What is Manuka Honey?
Manuka Honey is produced by bees that collect the nectar of the Manuka bush – only found natively in New Zealand.
This gold elixir has been used by the Maori community in New Zealand for centuries due to its unique properties which are not found in ordinary honey.
What are the properties of Manuka Honey?
Hydrogen peroxide is a property of honey which gives its anti-bacterial quality; however, not all honey is the same. The anti-bacterial quality depends on the type of honey, its properties, when and how it was harvested.
What makes the manuka honey so distinctive is the additional presence of methylglyoxal (MG) that is observed to gives this honey its anti-bacterial properties. The amount of methylglyoxal in the honey correlates with the strength of the antibacterial effect. This means that, the higher the level of methylglyoxal, the stronger the antibacterial effect.
A rating has been developed for the potency of manuka honey, known as the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). UMF is a global standard in identifying and measuring the antibacterial strength of the manuka honey, therefore, the higher the number, the stronger the anti-bacterial effect. The minimum UMF rating is UMF5 and maximum is UMF25.
The benefits of Manuka Honey
Healing troubled skin
Manuka honey works wonders for blemished and acne-prone skin. It has anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which helps to heal acne and blemishes, reduce redness, soothes inflamed skin and eczema. Additionally, Manuka honey oxygenates pores to draw out the bacteria from the pores and killing them.
Excellent moisturizing agent
Manuka honey has an osmotic effect, drawing moisture from the air and killing the bacteria. This means that, when applied on to the skin, manuka honey is able to hold the moisture and build a protective barrier that prevents infection, as well as creating a dewy and glowing complexion.
As we age, our skin becomes thinner, leading it to sag and develop fine lines. The body produces less collagen, a substance needed by the skin to maintain its smooth and youthful appearance.
Manuka Honey attributes its anti-aging properties to methyglyoxal by promoting the growth of collagen in skin cells. This means a healthier, firm and youthful looking skin.
Picture Credit: Pure-ManukaHoney.com, UMF.org, Honey and Beauty.com