March 11, 2021

14 Mind Blowing Uses of Manuka Honey!

Manuka honey is well recognized by those in the nutrition, health and wellness field for its wide range of amazing benefits! From improving oral hygiene, to bolstering gut health and providing skin care, Manuka honey has no shortage of beneficial uses. With all this wrapped up in one delicious, nutrient-packed superfood, Manuka honey deserves to be a staple in your kitchen.

Let’s dive into Manuka honey, it’s background and 14 mind-blowing benefits of this incredible and tasty treat!

What is Manuka Honey?

When bees forage for the nectar of the flowering native New Zealand Manuka tree, Manuka Honey is the outcome. High quality Manuka honey will be monofloral, which in layman's terms means the nectar from the honey is derived from a single plant species; in this case it’s the Manuka tree.

The Manuka tree has a white flower, sometimes tinged with pink. In the Taranaki region where we at Bees and Trees develop our honey, the Manuka trees are typically in bloom during January and February each summer. Hives are placed into areas with a high concentration of wild Manuka trees in some of the most pristine wilderness of New Zealand. Our bees forage nectar among the native trees in these areas to create our world renown Manuka Honey.

Manuka honey can be found in many grocery store’s health and wellness sections and local health food stores, and for great reason!  Manuka honey has earned a world-wide reputation for its overall amazing health and wellness benefits. 

What Gives Manuka Honey its Unique Properties?

In the 1980s, Dr. Peter Molan, a New Zealand Biochemist, would be the first to conduct extensive research on the unique properties of Manuka Honey. His research would uncover the significant amounts of antimicrobial activity found in Manuka honey. These antimicrobial properties were discovered to be directly correlated to the amount of a dietary chemical in Manuka called Methylglyoxal, or MG for short. 

Soon after this discovery, Molan established a grading system that rated the honey’s antimicrobial properties called the “Unique Manuka Factor” (UMF). UMF and MG testing are now the standard for testing Manuka honey and this grading system really ramped up this amazing superfood to find its popularity foothold worldwide!

Manuka honey’s most incredible benefits are directly correlated with its plentiful amount of MG. For all the mind-blowing uses we list below, it is important to recognize that Manuka honey with higher concentrations of MG will as a norm be more effective.

14 Mind-Blowing Uses of Manuka Honey

1. Manuka Honey Fights Tooth Disease

Research suggests that Manuka honey may actually help  treat gingivitis and other tooth diseases!

In a pilot study, participants were given either regular chewing gum, or a chewable Manuka “honey leather” to eat after each meal. After 21 days, results displayed significant reductions in plaque and gingival bleeding for those chewing Manuka honey, while there were no significant changes with the control group.

As evidenced above, the outstanding antimicrobial properties of Manuka Honey have shown dramatic results in promoting and maintaining overall oral health, which is vital for maintaining a healthy immune system. It’s no wonder why Manuka honey is crafted into many different oral products including toothpaste, mouthwash, gum and mints to name a few!


2. Support Wound Care by using Manuka Honey

Honey has been used for centuries to treat wounds, even being traced back to the ancient Greeks. Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine, speaks about the healing virtues of honey: “….cleans sores and ulcers, softens hard ulcers of the lips, heals carbuncles and running sores.”

Thanks to the bountiful amounts of MG found in Manuka honey, it is extremely effective in treating open wounds and infections. Manuka honey’s antimicrobial properties help sterilize and cleanse wounds from dangerous germs. It can also help reduce inflammation and prevent bacterial infection with continual usage. Research indicates how powerful a role this honey can play in tissue regeneration as well.


3. Manuka Honey helps treat Blepharitis and other Common Eye Infections

Blepharitis is one of the most common ocular conditions that is characterized by inflammation, scaling, reddening, and crusting of the eyelid. Many people who suffer from this experience blepharitis chronically. The main cause of this condition is due to staph bacteria infecting the area around the eyes. Recent research suggests promising results for Manuka honey as a treatment for blepharitis!

For treating blepharitis, Manuka honey is used as a topical ointment. Honey has been used for centuries to treat wounds and skin irritation, so no wonder it’s antibacterial properties make treating blepharitis so effective. Keep in mind when choosing a Manuka honey for eye treatments, it is recommended to use the most potent available option (With the highest levels of MG), such as our high activity batch release.

