Honey & Health - Manuka Honey
Since times immemorial, honey has been used as food as well as traditional medicine. Though honey is available throughout the world today, there is a lot of difference between the different varieties of honey. One such honey variety is Manuka honey.
Table Of Contents
- About Manuka Honey
- Types of Manuka honey
- The Discovery Of UMF
- Health Benefits Of Manuka Honey
- About Manuka Oil
- Which Manuka UMF to Use?
- Uses Of Manuka Tea, Leaves And Bark
- Uses Of Manuka Tree
About Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is the honey that is produced from the nectar of the flowers of a single tree. This tree is the Manuka tree called Leptospermum scoparium which grows in the wild in New Zealand. The honeybee Apis mellifera is responsible for producing Manuka honey.
Manuka honey has the highest viscosity among the different classes of honey. It is a dark colored honey with a strong, earthy and herbaceous flavor.
Honey should not be heated as it destroys the enzyme that is responsible for its healing qualities.
Types Of Manuka Honey
All types of honey contain an enzyme glucose oxidase that produces different levels of hydrogen peroxide, depending upon the level of this enzyme, when it comes in contact with wounds.
Manuka honey is also available in 2 forms;
- Regular Manuka honey
- Active Manuka honey or Manuka with the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor)
The UMF varies from batch to batch and therefore each batch is tested and priced according to its UMF.
For medicinal use, both internal & external a rating of UMF 10 or above is advised. UMF gives Manuka honey unique healing properties. It should be realized that not all Manuka honey contain the beneficial UMF.
The Discovery Of UMF
UMF was discovered by Dr.Peter Molan of the Waikato University's honey research unit, New Zealand. He found an additional, more powerful and much more stable anti bacterial property in some varieties of Manuka honey. He called this UMF.
The UMF property and the hydrogen peroxide's anti bacterial property have a synergistic effect in healing infections.
All UMF Manuka honey have a minimum rating of UMF 10.
Health Benefits Of Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is a natural anti bacterial, anti inflammatory and anti fungal that kills;
- Staphylococcus, streptococcus infections.
- H.pylori, the bacteria that causes ulcers in the stomach.
- It is widely used to relieve sore throat, colds, sinusitis, blisters, bed sores and burns.
- It also finds use in relieving skin infections like acne, ringworm, skin ulcers, cuts and wounds.
- Internally, it can relieve an upset stomach, acid reflux, heartburn and peptic ulcers.
- It also relieves eye infections,
For stomach ulcers the dose is 1 tsp UMF 10 Manuka honey 4 times a daily, prior to meals. Spread it on a piece of bread before consuming for it to coat the lining of the stomach.
Manuka Essential Oil
About Manuka Oil
Manuka oil has been used since centuries traditionally by the Maori people of New Zealand.
The oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the Manuka tree. 150 kg of Manuka leaves yield about 1 liter of Manuka oil. The leaves are harvested from December to May in New Zealand.
Manuka oil is used to treat ;
- a variety of skin problems like dandruff, dermatitis, nail infections, fungus infections, psoriasis, sunburn,acne, pimples, rash, eczema, itching, flaking and cracks of the skin, rash, yeast infections abcesses etc.
- It is also used with success in arthritis, muscular aches, bites and stings and head lice infections.
Manuka oil is reported to be effective against 39 separate micro organisms in the laboratory, including gram +ve, gram -ve bacteria and fungi.
To disinfect clothes, use 1/2 tsp for each eash load of laundry. Manuka oil blends well with many other essential oils.
Which Manuka UMF To Use?
It has been suggested that
- For internal use, UMF 15 and UMF 20 Manuka honey should be used depending on the severity of the disease
- For external use, UMF 10 Manuka honey be used.
Uses of Manuka Tea, Leaves And Bark
This tea has been discovered by the native Maoris of New Zealand. They have been using this tea since centuries in various diseases. The tea has also been used as a tea, in diarrhea, wounds, insect bites, bites and stings etc.
Manuka tea is also drunk in cases of urinary complaints and fevers, The steam from the leaves boiled in water is used to cure head colds.
The decoction made from the bark and leaves is rubbed on aching muscles and joints.
Chewing bark has relaxing and sleep inducing effects.
Uses Of Manuka Tree
- The wood is used for making tool handles.
- The sawdust is used to smoke meats and fish in it as it imparts a delicate flavor to them.
- Parakeets use the bark and leaves of the tree to get rid of pests in their feathers and skin
- And Most of all the tree yields the healthy and medicinal Manuka honey.
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The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.
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© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly