The properties of natural honey can vary greatly depending on the geographical location and vegetation of the area. The properties of Manuka honey are also special for this reason. Manuka honey made by bees from northern and southern New Zealand has recently become fashionable. Perhaps the name of Manuka honey has resonated in the world after some celebrities admitted that this honey is one of their beauty secrets.
To produce this honey, which is denser, darker in color, and somewhat bitter than ordinary honey, the bee needs what it needs from shrub flocks (Leptospermum scoparium), One of the species of manuka tree. During the trip to the hive, the bee mixes the nectar it carries in its mouth with a number of enzymes from the saliva and, after entering this substance, transfers it to another bee to continue the formation of honey through the saliva. This process is repeated until it reaches its desired point and is stored in the hive cells.
This honey has become strangely popular because it has immune-boosting, antibacterial, antioxidant, digestive and anti-inflammatory properties.
Manuka honey is classified according to the amount of methylglyoxylate, leptispirin and DHA according to UMF. The higher the values, the more antibacterial activity.
As Isabel Scrische, a member of the Department of Food Technology at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, explained in the published articles, honey contains methyl glyoxal (MGO), an element that gives the honey antibacterial power, along with hydrogen peroxide. (Found in all honeys), leptisprine, the nectar of the white and pink flowers of the manuka plant, and DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid.
Classification of Unique Factors of Manuka Honey (UMF)
Manuka honey is marketed according to the unique factor of manuka (UMF), which indicates the concentration of methyl glyoxal. This level of quality is indicated on the product cans with UMF letters and associated numbers, which will vary from 0 to 26. Its authenticity is verified by the Honey Research Unit Laboratory at the University of Waikato (New Zealand).
For Manuka honey to be considered “active” (to have some antibacterial power), it must have at least UMF +10. Each level of this factor is recommended for different uses. In this regard, honeys with UMF5 + mark have no therapeutic use due to their low activity; UMF 10+ can help improve safety and vitality; UMF 15+ has a high antibacterial factor and UMF 20+ is classified as a medical grade.
Properties of Manuka Honey
Native New Zealanders have previously used this honey to improve health, heal wounds and relieve stomach aches. However, there are many studies that analyze the properties of manuka honey, which will be mentioned below.
Members of Tehran University of Medical Sciences, in a study published in the Journal Current Drug Metabolism It was found that this substance can improve tissue regeneration in wounds and prevent the growth of bacteria in them. Another experiment in Journal of Jundishapur Natural Medicinal Products Released, showed that this food produced by New Zealand bees has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it detects the effect of dressing with this honey in the rapid healing of wounds and in reducing the feeling of pain in patients with burns.
A study from the University of Peloponnese (Greece) found that diabetic foot ulcers disinfected with manuka honey healed rapidly. Finally, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its use as a wound treatment. has done.
Based on research published in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy And one of the strengths of this honey is that it protects wounds from bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, along with balanitis or toxic shock syndrome. This finding is very important because this bacterium may be useful in helping to treat wound infections caused by antibiotic-resistant strains.
Like wounds, topical manuka honey can help prevent and treat acne due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. According to research in the journal BMJ ReleasedCanoca honey (which is very similar in composition to manuka honey) was effective in treating acne.
Protect against rot
Two studies in Switzerland (at the Universities of Zurich and Bern) examined the effect of sucking or chewing honey sweets for 10 minutes after three main meals. The result was that those who did so had less plaque and bleeding gums than those who chewed regular sugar-free gum. This may seem like a contradictory idea, because honey contains a lot of sugar. However, the authors explain that its significant antibacterial effects and the small amount that must be sucked or chewed have led to this.
Properties of manuka honey in the treatment of sore throat
Honey is one of the most widely used treatments for sore throat and Manuka honey seems to be even more effective than antibacterial and antiviral effects. A study conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) on patients undergoing chemotherapy for head and neck cancer found that Manuka honey Streptococcus mutans (Throat-related bacteria).
Manuka honey is effective for digestive disorders
Regular consumption of manuka honey helps reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in mice, such as diarrhea, constipation or abdominal pain, according to the University of Manchester.
This honey is also a good weapon against strains Clostridium difficile is in vitro, Which causes inflammation in the intestines and severe diarrhea. This is usually treated with antibiotics. As in research published in BMC Research Notes shown، Thanks to Manuka honey, some of the wounds caused Helicobacter pylori Bacteria can be cured.
At this point, it is important to emphasize that large-scale experiments have not yet been performed on humans, despite the fact that many studies have been conducted on the benefits of manuka honey. Therefore, its properties should be investigated, and if confirmed, this type of honey can be considered as a natural alternative to antibiotics and reduce the risk of resistance to these drugs.
However, experts such as Isabel Scrische believe that there is a “great marketing campaign” around the benefits of this product; Although there is no doubt about its antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, he states that other honeys also have these properties.
Contraindications to Manuka honey
Isabel Scrische, a food industry expert, said the contraindications for manuka honey were not much different from regular honey. It is recommended that this honey is not consumed by children under one year of age, people with fructose intolerance, diabetics, as well as people sensitive to honey (any of its components) or sensitive to bee stings.
It is important to check the UMF certification before buying Manuka honey and verify that it is genuine, as many scammers sell this honey without going through the necessary checks for the label that identifies it as a valid product. Another bad practice of some companies is to mix this honey with other types of honey, which reduces its benefits.
How to consume or use Manuka honey
Manuka honey is a kind of honey! Therefore, it is usually consumed like other honeys. Its sweetness makes it add to coffee and tea, although it can often be eaten with toast, pancakes and other sweets. This type of honey can be used in desserts and sweets. A very important consideration when consuming manuka honey and other honeys is not to overheat and heat them (for example, pouring in hot tea or coffee!). Because by doing so, the property of this health miracle is largely destroyed and sometimes it becomes harmful in nature!
Finally, thanks to the properties of manuka honey, its topical use can be beneficial for pimples or eczema. It can also be used as a face mask or homemade hair. In this case, by adding lemon to it, the resulting mixture can be placed on the skin or hair for about 15 minutes.