Winter season is coming. It means we should start to worry about different types of cold, sore throat, runny nose, fever, flu and other “pleasant stuff” of that period. Many of us have family, “grandma” recipes of healing remedies, and they work for generations. In my family last few years this honorable place of all-healing remedy is taken by manuka honey.

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Healing qualities of honey are known for thousands of years, yet Manuka is still very new but already well-known because of its super power!
This honey didn’t exist until European settlers brought honeybees to New Zealand in the first half of 19th century. And only in 1981 the special properties of Manuka honey began to be recognized.

Why Manuka Honey is unique ans super-powered?
Additional to set of vitamins and minerals Manuka honey has very strong antibacterial qualities. When used topically for burns and other wounds, it can resolves even severe, stubborn infections that resist modern antibiotics.

Normally, antibacterial qualities in honey come from its natural antiseptic hydrogen peroxide content. But temperature changes, enzymes in human body can decrease the action of this peroxide. In addition to  hydrogen peroxide Manuka honey contains another, more powerful antibacterial element called methylglyoxal, or MGO. This element is not affected by outside conditions or any enzyme in our body, and that’s what gives Manuka its special power.

Today scientists have identified “more than 80 species of bacteria that can be inhibited by Manuka honey, including MRSA, which is especially resistant to antibiotics. Manuka can also reverse antibiotic resistance, enhance the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment, or be used as an alternative to antibiotics in wound treatment”. (from BetterNutrition.com)

What else Manuka can do?
It stimulates, boosts our immune system and acts as an antioxidant preventing free radicals damage. Manuka kills bad gut bacteria and can help with some stomach problems (healing gastritis, irritations and even help to soothe gastric ulcer). It even fights some viruses causing respiratory infections. And, additional to all this the honey may help relieve allergies, fight some bacteria in the mouth, improve sleep and mental function.

When and how to use Manuka?
It is good for sore throats, colds, coughs, sinus infections, as a topical treatment of cold sores and wounds. To prevent infection and boost the immune system, you can take a teaspoon of honey daily. In case of any infection better to use Manuka honey with a higher antimicrobial rating and take it several times a day. Don’t put Manuka into the tea or other warm drink. It can affect its most important healing qualities!  And be aware, if you are allergic to bee products!

Manuka Honey Ratings
The strength of antimicrobial qualities of Manuka varies. It is depending on the season in which it’s harvested, and which trees the honey comes from. And not all available products have unique antibacterial qualities  because Manuka honey can be mixed with honeys from other plants. Only special laboratory testing can show the level of antibacterial power in a specific Manuka honey.

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The government of New Zealand sets standards for testing and labeling. On a jar of Manuka honey, look for:

  • a number identifying the lot or batch;
  • a number that designates strength of antimicrobial activity. A 5+ is the basic level; 10+ or higher indicates more potent therapeutic properties.
    Some honeys list a number and “UMF” for Unique Manuka Factor, a trademarked system where 3 components of Manuka honey are tested. In this case, 30 is comparable to 5+, 100 to 10+, 250 to 15+, and 400 to 20+.
    Other products may list results of tests for Manuka pollen purity rather than antimicrobial strength, so the numbers will have a different meaning.

Regardless of how it’s tested, the honey should be produced and packed into jars in New Zealand.

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Here are some of good quality manuka honeys from Iherb. This online shop I trust for years!

One of my favorities is Wedderspoon Organic KFactor 16. Even now I keep one jar of this honey at home and take half of tea spoon every morning.

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I tried also some of Manuka Doctor products: Manuka Doctor 20+ Bio Active Manuka Honey and Manuka Doctor Apiwellness 15+ Bio Active Manuka Honey.

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Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Raw Manuka Honey, Active 15+ and New Zealand Honey 100% Raw Manuka Honey 5+

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They all tasty and pretty effective. But there are many others I would like to try. So, although Wedderspoon is still my current favorite, I’m looking forward to test new brands and types of magic Manuka!

Stay healthy and eat Manuka honey!

*This post is based on article posted on BetterNutrition.com and my own knowledges and experience with manuka honey.