“After many visits to different natural and western practitioners, and trying many different natural “treatment” options, we didn’t know where to turn to treat our 9 year old daughter’s chronic eye infection. After meeting Mike, the owner of Bees and Trees at a natural health food expo event, we put their Manuka Honey to the test. To our amazement (we must admit we were skeptical after so many other remedy attempts), the biofilm covering her eyeball was eradicated, within a matter of weeks!”


-Bees and Trees Customer since 2019.


4. Manuka Honey Fights off Viruses and Bacteria

Manuka honey has proven in many studies to alleviate illnesses ranging from mild to severe, and is highly recognized as an effective treatment for BOTH viral and bacterial diseases.

The anti-viral properties are known to heal serious harmful diseases, such as Influenza! A 2014 medicinal study found that Manuka has a very powerful repressive effect against the flu virus, and exhibits potential medicinal benefits to fend off this debilitating virus.

Adding Manuka honey into your diet daily helps fend off the spread of viral and bacterial infection in your system, especially during cold and flu season.


5. Manuka Honey Helps Reduce Eczema Irritation

Manuka honey’s strong antimicrobial and antibacterial properties may help to reduce bacteria that can cause eczema and acne. It’s immune boosting response stimulates skin cells to regenerate and heal where eczema has caused damage and pain.

There are many easy ways to use Manuka honey as a topical skin ointment! If you would like to see how our very own Bees & Trees Manuka honey is used in all natural lip and skin balms, check out our all natural health and skin care partner!


6. Manuka Honey Helps those with Cystic Fibrosis!

Research at Swansea University in 2019 reveals breakthrough information of how Manuka honey can help support people with their symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis.

From the research paper:

Using lung tissue from pigs, experts treated grown bacterial infections mimicking those seen in CF patients with Manuka honey. The results showed that it was effective in killing antimicrobial resistant bacteria by 39% compared to 29% for antibiotics, whilst improving the activity of some antibiotics that were unable to function effectively by themselves. Honey and antibiotics combined killed 90% of the bacteria tested.

Incredible! 90% of bacteria was killed from a combination of Manuka honey and antibiotics in this research. That’s astounding and there is a real possibility for Manuka honey to greatly improve the lives of Cystic Fibrosis patients. Another angle on Cystic Fibrosis, coming out of another study is the suggestion that regular sinus irrigation with Manuka Honey may mitigate the risk of bacterial infections, which typically start in the sinuses, and then move down to the lungs.  The infections would be much easier to catch and eradicate at this point, then once they get to the lungs due to the difficulty in delivering the honey to the point of use.


7. Clear a Stuffy Nose with Manuka Honey

Our sinuses can become stuffed up in a myriad of dreadful ways. Allergies, inflammation, excess fluid, and many other irritants can turn into a truly uncomfortable situation.

Manuka honey’s defense against a stuffy nose comes from its robust antiviral properties that help protect our bodies against illness like the common cold and flu. Likewise, its anti-inflammatory capabilities facilitate reduced swelling in the nasal passages, thus opening them up for easier breathing.

That’s why, in recent years, we’ve seen a great rise in popularity of Manuka honey nasal spray! This powerful antibacterial spray is able to take down seasonal pathogens, bacteria, and microbes that cause sinus infections and congestion. Manuka honey’s moisturizing benefits work wonders to help keep your airways hydrated and thus non-irritated.


8. Manuka Honey Calms a Sore Throat

Manuka honey’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties also make it a go-to tool for treating the common sore throat and biofilm symptoms associated therein. For example, respiratory and throat infections caused by biofilm forming bacteria are susceptible to the MG compound in Manuka honey. Manuka honey helps attack the root cause of the illness in a sore throat while also lessening the harshness of symptoms. This equates to shorter healing time, and less pain in the process!

Its unique anti-inflammatory benefits are best achieved when in direct contact with the sore/inflamed tissue. So taking a spoonful of honey, sucking on Manuka honey cough drops, or drinking warm, Manuka honey infused tea, will certainly help to put your sore throat at ease.


