Kourtney Kardashian scoops up raw spoonful’s of the stuff. Laura Dern dips it into her green tea. Scarlett Johansson dabs it on her glowing skin. Novak Djokovic uses it to boost his tennis game. Even Dr. Oz is in love with this product known as "liquid gold." But it's not just celebrities who are into manuka honey. Wellness-obsessed consumers are lining up for this enticing — and expensive — substance, both for ingesting it as part of their diet and in their skin care.
Diving into the Health Benefits of Manuka Honey
What is this mythical concoction? It's honey. Manuka honey to be precise. It's native to New Zealand, and it's a bit different than the stuff you find at the local supermarket. New Zealand manuka honey, sourced from the indigenous manuka plant Leptospermum scoparium, is a unique and complex food containing over 2,000 individual natural compounds, twentyfold more than ordinary pasture-type kinds of honey such as clover. It’s these compounds that give manuka honey its range of incredible health benefits!
The most extensively studied and remarkable bioactivity of manuka honey is its antimicrobial and wound-healing effects. It also exhibits anti-inflammatory, immune-modulatory and antioxidant bioactivities. These bioactivities work together synergistically to give manuka honey its therapeutic effects.
But manuka is not unique among kinds of honey in its storied ability to help ward off infection. Honey is very low in moisture content. When you put it on a wound, all the liquid in the wound gets drawn into the honey because it has the ability to absorb the moisture. By sucking up all the impurities, the honey protects the body against infection.
So what's the science behind the claims that manuka is any different than the typical commercial-grade honey you can buy in any grocery store? One of the most well-recognized compounds in manuka honey is methylglyoxal. Methylglyoxal is the key compound in manuka honey responsible for its special antimicrobial properties.
The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF)
So how can you be assured that you're getting a quality product and not some inferior rip-off? This is where the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association comes into play. The UMFHA serves as the leading body behind the New Zealand honey industry. Manuka honey growers that are licensed as part of the UMFHA are subject to regulations that they must comply with in order to receive the UMF quality label and ensure that their product meets the requirements of UMFHA's honey grading system.
These requirements are wide-ranging but include things like independent laboratory testing of product samples to confirm the presence of unique signature markers, in the required combination, found in manuka honey before it’s allowed to go on sale carrying the UMF quality mark. The product must also be from New Zealand and adhere to the New Zealand Government's definition and standard for manuka honey.
How Does Manuka Honey Taste?
But what if you're not that interested in the purported medicinal properties of manuka honey? Well, some customers still prefer the earthy taste of the honey compared to what they might find in the corner grocery store. Many consume it for wellness reasons; however, we find many also just like the thicker, creamier taste of manuka honey. It undergoes a special creaming process to even-out the naturally occurring honey crystals, making it a smooth mouth feel.
Some consumers also enjoy the honey because of its trendy New Zealand roots, much like how you might relish drinking a fine wine from the south of France. Like wines, there are now regional varieties within New Zealand that have their own distinctive taste and coloration.
Manuka Honey in Skin Care
Now that the other bases of manuka honey are covered, let’s get back to how celebrities use this nectar to achieve glowing skin! Not only does Kim Kardashian West use it to help her psoriasis, most popular skin care brands are formulating new products with manuka honey. But…the potency of it is far from ideal. With the expensive price tag of this type of honey, creating skin care with it for the masses would mean little return on the cost of making it for big brands.
So where can you find the best manuka honey skin care then?
Wild Naturals has two different lines of skin care and hair care products starring manuka honey! For all the amazing benefits and additional natural ingredients we use, head over to our online store and discover why our skin care will become your new best friend!