Raw manuka honey is, without doubt, the most potent of all types of honey due its high nutritional profile and antibacterial properties. Often referred to as liquid gold, raw manuka honey truly is nature’s medicine, and its health benefits have been well researched and documented.

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush. The manuka or New Zealand tea tree is a common bush found in New Zealand and it is related to the Australian tea tree (melaleuca). Both trees are highly valued for their medicinal properties.

Raw Honey vs Processed Honey

The type of processed honey that sits on the supermarket shelves has been heated to a degree that the natural enzymes and nutrients in the honey are destroyed. In fact, most pasteurized honey contains no traces of bee pollen whatsoever, what you are left with is processed sugar and a honey that is devoid of nutrients.

Raw honey, on the other hand, is honey in its natural state — pure, unfiltered and unpasteurized — that contains all of the nourishing minerals, enzymes, protein and amino acids that are present in the bee pollen.

Raw manuka honey has superior medicinal qualities to all other honeys, but it is also important to remember that the processing of this powerful honey can compromise its medicinal value.

The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF)

Raw manuka honey is an excellent source of amino acids, vitamin B, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.

Most types of raw honey contain the enzyme hydrogen peroxide that accounts for its antibacterial properties. Significantly, raw manuka honey contains high levels of hydrogen peroxide as well as very high levels of the enzyme methylglyoxal (MG)[1].

These two enzymes are present in manuka honey at much higher concentrations than other varieties of honey and it is believed that they even work together synergistically to give manuka honey its impressive antibacterial properties.

The Unique Manuka Factor is a registered trademark of the Honey Association and provides independent, international standardized testing of manuka honey. To learn more click here.

The UMF number provides a guarantee of the level of antibacterial activity present in the honey. Manuka honey with a UMF of less than 10 has a low level of antibacterial activity and may not be effective for some medical conditions.  The ideal potency for therapeutic use is between UMF 10 and 18.  Manuka honey with a UMF above 20 is extremely potent and some people may be sensitive to this level.

Proven Health Benefits of Raw Manuka Honey

 

Antibacterial and natural antibiotic

Manuka honey has been shown to be effective against a wide range of bacterial infections and pathogens.[2]

It can help in the treatment of bacterial infections like SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and studies show that it can help to treat strep throat.[3] Manuka honey has even been shown to help treat superbugs like Staph Infections (MRSA)[4]

 

Heals skin wounds

Manuka honey’s ability to heal skin wounds has been well researched and, thanks to its powerful antibacterial activity, it makes an effective, natural treatment to heal burns, wounds and ulcers. Medical-grade manuka honey wound care products are now widely available and they promote rapid and improved healing.

There is also much anecdotal evidence to suggest that manuka honey can greatly help with acne, eczema and other skin disorders. With its high antimicrobial and antibacterial activity, it is no wonder that people have success using manuka honey on their skin.

 

Boosts the immune system and provides antioxidant protection

A 2007 study demonstrated that a component of manuka honey stimulates immune cells via TLR4.[5] Manuka honey’s nutrient profile of B vitamins, amino acids and minerals also contribute to its immune boosting properties.

Importantly, manuka honey contains phenolic compounds and a high level of antioxidant activity. [6] These compounds provide antioxidant protection that further enhances the immune system and protects against free radical damage.

 

Potential as a natural anti-cancer agent

Manuka honey is a natural immune booster with strong anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-bacterial properties. In addition, it contains antioxidants that scavenge for toxic free radicals.

A recent study published in the journal Molecules, “Effects of Honey and Its Mechanisms of Action on the Development and Progression of Cancer” stated:

Honey is highly cytotoxic against tumor or cancer cells while it is non-cytotoxic to normal cells. The data indicate that honey can inhibit carcinogenesis by modulating the molecular processes of initiation, promotion, and progression stages. Thus, it may serve as a potential and promising anticancer agent which warrants further experimental and clinical studies.” [7]

Further research is currently being conducted to ascertain the potential of honeys like raw manuka honey to act as a natural cancer vaccine.[8] [9]

Food can be medicine and raw manuka honey is a true example of this. Adding a teaspoon or more of this powerful honey to your and your family’s daily diet will reap therapeutic benefits and boost the health of everyone.

 

[1] http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.586.4690&rep=rep1&type=pdf

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/

[3] http://mic.microbiologyresearch.org/content/journal/micro/10.1099/mic.0.053959-0

[4] http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/04April/Pages/manuka-honey-mrsa-superbug-bacteria.aspx

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17675558

[6] http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10289/5696/thesis.pdf?sequence=3

[7] www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/19/2/2497

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3865795/

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942905/

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