Manuka honey is native honey of New Zealand. It is produced by bees that pollinate the flower “Leptospermum scoparium”, commonly called the “manuka bush”. Manuka honey was traditionally used for its antibacterial properties. Methylglyoxal is the active ingredient of this honey and is responsible for its antibacterial effects.
Additionally, manuka honey also has antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. In fact, manuka honey has traditionally been used for preventing tooth decay, soothing sore throats, healing wounds, and improving digestive issues. Below are 7 science-backed health benefits of manuka honey.
1. Aids Wound Healing
In 2007, the US FDA approved manuka honey as a natural option for wound treatment. Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties and maintains a moist wound environment with a protective barrier. This can readily prevent microbial infections in the wound and promote healing.
Many studies have stated that manuka honey can promote wound healing, increase the regeneration of tissue and even reduce the pain in patients suffering from burns. Manuka honey can help treat and heal diabetic ulcers.
2. Promotes Oral Health
Many studies have shown that manuka honey attacks the harmful oral bacteria linked with gum inflammation, plaque formation, and tooth decay. To avoid tooth decay, it is suggested to keep your gums healthy and maintain oral hygiene to minimize bad oral bacteria which can cause plaque formation.
3. Soothes Sore Throat
Manuka honey can help provide some relief from sore throat naturally. The antiviral and antibacterial properties of this honey can reduce inflammation and attack the trouble-making bacteria which causes pain. Manuka honey also soothes the throat by gently coating the inner lining of the throat. It can also work effectively as a common cough suppressant. (Also Read: Possible Causes And Treatments For Sore Throat At Night )
4. Helps Prevent Gastric Ulcers
Stomach ulcers are the sores that form on the inner lining of the stomach, and cause stomach pain, nausea and bloating. It is one of the most common gastric illnesses and can affect a human of any age.
H. pylori is a common bacteria responsible for most of the gastric ulcers. Research shows that manuka honey can help in treating gastric ulcers caused due to H. pylori. Manuka honey acts as a useful antibacterial agent and fights against H. pylori. Regular consumption of manuka honey can treat such stomach ulcers and also reduce the discomforts caused.
5. Improves Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a common digestive disorder that has symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and painful/irregular bowel movements. Researchers have discovered that regular consumption of manuka honey can help in decreasing the symptoms of IBS. This honey can also potentially improve the antioxidant status and reduce inflammation for patients with IBS and ulcerative colitis (a type of IBD or irritable bowel disease).
6. May Treat Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a disorder (mostly inherited) which damages the lungs and affects the digestive system and various other organs. This disorder also affects the mucus-producing cells, which results in abnormally thick and sticky mucus. This thick mucus blocks the airways and ducts and makes it difficult to breathe. People with cystic fibrosis are more prone to upper respiratory infections.
Manuka honey fights Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia spp, the common bacteria which cause upper respiratory infections. Manuka honey inhibits the growth of these bacteria and works in conjunction with other antibiotic treatments. Manuka honey can play a vital role in treating upper respiratory infections, especially in the case of cystic fibrosis.
7. Treats Acne
Acne is usually caused by hormonal changes, stress, reaction to poor diet, or bacteria in clogged pores. The antimicrobial benefits of manuka honey can fight acne. It helps keep the skin free of bacteria and promotes acne healing process. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, manuka honey can also decrease inflammation which causes acne. (Also Read: Home remedes to get rid of pimples )
8. Boosts energy
Pure Manuka honey is an ideal staple and gives a kick-start when you’re feeling tired. The high nutrient density of this honey makes it a great natural energy booster and keeps you active.
Is It Safe for Everyone?
For most people, manuka honey is completely safe to use and consume.
However, people with the below mentioned health conditions should consult a doctor before using it:
- People with diabetes- All kinds of honey are rich in a high dosage of natural sugar. So, consuming manuka honey can affect blood sugar levels.
- People allergic to honey or bees- People who are allergic to other kinds of honey or bees may have an allergic reaction after consuming or applying manuka honey.
- Infants- It is not recommended to give manuka honey to infants or babies below 12 months of age as it has a risk of infant botulism ( a foodborne illness).
The Bottom Line
Manuka honey is unique honey straight from New Zealand. It is highly effective for wound management and healing and has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties which may help treat several ailments, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), periodontal disease, gastric ulcers, and upper respiratory infections and can greatly accelerate the healing process when used along with other medical conventional therapies.