Manuka honey has become a dominant part of three different industries around the globe for the past decade: healthcare, skin care, and food. As hipster culture permeates every wellness thing out there, and more people turn to a healthier, natural lifestyle all over the country, many have become obsessed with manuka honey.
Why? It’s just honey, right?
It’s been lauded as everything from a skin treatment miracle to a cancer deterrent. Perhaps the wildest thing about manuka honey, besides its raw shelf price, is that unlike other passing health fads, this one actually has old-school science to back up its reputation as liquid gold! Here’s the deal with everything you want to know about the benefits of manuka honey...
What's Different About Manuka Honey vs Regular Honey?
Manuka honey hails from the Southern Hemisphere, specifically from New Zealand and certain parts of Australia. It’s created by bees that collect nectar from the flowers of the Leptospermum scoparium tree, also known as the tea tree. Sumerian tablets dating back to 2100 B.C. make reference to the medicinal uses of honey for wound care. A honey healing wounds? Yes, it’s true!
All honey contains hydrogen peroxide, which has long been used as a disinfectant, fighting off harmful bacteria including E. coli, staph, and even MRSA — a particularly nasty antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can lead to blood infections, pneumonia, and even sepsis. What differentiates manuka honey, though, from your average honey-in-a-bear-bottle is that it contains a significantly larger amount of an organic compound called methylgloxal (MGO), which is known for its unique antibacterial effects. The honey is also believed to have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits.
There’s also evidence that using manuka honey can be effective in treating burns, healing skin ulcers, and preventing scars. It was approved as a wound treatment by the FDA in 2014, so the stuff has indeed endured throughout the centuries into modern medicine!
Fast forward to 2021 and you can buy a sprawling array of over-the-counter manuka honey wound gels, creams, and patches everywhere from your local health food store to Trader Joe's. Caution on those though – you want a potent manuka honey content in your skin care, as opposed to it being listed towards the bottom of ingredients.
Now that you know what makes manuka honey such a big deal, let's go over 3 of the many uses of it for a healthier, better you on both the inside and the outside:
1. Manuka Honey for Acne
Manuka honey has become a key ingredient in skin products claiming to offer relief from conditions like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema, in addition to acting as a basic skin moisturizer. The claims of the curative powers of manuka honey for troubled skin are no joke. Manuka honey can have many beneficial effects on the skin.
Firstly, it can act as an antibacterial agent to fight and destroy bacteria. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also help to decrease inflammation and redness in the skin. Together, these properties make it useful as a natural, adjuvant treatment for both acne and wounds. Furthermore, manuka honey is great for hydration and moisturization!
2. Stop Digestive Issues with Manuka Honey
Manuka honey has become the new go-to natural treatment for digestive issues because of its ability to kill Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria which can cause a host of gastrointestinal issues including gastritis, ulcers, bloating and is linked to a rare stomach cancer called MALT lymphoma. Small and developing research has shown manuka honey to be effective in fighting H. pylori in gastritis, peptic ulcers, and even cancer in lab studies.
While the antibacterial properties of manuka honey are well-established, those claiming that it’s an effective treatment for serious digestive illnesses need a gut check. Honey is a great sugar substitute and if you do have H. pylori it certainly will only help, not hurt. It can impair the bacteria, but it cannot completely eradicate it on its own, which is the goal when you’re treating H. pylori in a patient’s stomach.
3. Use Manuka Honey for Oral Care
There have been multiple studies showing that the antimicrobial powers of consuming manuka honey substantially reduce dental plaque and gingivitis and improve the hardness of tooth enamel. One study, which had participants chomp on a specially designed chewable manuka honey leather three times a day, showed that it reduced plaque by more than 30% over a three week period.
Beware: Not All Manuka Honey is Equal
Here’s where things get sticky. Not all manuka honey is created equal. Since Manuka has taken off as a global health trend, there are concerns about the purity levels for those looking to produce and sell it en masse.
In December 2017, New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) introduced new regulations that a product must meet in order to be certified as an authentic New Zealand manuka honey. The honey must be tested in an MPI-approved laboratory which tests for MGO levels to bear the authentic Manuka stamp of approval from the New Zealand government. There are four chemical attributes and one DNA marker that Manuka needs to meet to pass the test.
A recent investigation by Good Morning America showed that only two of the five brands they tested met the actual requirements for legit Manuka. Consumers concerned about buying a bogus honeypot should look for New Zealand’s UMF stamp of approval or look up the product on their Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association website.
Wild Naturals Manuka Honey Skin Care Products
For your skin care, however, you don’t need to look any further! Wild Naturals prides itself on having a strong and potent list of natural ingredients in every product sold—with manuka honey high on it! Shop the Wild Naturals store to discover the science-backed results of manuka honey for your skin, and why it’ll be the change you’ve been looking for with your skin!