What makes Manuka Honey special?
Like all things popular on earth, the internet runs away with reality, honey’s are honey and some have more active ingredients and health benefits than others, only trial and error will separate the truth about which honeys do what.
As in my last blog post (Which level of Manuka Honey is best?), honey is a food so there are enormous restrictions on what claims can be made. I can only talk about my experience after 30 years in the Manuka Honey industry and the miracles I have experienced. Although anecdotal, I have an endless collection of testimonials regarding our Manuka Honey and the products we produce from Manuka honey.
Along my journey I have discovered that natural, pure honeys harvested and cold pressed, have amazing properties. It’s been documented for thousands of years how man has used honey for a range of external and internal disorders as well as wound care.
Honeys are very rich in antioxidants and they are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Raw honey may aid to improve your immune system and is believed to be good for the heart. Honey is also a very good digestive aid to reduce inflammation and improve digestion.
Most of the activity or components which make up the honey, are about where it originated, what nectar did the bees collect, what flower, grass, tree or shrub. Sometimes the bees don’t collect the nectar from the sources you would expect but steal it from other avenues. Honey Dew is a honey harvested from the Beech tree forests in New Zealand where there is an insect that lives off the benefits of the beech tree who then deposit a sweet secretion on the bark of the tree, the bees collect the sugary secretion and make honey. This honey is now also being researched for it extraordinary anti-oxidant values and appears to have very high health benefits. An interesting fact about this honey is that it never crystallises like other honey and has a very distinct woody, malt flavour.
What’s the fuss about Manuka Honey?
Manuka Honey has all the benefits that come with natural honey but it appears to be accelerated by the fact it’s from a species of Tea tree and the bees produce a chemical called Methylglyoxal (the non-peroxide , anti-bacterial factor) while refining the nectar into honey. I can remember while I was living in New Zealand, a bee keeper telling me that if any of their hives were poorly or had a virus they would put the hive in Manuka forests and the Manuka would clean up the hive and reactivate it.
One of the strongest discussions around pure Manuka Honey is it does appear to have the ability to maintain the Methylglyoxal under stressful conditions, something other honeys can’t do
Manuka Honey can be heated and doesn’t lose its properties, it can be mixed with fluids or creams and it can be left out in the UV and it still maintains its integrity.
Why is this important and why does it make Manuka Honey special?
You know when you have a cup of tea and you think, “I’ll put some honey in it, that must be good for my health!”, it is, but Manuka Honey is better! Any pure honey has Hydrogen Peroxide which is a very good antiseptic, but when you add it to a liquid it disperses losing its potency which may also be effected by the heat. Manuka Honey however, you can add a teaspoon of and it will remain 100% active, up to 1 ml to 50 ml of fluid. This has proven to be valuable in wound dressings and for internal disorders as the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that appear to be unique to New Zealand Manuka Honey remain active.
Manuka Honey is very versatile as it can be added to skin care creams, if formulated correctly, the results are extraordinary and can be used effectively for a range of skin disorders. As an anti-ageing ingredient it’s remarkable; I have seen the results and as a long time user I believe I am proof of the great benefits of Manuka honey as skincare.
One of the many benefits I’ve personally experienced is Manuka honey makes you sleep better. A teaspoon of honey before going to bed works miracles while you’re sleeping. Possibly the anti-inflammatory action will reduce the acids and inflammation in the gut, so while you’re sleeping and your body is relaxing, the honey is calming the lining of the digestive tract.
It has been proven that acidic body fluids dispersed through the walls of the small intestine move in to the blood stream and to the brain, activating and irritating the brain and gut while you sleep, if you can reduce the acids both in your diet and while you sleep there is marked improvement in rest and healing.
Manuka honey is special and I have seen it work miracles but I’m sure we will find other honey’s with similar properties as we start exporting different ranges to and from new locations around the world…