Is Manuka Honey Actually Worth the Money?

Benefits of Manuka Honey
Marie-Antoinette Issa

Lifestyle Writer

Feb 16, 2024

Forget a spoonful of sugar! The real MVP of sweeteners is honey.  However, not all honey is created equal. With one variety making waves for its unique properties and exceptional health benefits for years. Derived from the nectar of the Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium), native to New Zealand and parts of Australia, Manuka honey has always been popular for its distinct taste. However, it also holds a myriad of health-boosting attributes that set it apart from regular honey. 

What is Manuka honey?

Unlike most squeezy bottle found in your local supermarket, pure Manuka honey is produced by bees that pollinate the Manuka bush, also known as the tea tree. The nectar from these flowers results in a honey with a rich, robust flavour and a dark amber color. What makes Manuka honey stand out is its high concentration of methylglyoxal (MGO), a compound known for its antimicrobial properties. MGO levels are used to grade the potency of Manuka honey, with higher levels indicating a more potent and therapeutic honey.

According to New Zealand Manuka Honey Makers Comvita, other important factors to consider when investing in your Manuka honey – and yes, the financial outlay is higher than your regular spread –  include the source (theirs is harvested from New Zealand’s pure and remote locations), and the production process (Comvita adopts a “hive to shelf” system to ensure the quality of their product).

Additionally, Comvita ensures that every drop of their Manuka honey is independently certified by the UMF Honey Association. According Dr Jackie Evans, Chief Science Officer, the UMF Manuka honey rating, serves as an independent certification of quality. “It guarantees the levels of the four key factors found in Manuka honey,” she says. These are: Methylglyoxal (MGO): Which determines the potency of Manuka honey. Leptosperin: which determines the authenticity of Manuka honey. Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): Which determines the shelf-life of Manuka honey. And Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF): Which determines the freshness of Manuka Honey. “This holds us to the highest industry standard and ensuring a consistently premium product for our consumers,” adds Dr Jackie

What are some of the benefits of Manuka honey, anwyay?

One of the key factors that distinguish Manuka honey is its exceptionally powerful antibacterial properties. The high levels of MGO give it the ability to combat a wide range of bacteria, including those resistant to antibiotics. This makes Manuka honey a potent natural remedy for wound healing and infection prevention.

Beyond that, Manuka honey is also a powerhouse of antioxidants and compounds that support the immune system. Regular consumption may help boost the body’s defenses against common illnesses and promote overall well-being.

Unlike regular honey, Manuka honey has also been linked to digestive health benefits. It is known to soothe and alleviate symptoms of conditions such as acid reflux and gastritis. The antibacterial properties also aid in maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

Finally, the wonders of Manuka honey extend to skincare as well. Its anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties make it a popular ingredient in natural skincare products. Applying Manuka honey topically can help soothe and heal various skin issues, from acne to eczema.

How to incorporate Manuka Honey into your life

The easiest way to make Manuka honey a part of your daily routine is by incorporating it into your diet. Whether stirred into your morning tea, drizzled over toast or coating a classic honey chicken, the versatility of Manuka honey makes it an easy addition to any meal. Other suggestions include, harnessing the skin-loving benefits of Manuka honey by using it in DIY face masks (mix it with ingredients like yogurt, oats, or aloe vera for a natural, nourishing facial treatment). Or keeping a jar of Manuka honey in your first aid kit. Its antibacterial properties make it an excellent natural remedy for minor cuts, burns, and wounds. Applying a small amount can aid in the healing process and prevent infection. Finally, when you feel a sore throat coming on, reach for a spoonful of Manuka honey. Its soothing properties can help alleviate throat irritation and promote healing.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

By Marie-Antoinette Issa

Lifestyle Writer

Marie-Antoinette Issa is a contributor for The Carousel and has worked across news and women's lifestyle magazines and websites including Cosmopolitan, Cleo, Madison, Concrete Playground, The Urban List and Daily Mail, I Quit Sugar and Huffington Post.

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