What the FLIK is...Manuka Honey?
Global popularity of herbal medicines continues to grow at a staggering rate. The desire to improve one’s health or medical conditions without the use of traditional medicines is a huge driver of these remedies. Manuka honey is one of the products that has seen huge growth, but is the hype real?
What is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is only produced in Australia and New Zealand by bees that pollinate a native tea tree (leptospermum scoparium bush), also called a Manuka bush. Manuka honey cannot be produced anywhere else in the world.
What makes it special?
Honey has been used for 1000’s of years to treat wounds and other conditions. In the late 19th century researchers discovered that honey had antibacterial properties verifying it actually could treat wounds. However not all honey is equal when it comes to those properties. Manuka honey has a specific compound called methylglyoxal (MGO) that is derived from the conversion of dihydroxacetone (DHA) found in the nectar of the Manuka flower that gives it is antibacterial properties. The higher the concentration of MGO the higher the antibacterial effect.
Does it work?
Scientific research has shown that Manuka honey is very effective in the treatment of wounds. Medical grade, sterile honey has been approved for use by the FDA and is added to bandages for treatment. These are available by prescription of over the counter.
Manuka honey has also been shown to reduce the bacteria that can cause throat pain and inflammation giving relief from some sore throats. Additionally it shows promise as a treatment for eczema by lessening the severity of Staph A infections associated with atopic eczema. Finally, Manuka honey chews taken after meals can reduce plaque found in the mouth (as compared to sugar free gum) preventing gum disease.
How do you use it?
Manuka honey is becoming much more widely available in specialty markets and online retailers. It is typically sold in raw (unpasteurized) form. The honey is given a Manuka factor of 0-16 based on the levels of MGO; the higher the factor the more potent. It can be added to beverages for sore throat relief. Consult with your doctor prior to using it to treat wounds. Drops and chews are also available and are easy to keep on hand.
If you are a honey lover Manuka honey will offer you the sweetness you love with some added benefits.
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