I believe a good portion of beauty and wellness issues can be solved with two things.
Honey or coconut oil.
This article is about honey, but you can learn more about the many wondrous uses for coconut oil in an upcoming post this week!
When it comes to honey I’m continuously amazed by it’s versatility as a natural beauty product and the incredible health benefits from eating it.
There has been an increasing buzz about the benefits of manuka honey which caught my attention (I also couldn’t resist using the pun).
For centuries, honey has been well known for both medical and beauty treatments. You see, there’s a lot more to honey than a sweetener for tea.
However, due to a number of factors like mass processing, industrialization and environmental damages, most honey just doesn’t pack the incredible punch it used to.
Manuka honey has some incredible nutritional benefits, and offers four times more nutritional content of honey found on supermarket shelves!
Take a look at this nutritional profile:
- Vitamin B6
- Amino Acids
- And a lot more…
Manuka honey has been around for a very long time in New Zealand, but it wasn’t until the early 1980s that researchers took a closer look and discovered Manuka honey has some unique benefits that blows traditional honey away.
The key to Manuka honey, and what makes it so special, is that it produces a boatload of enzymes.
Ok, enzymes aren’t exactly the most exciting things in the world, but in this case, they are kinda cool. It’s all those extra enzymes that work together and make Manuka honey a natural anti-bacterial, as well as anti-microbial.
The basis behind this is that Manuka honey produces a natural hydrogen peroxide as well as something called MG. MG stands for methylglyoxal and is the magical element in Manuka honey.
In fact, these enzymes pack such a powerful punch that Manuka honey can be used to help fight anything from acne, to tooth decay, to burns, to IBS and even the sometimes deadly superbug, MRSA, otherwise known as staph infections.
Many people eat Manuka honey to help with digestive problems, sore throats and even allergies like hay fever.
Enzymes looking a bit more interesting now aren’t they?
One caveat when it comes to Manuka honey is being sure to pay attention to the label.
Surprise, surprise, but some brands out there are trying to pass off their regular ol’ honey as Manuka honey (and charging crazy prices).
Thankfully there is a labeling system, so you just need to look out for brands out of New Zealand that have the UMF trademark on them as well as the company’s license number. UMF means that the honey is certified as medical grade.
On the label there will be the UMF trademark as well as a number. This number will correspond with the strength of the honey in terms of it’s antibacterial performance. Most people will be fine with a grade between 10-14 which will take care of the vast majority of issues.
I’ve covered just the basics of Manuka honey. Check out these great uses as skin care.
Manuka honey is an amazing acne treatment. Because we know that sugar causes inflammation in the body which contributes to acne, you might think that applying it to blemishes would be counterintuitive.
However, Manuka honey is beneficial to the skin because it is a natural anti-bacterial, as well as an anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce skin redness and irritation while clearing and healing the damaged areas at the same time.
Apply a thin mask of Manuka honey and let sit for 10-15 minutes. A slight tingling sensation is normal due to the natural alpha-hydroxy acids. Rinse off with a warm washcloth.
You can also spot dab onto blemishes and leave on overnight if you can avoid face planting into your pillow.
Anyone who has suffered from eczema knows it is a painful and sometimes embarrassing condition that most people would give almost anything to fix.
Enter, Manuka honey. Because eczema is due to inflammation and an overactive immune system, Manuka is a great method for soothing your skin.
Manuka honey has been shown to not only stop the reach of eczema, but also eliminates dry areas, and help facilitate the growth of new skin.
Taking 1 teaspoon 2 times a day can make a huge difference with this skin condition. Directly applying honey to problem areas will help to soothe skin.
Stop rubbing creams full of chemicals all over your face, instead try a weekly Manuka honey mask to keep your skin looking youthful and fresh.
MG is one of the most active ingredients in Manuka honey. It has been linked to helping increase collagen in skin cells and acting as a natural moisturizer to keep skin firm and elastic.
Manuka also helps neutralize those dreaded free radicals. We all know free radicals are associated with accelerated aging, but the antioxidant properties of the honey defends your skin.
*Please note that raw honey is not recommended for children under the age of 1 due to their still susceptible digestive system.
Have you tried Manuka honey? Let us know in the comments below some of your best Manuka beauty tips and tricks.