It is the ultimate superfood, so here are all the Manuka honey benefits for tip-top health and beauty
Manuka honey benefits for health and beauty have been celebrated for centuries, ever since it was used by the Maori community in New Zealand because of its incredible anti-bacterial and healing properties (it can even be used as a hay fever remedy), and celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlett Johannson are said to be big fans.
These are the reasons why you should consider stocking up on the gold elixir that is Manuka honey…
What is Manuka honey?
Produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the Manuka bush, Manuka honey is widely regarded as one of the most unique and beneficial forms of honey in the world. There are many Manuka honey benefits that range from healing sore throats and digestive illnesses to curing infections and gingivitis.
There are proven results to show that yes, even though it’s not a raw honey – a type usually associated with health benefits – Manuka honey works, but perhaps because of the price, a lot of people ask if there any downsides to using Manuka honey.
‘There are some cons to using Manuka honey,’ says nutritionist Lorna Driver-Davies from The Nutri Centre. ‘It’s expensive, and all honey is a natural form of sugar, so anyone who needs to be careful around sugar (e.g. diabetics) should be aware of this.’
UMF Manuka honey
Manuka honey uses
Experts say that to reap the Manuka honey benefits, you should take a dose of about 1-2 tablespoons a day. The easiest way to do this is obviously just take it straight for an intense hit. However, you could incorporate it into your breakfast routine by spreading it on a slice of wholemeal or granary toast, adding it to your yoghurt or porridge, or spooning it into a herbal tea for some added sweetness.
Manuka honey benefits for health
From treating a sore throat, to using it topically on your skin, here are the best uses for Manuka honey…
How to use Manuka honey to treat a sore throat
Manuka honey benefits include improving the health of your gut and banishing bloating. ‘It can help reduce inflammation from digestive disorders, relieving abdominal discomfort and bloating. It contains a natural pre-biotic, which is important for nurturing the gut’s good bacteria, and can therefore help the digestive system rebalance itself naturally,’ says Liliana Trukawka, nutritional therapist at Comvita.
Pure Manuka honey is an ideal staple to give you a buzz when you’re feeling tired. ‘The honey’s high nutrient density makes it a great natural energy booster,’ says Rick Hay.
Manuka honey benefits for skin
The Manuka honey benefits for overall health are clear to see, however it also has beauty powers, too. ‘Pure, organic Manuka Honey is the perfect natural alternative for curing acne and skin infections,’ says skincare expert Malvina Fraser. ‘It’s also a natural moisturiser that improves skin hydration because it’s able to absorb moisture directly from the air and draw it into the skin.’
Where to buy Manuka honey
Just because it’s a specialist product, doesn’t mean you can’t buy Manuka honey from the supermarket. Tesco stocks Manuka, as does Aldi and health shops such as Whole Foods and Holland & Barrett with one of the most popular brands being Manuka Doctor, Rowse and Hilltop Honey.
Hilltop’s Manuka honey is pure and natural, sourced from the best New Zealand beekeepers (where the Manuka bush is native!). It’s the Manuka bush that gives the honey its much darker colour – the MGO rating on the front of the jar indicates the anti-bacterial strength of the honey.
DIY Manuka honey face mask
‘Manuka Honey can be used on its own as a facial mask by simply applying the honey on a clean damp face,’ says Malvina Fraser. ‘However, my favourite Manuka honey mask includes coconut oil and avocado to intensely hydrate. This delicious smelling mask eradicates any dryness and leaves you with a healthy, luminous glow.’
1: Mash ¼ of an avocado in a mixing bowl and once it is smooth add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey. Mix together thoroughly.
2: With slightly damp fingers, apply the mask in a circular motion and then leave on for 15 minutes.
3: Once the mask has done its work, remove it with warm water and then proceed to splash cold water on your face to close your pores.
‘This exfoliating mask contains three key components: olive oil, brown sugar and Manuka honey. They are all natural and effective ingredients that intensely cleanse the pores. The olive oil is used for softening the skin, the brown sugar for a gentle exfoliation and the honey to soothe,’ says Malvina Fraser.
1: Take 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1 table spoon of brown sugar and 1 table spoon of Manuka honey and mix well until your scrub becomes a viscous and slightly sticky mixture.
2: Apply to a damp face for 1 to 2 minutes, concentrating on any problem areas.
3: Clean your face with warm water, and finish up with a moisturiser for a longer lasting effect.
Relaxing Bath Recipe
‘This milk and Manuka honey bath recipe is an innovative and yet classic method to get your skin glowing,’ says Malvina Fraser. ‘The unique blend serves to exfoliate and soften the skin, as the lactic acid in the milk cleanses while the honey makes skin supple.’
1: Ensure that you use full-fat milk and pure Manuka honey.
2: Pour 1 to 2 cups of milk and half a cup of Manuka honey into a running bath. Make sure that the water, honey and milk are completely mixed together before getting in.
3: For maximum results, be sure to massage your skin with a washcloth in a circular motion, before rinsing off.