Manuka Honey: What is it and is it worth the hype? - Lakeside Natural Medicine

Natural Health and Wellness for the Whole Family

Manuka Honey: What is it and is it worth the hype?

BySarah Axtell, ND March 16, 2023

Manuka honey is made from bees in New Zealand and Australia where the nectar is harvested from Manuka flowers. Manuka honey’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties are what set it apart from traditional honey. Methylglyoxal (MGO) is the active ingredient, which is responsible for these antibacterial effects.

Here are 3 indications for which I typically recommend Manuka honey: 

  1. Wound healing: Thanks to Manuka honey’s unique antibacterial properties, it is an effective topical treatment for wounds. Manuka honey can treat burns, ulcers, and non-healing wounds. It has been shown to combat antibiotic-resistant infections, such as MRSA.
  2. Coughs: Numerous studies show honey is a safe, effective treatment for coughs. Studies suggest honey may be more effective than commonly used medications for relieving upper respiratory symptoms, notably cough frequency, and severity. Try adding it to your herbal tea next time you are sick.
  3. Acne: Manuka honey can help reduce bacteria on your skin, which in turn helps address acne. Also, Manuka honey can decrease inflammation (ie. redness) associated with acne. Try applying it as a mask. Leave on for 20 minutes and then rinse with warm water. 

How to know if its the real deal:

Quality of Manuka honey can vary, and let’s be real- it’s expensive! So how do you know if it’s the real deal? When you buy Manuka honey, look for the UMF (unique manuka factor) certification on the label. This tells you the honey’s potency and certifies that the product is real Manuka honey.

Every genuine manuka honey should have a number on the side of jar showing the level of the active compound, methylglyoxal (MGO). As a rule, the higher the number, the stronger the anti-microbial properties. 

Also, the product you’re buying is more likely to be the real deal if it was made in New Zealand or Australia.

In short, I say it is worth keeping in your medicine cabinet for coughs and skin healing!

Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

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