Manuka Honey: Health Benefits and More

Have you heard of a type of honey called Manuka? If so, you have probably heard about it in conjunction with health and healing. But you may be wondering, what exactly this honey is, and whether or not it is truly medicinal. 

No matter what questions you may have, we are going to answer them in this article. Read on to learn all about manuka honey and its crazy health benefits.

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is a type of honey made only by bees in Australia and New Zealand. These bees pollinate a specific tree, called the tea tree, and as a result, the honey produced contains many of the same medicinal properties as tea tree oil. 

The flower which blooms on the tea tree is the manuka, which is where this honey gets its name from. 

Is Manuka Honey Medicine?

While not all honey is medicine, it has been known for many years that it contains certain medicinal properties. The exact medicinal properties of a type of honey will vary based on the plants the bees pollinate, but in general, most kinds of honey have antibacterial and immune-boosting qualities.

Manuka honey, in particular, is known for its extremely high anti-inflammatory qualities. Not all harvests of manuka honey are the same, though, as the component in manuka honey that gives it its properties fluctuates based on the season.

This compound is known as methylglyoxal or MGO, must be high enough for a honey to be considered medicinal. Therefore, not all jars of manuka honey are considered medicinal. 

What Conditions Does Manuka Honey Help With?

Manuka honey is used to treat a variety of conditions, but before you use it to treat one of your conditions, ensure you discuss your intentions with a healthcare provider. 

  • Burn healing
  • Wound healing
  • Eczema
  • Dermatitis
  • Soothing a sore throat
  • Cough suppressant 
  • Balances the gut bacteria
  • Can help fight acne

While manuka honey is used to treat all of these conditions, know that there are a variety of grades of manuka honey. The highest grades, which are the most medicinal, are the ones doctors use to treat burns and wounds. You should never put honey you have purchased from the store on an open wound.

However, if you buy some manuka honey, it can be used to treat a sore throat or cough without needing to be medical-grade

There are several studies that back up these claims, but it is important to know that the science behind manuka honey is still new. This means that the initial studies were small, and frequently, the results were inconclusive

Negative Effects of Manuka Honey

Like any medication, there are also some negative effects of using manuka honey to treat ailments. They are as follows:

  • Allergic reaction (if you are allergic to bees, don’t consume honey)
  • Blood pressure spikes
  • Interacts with other antibiotics and medications

For these reasons, you should always consult a health care professional before buying manuka honey for medicinal purposes. Additionally, it is never recommended to give honey to children under the age of two. 

Where Can You Buy Manuka Honey?

Because manuka honey is only produced in Australia and New Zealand, if you live anywhere else, you will likely need to plan to buy it online. Many specialty butchers, like Kolikof’s Caviar and Gourmet, carry the unique brand of honey. 

You can also search local health food stores, as occasionally they will also offer manuka honey. 

Can You Use Manuka Honey Every Day?

Honey is generally a safe remedy and can be used in small amounts on a daily basis. Like anything else in life, moderation is key, and any condition that isn’t clearing up with honey should be discussed with a healthcare professional.

What’s the Difference Between Manuka Honey and Regular Honey?

Even if you call something “regular honey,” it likely has a more specific name you don’t know. All types of honey are named after the type of plants the bee pollinates before making the honey. This is where you get orange blossom honey, for example.

Of course, in large stores, you will likely search all over the bottle and still not find a name, and this is because the honey in that bottle comes from a mix of locations, and thus the plant-specific names are omitted. Some stores will narrow the option a bit with names like “flower honey” and “forest honey,” though these still aren’t very specific.

Therefore, when you buy “regular honey,” you have no guarantee of any medicinal properties, though the honey likely contains some. Manuka honey, on the other hand, is pure, meaning you are guaranteed to be getting honey from a tea tree when you buy it and at least some medicinal properties. 

Because “regular honey” is so variable, it’s hard to make any specific claims about its medicinal purposes, which puts it far below manuka honey in our eyes. Manuka honey is also graded, so if you are buying it for medicinal purposes, you will know the strength level you are buying. 

Is Manuka Honey the Best Honey?

In most circles, manuka honey is considered the best because of its high medicinal properties and its heavy regulation. The only other honey that even comes close is Kanuka honey, which is also highly medicinal and highly regulated. 

Whether one of these is truly better than the other or not is still up in the air, but both are considered high-quality honey types. 

How to Tell if Manuka Honey is Real?

It’s easy to tell whether you got the real deal just by looking at the side of the honey jar. Manuka honey will have a certified label as well as a UMF label. This UMF label should have a number between 5 and 24+, letting you know how medicinal it is.

Additionally, manuka honey is rare and should carry a high price tag that reflects that. If you are buying inexpensive honey, it is not manuka.

Overall, we hope this article has helped you learn a little something about Manuka honey. As you shop for premium products online, don’t forget to check out Kolikof Caviar and Gourmet, which has a wide variety of premium jam and preserves products to choose from including specialty honey like Mike’s Hot Honey.

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