Manuka honey is produced by bees that collect nectar from the manuka tree, scientific name Leptospermum scoparium. This evergreen plant is found exclusively in New Zealand and is characterized by very fragrant white and pink flowers. Manuka honey is an extraordinary product and this is evident considering the very high number of scientific articles dedicated to its health properties. Not only that, did you know that since 2007 the US FDA, which is the American government body that deals with the regulation of food and pharmaceutical products, has approved Manuka honey as a wound treatment? All that remains is to delve deeper into the topic!
Manuka honey, antiviral and antibacterial
Manuka honey has a strong antiviral and antibacterial action thanks to its content of antioxidants and a substance, called methylglyoxal, which is formed during the maturation process of the nectar. This substance, in much smaller quantities, around 25 mg/kg, is also present in other more common honeys, such as linden honey, but in manuka honey it reaches the considerable value of around 1540 mg/kg (Watanabe et al, Arch Med Res, 2014 - Thierig et al, Foods, 2023). Thanks to this characteristic, manuka honey, more than any other type of honey, is suitable for combating sore throats, coughs and colds (Alangari et al, Pharmacological Research, 2023 - Goslinski et al, J Food Sci Technol, 2020).
Manuka honey and wounds
Manuka honey is considered one of the most interesting natural remedies when it comes to stimulating and accelerating the healing of wounds and ulcers, even in cases of diabetes or venous stasis. In fact, Manuka honey is antibacterial and furthermore promotes the healing and tissue regeneration processes (Goslinski et al, J Food Sci Technol, 2020 - Niaz et al, Curr Drug Metab, 2017).
Manuka honey for oral hygiene
Manuka honey, if used to make oral rinses, helps protect the health of the gums, counteracting periodontitis and the action of bacteria that can cause gingivitis and tooth decay, such as Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. In studies that have demonstrated this property, manuka honey rinses were prepared by diluting honey in water at a percentage between 20 and 40% (Hbibi et al, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2020).
Manuka honey and gastric ulcer
Manuka honey has also shown an interesting protective action towards the gastric mucosa, counteracting the Helicobacter pylori bacterium, responsible for gastric ulcers (Quraisiah et al, Sains Malaysiana, 2020).
Manuka honey, warnings
Manuka honey is a beneficial honey, as we have seen based on scientific research. Nowadays, manuka honey is easily available in specialized shops in your city or online. However, do not exaggerate with the quantity, in fact it is still a honey that can also have a significant impact on blood sugar levels. If you intend to start treatment with manuka honey, ask your doctor for advice as honey can interact with some medicines, especially antibiotics and blood thinners (Carter et al, Front Microbiol, 2016).