New Zealand's active Manuka honey is used as a natural healing product both internally, and topically on the skin, and the honey's unique health properties are gaining recognition worldwide. Beekeepers in New Zealand set up their hives in wild uncultivated areas in which Manuka bushes grow. The bees gather nectar from the flowers of the Manuka bush, which is indigenous only to this country, plus the honey making process is enriched by the pollution free environment of New Zealand.
A great standby for your medicine cupboard
Even if you cannot get hold of enough active Manuka honey for daily use, everyone should have a least one jar in their medicine cupboard for emergencies! Be warned that the honey is so delicious that you might be tempted to eat it rather than keeping it safely in that cupboard.
Authenticated Manuka honey
Only honey actually bottled, tested and authenticated in New Zealand can use the UMF label (standing for “unique manuka factor”) and an 8 oz jar or bottle will probably cost you about $37 in a US health store. So genuine UMF New Zealand honey can be rather expensive. There is an American alternative available that is still from New Zealand but bottled in the US but for the very best results, Manuka honey should have at very least a 12+ UMF/"Active" rating but preferably 15+ or higher.
This important UMF rating will only be known if the honey has been tested. If a producer has gone to the expense of testing, they will definitely display it on the container. The testing is expensive and accounts for a reasonable amount of the cost of tested honey.
And those healing properties?
1. Use as a natural antibiotic for nasty infections, such as in the chest, by taking a couple of mouthfuls of the honey several times a day, between meals.
2. Use as a natural cough treatment by taking ¾ teaspoon of the honey every time you start to cough. It should resolve in about 24 hours.
3. This raw honey can be used effectively in the treatment of abrasions, acne
, bacterial infections (including MRSA), eczema
, leg ulcers, puncture wounds, psoriasis
, septic wounds and surgical wounds. Manuka honey will kill h-Pylori bacteria that is known to cause ulcers.
4. For abscesses or deep wounds that have been cleaned, the honey can be packed into the cavity before applying an adhesive dressing. According to an article recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, honey provides a moist healing environment, deodorizes, rapidly clears infection while reducing inflammation, edema and any oozing.
5. Apply to the face for a few minutes (or as long as you can take it) before showering, to soften and condition the skin.
6. Use when troubled with mouth sores by swishing a teaspoon of the honey in your mouth for several minutes 3 times a day until the sores are gone (usually within a day).
7. Very effective when used in the treatment of burns.
According to Professor Keith Scott-Mumbly "Many clinical studies have demonstrated honey’s effectiveness in treating burns. An article in the British Journal of Surgery compared the topical use of honey with silver sulfadiazine (SSD)— one of the most widely-used, common treatments for burns—in 104 cases of superficial burn injuries. In the honey-treated group of 52 patients, 91% of the burns were infection free within 7 days, compared to only 7% of the 52 patients in the SSD group. Pain was also significantly reduced.
The more recent emergence of dangerous antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria has sounded a wake up call to many in the medical community to consider natural substances with proven medical uses as a means to fighting such strains.
Active Manuka honey is one such natural substance and of course it lasts forever.