Whether you buy local honey in Louisville, KY, or choose more exotic types, the honey is often named for the type of plant that the pollen and nectar comes from that bees collect. Worker bees collect nectar and mix it with enzymes, while also collecting pollen for the bee larvae. The mixture is passed by mouth to others in the hive. It’s deposited in the honeycomb in the hive and dried by other bees flapping their wings to produce honey. Manuka honey comes from the pollen of the manuka bush found in New Zealand. It has some exceptional health benefits.
Manuka honey is antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant properties.
There are several substances that provide these properties. For instance, the dihydroxyacetone—DHA—converts to methylglyoxal—MGO. That provides antibacterial benefits. The DHA is found in high concentrations in the nectar of manuka plant flowers and that converts to the antibacterial properties of the honey.
Some of the most difficult wounds to heal are diabetic sores.
Even the FDA—Federal Food and Drug Administration—approves of using manuka honey for treating wounds. It’s more than just the antibacterial properties that make it so beneficial, but also the antioxidant and the lower pH of the manuka honey. In fact, the pH is lower than most other honey, which makes it ideal for healing wounds. It speeds the healing process and can be particularly effective in reducing pain and speeding tissue regeneration on burns.
It’s hard to believe that something sweet can promote oral health.
While the research is limited, it does show that manuka honey can help prevent the buildup of dental plaque, which in turns, prevents gum disease. It’s been found even more effective than chewing sugar free gum. Even scratchy throats can be helped with manuka honey. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties help bring sore throat relief. It even reduces the amount of Streptococcus mutans in the throat to reduce the potential for a sore throat.
- Ulcers related to diabetes are hard to heal and may even cause amputation if not treated properly. One study shows using manuka honey to heal heals the ulcers more quickly than traditional treatments.
- Unlike diabetic ulcers that are more likely on the bottom of the feet, gastric ulcers are in the lining of the stomach. Manuka honey can help reduce inflammation by increasing certain enzyme levels to prevent oxidative damage.
- Acne may be helped with manuka honey. It not only helps decrease inflammation and reduces the levels of bacteria, it also helps hydrate skin. In fact, many skin care products now contain it.
- While manuka honey is a sugar and increasing your sugar intake can lead to weight gain, there’s nothing wrong with using manuka honey as a substitute sweetener instead of cane sugar or applying it externally.
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