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Manuka Honey is derived from a single plant, the Manuka tree, which gives it the classification of monofloral honey. The Manuka tree originated in New Zealand and parts of Australia, however, it can be found globally today. Of note, Manuka Honey only rose to mainstream popularity in the early 90s. Nevertheless, the benefits of Manuka Honey have been widely touted, especially in homeopathic remedies, with far less supporting research than one would hope for. Despite the need for further study, some of the benefits of Manuka Honey are inarguable. Take a look!
Important Note: Research on the benefits of Manuka Honey is fluid; each year, new findings are published that may support or refute the health benefits listed herein. The claims made at the time of this publication are supported by the most current research.
Preserves Dental Health
Manuka Honey provides a number of purported health benefits concerning oral hygiene and dental wellness. Some of the included dental benefits include protecting against periodontal disease, remediating plaque build-up, reducing the risk of tooth decay, rectifying bad breath, and preventing cavities. Though these are some pretty bold claims, there is a litany of studies that support most of these claims. For starters, studies show that consumption of honey can be instrumental in treating gum diseases such as gingivitis, receding gums, and bleeding gums.
Honey is also useful in remediating oral bacterias. By mixing Manuka Honey with water, a chemical reaction produces hydrogen peroxide which has antimicrobial properties. Essentially, it’s the hydrogen peroxide, which can just as easily be purchased by the bottle from your local pharmacy, that cleans out the bacteria. Perhaps, Manuka Honey is simply a tastier way to ward off that oral bacteria. Oral bacteria inevitably leads to cavities, plaque build-up, and tooth decay. Therefore, regularly reducing the microbes in your mouth can help to reduce your risk of these dental issues.
Some of the ways to incorporate Manuka Honey into your oral hygiene routine include mixing it with your toothpaste, consuming lozenges, and oral sprays. Each of these mediums can introduce Manuka Honey as a palliative to existing dental problems while also reducing the risk of developing others.
General Consensus: 3.5/5 and here is why. Many studies support the claim that Manuka Honey is essential to dental hygiene. While Manuka Honey can certainly remediate dental issues because of the hydrogen peroxide produced when mixed with water, it’s also true that it may be easier to acquire the same effects from more readily available and more affordable products.
Manuka Honey has been connected by science to the treatment of wounds, acne, burns, and other skin conditions. In such cases, Manuka Honey is used as a topical ointment. Extensive research shows that the glyoxal and methylglyoxal properties in Manuka Honey undoubtedly aid in wound healing and tissue regeneration. Furthermore, the antimicrobial properties of Manuka Honey, just as in oral hygiene, can aid in staving off infection in open wounds and burns.
Although many news outlets and beauty blogs tout the use of Manuka Honey for treating acne breakouts, there is little scientific research that manifests such claims. Though one can see why such claims make sense, many of the claims are baseless as of yet. Here’s the school of thought on Manuka Honey as an acne treatment: Manuka Honey is loaded with antioxidants; antioxidants have undeniable anti-inflammatory effects; therefore, it stands to reason that the antioxidants in Manuka Honey may very well reduce acne inflammation if applied directly to the skin or used in skincare products. Moreover, some purport that the same anticmicrobial properties that aid in the healing of wounds can aid in clearing out the bacteria associated with acne; although that seems like a fair assertion, the science simply hasn’t made that connection yet.
General Consensus: 4/5 and here is why. More than 200 studies have been published to governmental databases supporting the assertion that Manuka Honey can be instrumental in healing wounds and burns. However, research supporting Manuka Honey as a treatment for acne is lacking.
Alleviates Stomach Ulcers
Gastric ulcers, or stomach ulcers as they’re more commonly called, are one of the most common gastrointestinal maladies. Ulcers are caused by stomach acid damaging the lining of the digestive tract. Ulcers can be induced by a number of things, the most common of which is bacteria. Stomach ulcers can be extremely painful and are often treated with medicine. Surprisingly, however, scientific studies have linked the use of Manuka Honey to the treatment of gastric ulcers. In fact, studies have shown that regular intake of Manuka Honey drastically increases the body’s production of glycoprotein, protects gastric mucosal, and decreases lipid peroxidation. Each of these results not only protects against gastric ulcers but also treats and heals them. Other studies have indicated that treatment of gastric ulcers with Manuka Honey have reduced the effects of acid-induced injury and inflammation which further expedited the healing of ulcers.