9. Sleep Better with Manuka Honey!

Honey can be used to promote better and more restful sleep

Even though we may be sound asleep, our brains use quite a lot of energy throughout the night. A crucial source of energy comes from Liver glycogen, a sugar that is stored in our livers. When we go to sleep, we rely on these sugars to power our brains through the night. If we run out of this energy, it’s likely the brain will wake as a way to tell your body that it needs more fuel.

Consuming Manuka honey before bed is a wonderful way to keep this energy source full so the brain can perform all of its nightly activities, resulting in long uninterrupted sleep cycles. Going to bed with a sweet tasting memory in your mouth makes for sweet dreams! It’s just how it works!

10. Manuka Honey can Treat Stomach Ulcers

A stomach ulcer is a sore on the lining of the internal stomach. These ulcers appear when damage occurs to the lining, usually caused by hydrochloric acid present in stomach acid. Ulcers can also be caused by a bacteria called H. Pylori. 

Stomach Ulcers are unfortunately quite common and can be rather painful. In 2016, researchers were able to discover that Manuka honey helped protect the gastric tissues from developing ulcers and healing lesions when they occurred. Likewise, the methylglyoxal (MG) present in Manuka honey has shown to be very effective in fighting H. Pylori! Manuka honey bolsters the physical health of your stomach while also effectively killing harmful bacteria that try to enter.

11. Manuka Honey’s Role in Cancer Research

Research conducted in 2013 found that Manuka honey has considerable anti-tumor properties and even inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Likewise, Manuka honey was found to induce apoptosis, a biochemical reaction resulting in the death of cancer cells. 

An interesting find in the study, conducted on mice in vivo, revealed the immense benefit of administering Manuka honey combined with Taxol, a common chemotherapy drug used to treat cancer. Compared to the mice group receiving Taxol alone, the mice treated with Taxol and Manuka honey experienced a significantly higher improvement in survival rates. The team hypothesized that Manuka’s potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and cell growth-promoting activities helped reduce the toxic side effects of chemotherapy!

12. Manuka Honey is used to Treat Diabetic Wounds

Foot ulcers can be common for those who have diabetes. Many know the pain and discomfort these sores can bring, but relief can be sought through the use of Manuka honey!

In 2014, researchers treated diabetic foot ulcers with Manuka Honey Impregnated Dressings (MHID) and compared them to another group who received conventional dressings (CD).

For MHID patients, their ulcers healed at around 31 ± 4 days while CD patients saw healing around 43 ± 3 days. Likewise, for MHID patients, 78.13% of ulcers became sterile during the first week versus 35.5% who received conventional dressings. Researchers concluded that Manuka honey represented an effective treatment for diabetic foot ulcers and led to a significant reduction in healing time and rapid disinfection.


13.Manuka Honey Reduces Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a common symptom of IBS and IBD. Thankfully, Manuka Honey's awesome anti-inflammatory capabilities make it a fantastic option for treating these symptoms!

A 2008 study found a significant reduction in colonic inflammation related to treatment with Manuka honey, especially when consumed at higher levels.

Various bacterias can also cause stomach infections that lead to IBS or IBD. Manuka honey’s strong antimicrobial properties work to fight against these harmful bacterias and promote good gut flora, thus fighting off infections before they ever start.


14.Manuka Honey is a Healthy Sweetener

 

Raw and minimally processed, this honey is as healthy as it is delicious! Manuka honey makes for an amazing low-calorie, sweetener that works when combined with just about anything! Mixed in morning coffee or tea, in salad dressings, baked into goodies, or even by the spoonful, you can’t go wrong with its delicious taste and amazing health benefits!

What Makes Bees and Trees Manuka Honey the Best in the World?

 

 

Our Manuka honey is raw and minimally processed. The bees make it, we extract it and pack it in glass jars, that's it. Unlike the majority of commercially produced Manuka honey, we avoid blending ours with other honeys, pasteurizing, or the common over-processing practice found in the industry. Consider this when you are choosing your brand of Manuka honey!

All Manuka honey should come directly from New Zealand – the only place it can be authentically produced. Bees & Trees Honey carries the New Zealand FernMark License, which certifies native New Zealand products.

