lessen the need to use antihistamines by about 50%; hence, lower demand for medications.
8. Promotes oral health
It is essential to retain good oral bacteria for a healthy mouth. Manuka honey only attacks harmful oral bacteria, which could cause gum inflammation, plaque formation, and tooth decay.
Research has shown that taking meals with this honey thrice every day can reduce plaque and gingival bleeding.
Manuka honey is rich in nutrients and enzymes, but to guarantee the healing properties of this product, refrain from buying “active manuka honey” labels. Instead, look out for NPA or UMF rating or trademark on the front of the container.
The higher the MGO component, the better the therapeutic and health activity.
Manuka Honey Ranges Available at Nature’s Farm®
Hyumi is a certified nutritionist under the Singapore Nutrition & Dietetic Association (SNDA), she has 8 years of professional experiences in providing health consultations & advice for clients and corporates alike, all the while researching & developing new functional ingredients for better formulation. Hyumi obtained her Degree in Food Sciences & Nutrition from University Malaysia Sabah
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