General Consensus: 4.5/5 and here is why. The science doesn’t lie here. Study after study links the use of Manuka Honey to the treatment and healing of gastric ulcers.
Soothes Sore Throat
Using honey to soothe a sore throat is nothing new. This age-old, holistic remedy is backed by hundreds of studies underwriting the soothing properties of honey. Even though most honey varieties will help to soothe a sore throat, Manuka Honey is superior and here is why: Manuka Honey has a lower pH than other honey varieties which is optimal to healing. Moreover, Manuka Honey is not only antibacterial but it’s also bacteria-resistant unlike common honey varieties. As a result, Manuka Honey can reduce throat inflammation and the bacterias that cause throat pain. Moreover, research shows that consuming Manuka Honey can eradicate the presence of Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria that leads to sore throats and tooth decay. Best of all, Manuka Honey can be easily and palatably consumed by simply adding two teaspoons to hot tea or water.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Dozens upon dozens of scientific studies support the claim that Manuka Honey can soothe the pain of a sore throat through the remediation of the bacterias that cause the discomfort.
Manuka Honey is loaded with probiotics that not only improve gut health but boost digestion. Common digestive issues include constipation, diarrhea, irregular bowel movement, gas, and stomach pains. Manuka Honey consumption can purportedly be beneficial in improving these digestive issues. Research indicates that regular ingestion of Manuka Honey has a beneficial effect on colon health associated with digestion when tested in mice. Unfortunately, the research connecting Manuka Honey to digestion is deficient when considering this benefit in human biology.
General Consensus: 2/5 and here is why. Although foundational research is promising, there just aren’t enough science-based studies to confirm that Manuka Honey aids in the digestive processes of humans.
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Inarguably, Manuka Honey is fraught with many of the vitamins and minerals required to fuel human bodies. Packed with amino acids, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and beyond, Manuka Honey is a great way to achieve some of your daily vitamin intake. Whether you consume your Manuka Honey raw, diluted in teas, or in capsule form, there’s no question that Manuka Honey’s vitamin-rich profile is beneficial to your health. Some of the highest vitamin/mineral values present in Manuka Honey include potassium, niacin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium. If you’re looking for a way to enrich your diet with some of these star vitamins, Manuka Honey is a pleasant and effective way to do so. The only downside is that in addition to the vitamins and minerals, Manuka Honey is loaded with sugars and carbohydrates which can have adverse health effects.
General Consensus: 2.5/5 and here is why. There’s no denying that Manuka Honey is loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals. However, Manuka Honey is also loaded with sugars and carbohydrates that should be well balanced in order to maintain optimal health. So although you can obtain some of your vitamin needs from Manuka Honey, it’s probably not a good idea to make it your sole source of these vitamins.
Remediates Seasonal Allergies
Manuka Honey, like many other varieties of honey, is an all-natural antihistamine. Although, consumption of Manuka Honey will certainly not cure you of your allergies, it can treat the symptoms associated with allergies. A handful of case studies indicate that consumption of Manuka Honey can alleviate the symptoms of allergic diseases such as asthma, anaphylaxis, and others. Some of the symptoms Manuka Honey has been known to treat include rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, nasal symptoms such as runny nose, and ocular symptoms such as itchy eyes.
General Consensus: 3/5 and here is why. While the few studies available on Manuka Honey specifically draw a strong connection to its treatment of allergies, there’s just not enough research to state definitively that Manuka Honey does so. Further research is required.
Unlikely Benefits: Further Research Needed
Natural Sleep Aid
General Consensus: 1/5 and here is why. There are a few unsubstantiated studies that claim that honey in general may aid in sleep quality, however, there are none that seem to link to Manuka Honey specifically.
May Treat Cystic Fibrosis
General Consensus: 1/5 and here is why. Although three published scientific queries have researched the effect of Manuka Honey on Cystic Fibrosis, only one has made any definitive conclusions. As a result, there’s more work to be done before asserting that Manuka Honey is a valuable treatment for Cystic Fibrosis.
Treats Acid Reflux
General Consensus: 2/5 and here is why. Although it stands to reason that the same antimicrobial properties that help with healing wounds and treating gastric uclers should aid in treatment of the esophogus, there are simply too few studies drawing that connection.