Our Manuka honey is region-specific to Taranaki, and we produce all of the Manuka honey that we sell from this region. Straight from our honey farm to your table, our Manuka honey is 100% pure and completely ours. We are not aiming to sell the most Manuka honey, just the very best!

Want Manuka Honey in your Kitchen?

Interested in enjoying all the amazing health benefits of Manuka honey? There’s no better place than to get it directly from New Zealand, with NO middle man!  Bees & Trees provides the most delicious, exclusive, and pure Manuka honey available on the market. Our bees forage on the remote hillsides of the Taranaki region of New Zealand, which is on the west-central part of the North Island.

These pristine areas have only been lightly-touched by the impact of human development, and our honeys reflect this beautiful environment. Integrity and transparency are central to our philosophy and products, as we work in partnership with the natural resources of the Taranaki region.

 

Works Cited

 

Almasaudi  SB, El-Shitany NA, Abbas AT, Abdel-dayem UA, Ali SS, Al Jaouni SK, Harakeh S. Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, and Antiulcer Potential of Manuka Honey against Gastric Ulcer in Rats. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016;2016:3643824. doi: 10.1155/2016/3643824. Epub 2015 Dec 7. PMID: 26770649; PMCID: PMC4685122.

Altman, Nathanie l, and Ron Fesseden. “Sweet Sleep: How Honey Helps with a Good Night's Sleep.” Beekeeper's Naturals, 12 May 2019, beekeepersnaturals.com/blogs/blog/sweet-sleep-honey-helps-good-nights-sleep.

“Does  Manuka Honey for Blepharitis Work?: Eye Love Cares.” Eye Love Cares, 3 Feb. 2020, eyelovecares.org/Manuka-honey-for-blepharitis/.

Dougall,  Caren. “Manuka Honey For Dogs: 6 Reasons To Reach For It.” Dogs Naturally, 17 Nov. 2020, www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/Manuka-honey-for-your-dog/.

Fernandez -Cabezudo MJ, El-Kharrag R, Torab F, Bashir G, George JA, et al. (2013) Intravenous Administration of Manuka Honey Inhibits Tumor Growth and Improves Host Survival When Used in Combination with Chemotherapy in a Melanoma Mouse Model. PLOS ONE 8(2): e55993. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0055993

English HK , Pack AR, Molan PC. The effects of Manuka honey on plaque and gingivitis: a pilot study. J Int Acad Periodontol. 2004;6(2):63-67.

Ginta,  Daniela. “Can You Use Manuka Honey for Acne?” Healthline, 28 Aug. 2018, www.healthline.com/health/Manuka-honey-for-acne.

Jenkins , Rowena, et al. “A Demonstration of the Susceptibility of Clinical Isolates Obtained from Cystic Fibrosis Patients to Manuka Honey.” Archives of Microbiology, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, May 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4398880/.

Johnston,  Matthew et al. “Antibacterial activity of Manuka honey and its components: An overview.” AIMS microbiology vol. 4,4 655-664. 27 Nov. 2018, doi:10.3934/microbiol.2018.4.655

Kamaratos  AV, Tzirogiannis KN, Iraklianou SA, Panoutsopoulos GI, Kanellos IE, Melidonis AI. Manuka honey-impregnated dressings in the treatment of neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers. Int Wound J. 2014 Jun;11(3):259-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-481X.2012.01082.x. Epub 2012 Sep 18. PMID: 22985336.

“Manuka  Honey to Kill Drug-Resistant Bacteria Found in Cystic Fibrosis Infections.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 29 May 2019, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190529131142.htm.

Mel . “Manuka Honey for Eczema.” Top Eczema Treatments, 5 Feb. 2019, topeczematreatments.com/Manuka-honey-for-eczema/.

Prakash  A, Medhi B, Avti PK, Saikia UN, Pandhi P, Khanduja KL. Effect of different doses of Manuka honey in experimentally induced inflammatory bowel disease in rats. Phytother Res. 2008 Nov;22(11):1511-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2523. PMID: 18688794.

Watanabe , K., Rahmasari, R., Matsunaga, A., Haruyama, T., & Kobayashi, N. (2014). Anti-influenza viral effects of honey in vitro: potent high activity of Manuka honey. Archives of medical research, 45(5), 359-365. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24880005



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