With its rich amber good looks, earthy flavour and fabulous health benefits, it's easy to see why Manuka Honey is enjoying star status.
So what makes Manuka Honey different from other honey and how do the health claims stack up?
Honey of all types has been used in medicine and beauty products for thousands of years.
It was even used for embalming by the ancient Egyptians because it is aseptic, which means bacteria cannot grow in it. But Manuka Honey's properties go beyond this because it contains compounds that actually fight many types of viruses, fungi and bacteria. Manuka Honey also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may encourage 'good' bacteria to grow in the digestive tract. Scientists throughout the world are studying Manuka Honey, and there is a growing number of scientific studies and clinical trials that support the honey's therapeutic qualities.
Where does Manuka Honey come from?
Manuka Honey comes from bees who feed on Manuka bushes or Leptospermum scoparium, which is native to New Zealand. The honey has been used by New Zealand Maoris as part of their traditional medicine for over 4000 years.
What does the research say?
Considerable research conducted at prestigious universities and published in reputable journals supports the use of Manuka Honey for:
Immunity — studies show that Manuka Honey supports the human immune system.
Wound healing — Manuka Honey is now widely used by health professionals and in hospitals to help heal wounds, including infected wounds that are resistant to other treatment. When Manuka Honey and antibiotics are used together, they may be able to overcome some of the most difficult to treat wound infections that are usually resistant to antibiotics.
Digestion — studies show that Manuka Honey may help to encourage the growth of probiotics or 'good' bacteria in the digestive system.
Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity — the demonstrated antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity of Manuka Honey explains why it can help to soothe sore throats, sunburn, irritated skin and eczema, and stomach irritations.
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So what's the best way to include Manuka Honey in your health lifestyle? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- For general wellbeing and to support a healthy immune system and healthy digestion, enjoy a teaspoon or three of Manuka Honey a day by adding to your tea or smoothies, spread it on toast, drizzle it over your porridge or natural yoghurt, or enjoy eating it straight off the spoon!
- For minor wounds, sunburn, burns, eczema, acne, insect bites and skin irritations, apply Manuka Honey directly to the affected area and cover with a dressing if needed.
- For sore throats, take 1 teaspoon of Manuka Honey three times a day and keep it in your mouth for as long as possible before swallowing — or mix 1 tablespoon of Manuka Honey with warm water and have small sips the mixture so it coats your throat.
- For kids' coughs and cold symptoms, you'll also find Manuka Honey in the new Brauer Honey Kids' range.