The Health Benefits of Manuka Honey

jar of honey with honeycomb and lavander flowers

Did you know that Manuka Honey is from New Zealand? Neither did I. Did you know Manuka Honey was made by the bees that feed on the Manuka Bush which is also known as the Tea Tree bush? Me either! Like many of you, I always knew that the health benefits of Manuka honey were noteworthy, but not once did I ever suspect it was capable of so much. This miracle ‘gel’ is nothing short of amazing and something I highly recommend you keep in both your pantry and medicinal cabinet. Why? How? Where do I get it? All you need to know is right here…

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka Honey is a Kiwi thing; who would have thought? This incredible gift from NZ nature is made by the clever little bees that feed off the Manuka bush (otherwise known as the Tea Tree bush), native to New Zealand.

For centuries, the indigenous people of New Zealand have been using Manuka honey as a healing tonic, using it to dress wounds and heal digestive problems long before Britain’s National Health Service licensed the use of medical grade Manuka honey for just that purpose in 2004.

But what is it that makes it so different from regular honey? Manuka honey has an antibacterial component that has been known to prove effective against the following bacteria in a laboratory environment:

  • Helicobacter pylori (which has been linked to most stomach ulcers);
  • Escherichia coli (the most common cause of infected wounds)
  • Streptococcus pyogenes (which has been attributed to sore throats).

How do I use Manuka Honey?

  • Manuka honey can be applied topically to the skin as a balm for minor skin infections, burns, bites, cuts and cracked skin.
  • Manuka honey can also be ingested as it is very effective for the relief of the symptoms of stomach and duodenal ulcers and for treating sore throats and colds.
  • You can also eat it as you would any other honey product to maintain general health. PLEASE NOTE: Diabetics and those suffering from insulin sensitivity should avoid or limit their intake of honey due to the high glucose content.

To taste, Manuka honey is richer in flavour than most traditional brands of honey, but the flavour isn’t in anyway offensive.

How do I know I am getting the best quality?

Like most products out there, not all Manuka products are created equal.That’s why governing bodies have introduced the UMF system or ‘Unique Manuka Factor’.

On closer inspection of any Manuka honey packaging, the letters UMF should be present. After these letters will be a number. This number starts at 10 and increases up to 20. This is the UMF number and is a standard way of describing the ‘bacteria-killing’ power of the product. As you might have guessed, the higher the number, the higher the antibacterial properties of the product.

When purchasing Manuka honey, be aware that active manuka honey has stronger properties than regular manuka honey. For a product to be considered ‘active’ it has to have a UMF higher than 10.

If you are suffering from any of the above conditions, please consult your naturopath or physician before you commence treatment.

Do you use Manuka honey for healing? Do you add it to your tea, yoghurt, salads or smoothies? Have you witnessed it’s healing power?


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Meet Alyse

I’m a qualified Nutritionist who believes an evidence-based approach to modern nutrition is severely under-rated. Patients are so often left in the dark when it comes to health-care and as a firm believer in the old saying “knowledge is power”, my ultimate goal is to provide my readers, students and patients with clear and actionable advice that ultimately helps you reach your full potential.