Honey, let’s talk about honey! Seriously now, not all honey is created equal. There is a superior honey, the queen bee of honey, if you will, called Manuka honey. When I find the best, I stick with it. Manuka’s the only honey I use.
When I first saw this honey at my local health food store, I was intrigued. Why did it have numbers on the jar? And why the heck was it at least 3x the price of organic raw honey? Curious, I went home and started to do some research on this amazing stuff. What makes this sticky syrup so special, you ask?
As far as I know, this honey comes from the Manuka bush found in Australia or New Zealand. If anyone’s heard of other locations, let me know. Manuka honey has antibacterial properties referred to as UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). Bees collect the honey from the Manuka bush and then they add a special enzyme that preserves the honey. That also ensures that the honey doesn’t lose the antibacterial properties that make it so special.
Here’s a cool little fact for you. The higher the UMF, the higher the strains of antibacterial strength your honey has. Manuka Honey is also a special type of mono-floral honey. It’s known to pack powerful antibacterial, anti-microbial, antiviral, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties. To ensure that your honey provides the right amount of unique Manuka benefits (UMF), pick up jars marked as “active” that have 10–24+ UMF. Manuka honey without the UMF number is just regular table honey that won’t reap the same benefits, so read the label. Remember, the higher the UMF, the more potent and beneficial the honey is so don’t be tempted to scrimp. Some things are worth paying a little more for and this honey is one of them. After all, it also has over 4 times the mineral content of other honeys.
Like all the best beauty ingredients, this honey can help you on the inside and outside. Use it to help with everything from soothing sore throats to ulcers to boosting a weak immune system. UMF Manuka honey can also help with gum disease, acid reflux, arthritis, and IBM. It can even tackle icky stuff like athlete’s foot, ring worm and surgical wounds! Try a dab on an itchy insect bite and it’ll sooth and heal.
Manuka is my go-to honey for home skincare creation, especially face masks. After all, I only want the best ingredients in the natural products I make or buy. It’s by far the best honey to apply topically. It can help psoriasis, cracked skin, burns, boils, and is even fantastic for dressing wounds (thank you antibacterial magic!). It can help relieve and prevent acne too!
This honey has a ph level of about 4.5 so it helps to maintain your skin’s delicate ph balance. It also works as a natural skin cleanser. Just take about a nickel-sized dollop of honey on your finger and rub it on to your face in circular motions. Use a very warm washcloth to remove it for super deep pore cleaning.
Honey is one of the natural humectants so it helps to add more moisture to your hair and gets rid of the frizzes. Just add a tablespoon of this stuff to your conditioner and leave it in your hair for a least 2 minutes. Yes, I know the idea of putting sticky honey in your hair sounds a little off the wall but trust me on this one, it works!
So, now you know what Manuka honey is!