Manuka HoneyManuka honey is a superior variety of honey that is produced in New Zealand and Australia. The bees, which produce manuka honey visit only the flowers of the manuka bush, also called tea tree or jellybush. It is richer and darker than regular honey and has a distinct flavour.

It has been in use for centuries as a tonic and for treatment for wounds due to its strong antibacterial properties. Its use is popular in both traditional and modern medicine for a variety of conditions.

The Unique Properties Of Manuka Honey

Honey is a very nutritious food and is resistant to bacteria, but the antibacterial effect of manuka honey is far superior to other types of honey. It is also expensive because it is made by bees that visit only the manuka flowers. The blooming period of these flowers is less than two months in a year.

Besides hydrogen peroxide that is responsible for the antibacterial properties of honey, manuka honey contains additional ingredients that give it a strong antibiotic effect when used externally. The main antibacterial ingredient in manuka honey is MG (methylglyoxal). The high concentration of this substance in this honey is in turn due to a compound called dihyroxyacetone, which is present in the nectar of manuka flowers in high concentrations.

The higher the concentration of MG in the honey, the higher its antibacterial effect. This is usually specified as UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). Honey with a UMF of 10 or above is called Active Manuka Honey.

The antibiotic effect of manuka honey is not lost with age or exposure to moderate heat. Unlike most other types of antibiotics, there is no risk of developing resistance even with prolonged use. It is considered effective against bacteria that cause peptic ulcers, wound infections and sore throats.

New Zealand MountainsUses Of Manuka Honey

Manuka honey can be used for:

1. Soothing stomach irritation, acidity and bloating. It is also used to help in the treatment of ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. It can be taken alone or can be mixed with juices, milk or hot water.
2. For maintaining good health. It is an antioxidant and is a good tonic that can be taken regularly.
3. Preventing infection in wounds, boils, burns, and skin conditions like eczema.
4. Soothing and curing sore throats.
5. Increasing energy levels. It is rich in sugars and can boost energy levels. It is better to take it with cereal or whole wheat bread to prevent a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar.

Scientific Studies Into The Effectiveness Of Manuka Honey

Research conducted in Australia confirms the antibacterial action of the honey. In a study it managed to kill different types of bacteria including antibiotic resistant superbugs. It can thus fight infection and speed up healing.

Its use is permitted by the National Health Service in the UK for dressing wounds and for medicinal creams since 2004. Its use is also allowed in some countries for reducing inflammation in the oesophagus for people taking chemotherapy.

Side-effects, Interactions And Contraindications

1. Honey is not recommended for children below 1 year of age.
2. Due to its high sugar content, people suffering from diabetes should limit its use.
3. As with any natural substance, allergy is a small possibility.
4. It may interact with some types of chemotherapy drugs.
5. A stinging sensation is possible when applying it to wounds. This is normal, but it should be used with care on sensitive skins.
6. Excessive intake of honey may lead to weight gain.

Manuka honey is a superior type of honey due to its strong antibacterial properties. It is also a good source of energy and antioxidants. You can take it regularly to boost energy and good health and it is also useful for treatment of many health problems.

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