Manuka honey, produced by New Zealand bees that cross-fertilize the manuka shrub, is a highly sought-after superfood. This particular honey contains unique benefits not found in other varieties. It has many applications beyond food purposes, though that’s also delicious. But many companies banter claims concerning manuka honey’s efficacy and potency. So, what are manuka honey’s real benefits and what cautions should you watch? OH! And “bee” sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post! Two winners score a jar of Melora UMF 10+ Manuka honey.
What are manuka honey ratings?
Manuka honey receives a UMF rating from an independent rating organization. UMF – Unique Manuka Factor verifies the purity and quality of manuka honey, testing for Leptosperin, DHA, and Methylglyoxal – 3 critical compounds found in genuine manuka honey.
What are manuka honey antibacterial health benefits?
While all honey has antibacterial properties, a study by the chemistry department at the University of Waikato discovered the compound methylglyoxal found in manuka honey imparts a non-peroxide anti-bacterial activity. Unlike traditional antibiotics, though, manuka hasn’t been shown to encourage resistant bacteria. The antibacterial properties are potent on the skin. But, it also displays inhibitory effects on C Diff bacteria in the gut.
Manuka honey’s anti-inflammatory properties show promise in IBS and Colitis treatment, two auto-immune diseases linked to severe inflammation.
- Naturally high in antioxidants
Free radicals cause aging and contribute to a variety of human diseases. Antioxidants bond with free radicals and lessens the impact they have on the body. In a study comparing manuka with other kinds of honey, Manuka had the highest phenolic content. Phenol is one of the primary antioxidants found in honey.
Look out for the Gotchas!
Look for honey ratings of UMF 10+. Lower grades are no more effective than regular honey. Make sure the 10+ rating is a UMF rating and not a K-factor (or other) rating. Other scores are either unregulated or misleading. Be sure to read this independent study from Fera Science that discusses some of these ploys and what brands to avoid. Some of the names tested so low that they may not be pure manuka at all!
Make sure it’s Non-GMO if you care about that. I believe in reading labels and knowing what those labels mean.
I recommend Melora honey. Currently, Melora is the only Non-GMO and UMF certified honey on the market. And Melora also exceeded the promoted antibacterial ratings living up to their UMF 10+ promise. The study touts PRI, but PRI funded the research and is not non-GMO certified, so in my opinion, Melora is the better option here.
DIY Face Mask
Since manuka honey is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and high in antioxidants, it’s perfect for a face mask. You could buy one, but manuka honey face masks are expensive. So, I am sharing this top secret DIY manuka honey facial mask recipe with you! It’s easy to make, will leave your skin moisturized, glowing, and softened. Studies show this honey fights skin wounds, so some experts believe it’s useful on acne, as well. I love the antioxidant anti-aging properties. I’m not getting any younger, and my skin deserves a little pampering. Doesn’t yours? Tip: I recommend a mask brush to make application easier, but it’s not required. It just keeps the mask off your hands.
Pssst…. Omit the rosewater (or get food grade rosewater), and the cinnamon and manuka honey taste delightful in a cup of hot tea! Just don’t bring the water to boiling because it kills the active ingredients in the honey. I also like to add a fresh vanilla bean for a little bit of warmth.
Be sure to enter the giveaway below the recipe!
We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.