Who would have thought that an obscure rural region of New Zealand would end up producing honey so strong and yet so gentle that doctors and hospitals all over the world would be snapping up tubes of it for patient care?
How Manuka Honey Can Beat Acne And Improve Your Skin: The Benefits
The manuka tea tree bush blossoms only in the dry areas of certain parts of New Zealand and eastern Australia. Every year, a swarm of bees alight on these bushes and produce a sweet honey that packs a surprising wallop of antibacterial power. For countless years, the native New Zealand Maori have used the benefits of the manuka bush in traditional healing medicine. Parakeets both ingest and use it topically to rid themselves of unwanted bacteria and parasites. It has even been shown to destroy MRSA and e.coli bacteria. This type of honey is so uniquely antibacterial and antifungal that scientists have formed the Active Manuka Honey Association and established a standardized system to identify the most powerful products. All manuka honey is rated on the Unique Manuka Factor, or UMF. A minimum UMF of 15 is preferable for those looking for a product to fight acne and repair irritated skin, but even a UMF as low as 6 can offer the benefits.
Manuka honey can be eaten for a boost to your immune system, applied on the skin to calm and heal burns and rough, raw areas, or dabbed on pimples to kill off the bacteria that causes acne. Applying a glob and sealing the spot with a bandaid overnight works like a charm to eradicate those cystic pimples and whiteheads.
How Manuka Honey Can Beat Acne And Improve Your Skin: Where to Buy
Because of the law of supply and demand, manuka honey is more expensive than most other monofloral honeys. It can be tempting to purchase one of the cheaper options that appear on store shelves, but these suspiciously inexpensive jars are rarely pure. They are mixes of different kinds of honey, given the label to fool consumers, and will not be as effective against your pimples and acne. Always look for the UMF label.
Many Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s offer genuine, pure New Zealand manuka honey. These range from $30 to $50 for one pound of UMF 15+ product. Online, it can be purchased pure from Garden of Wisdom, or in a variety of different creams, soaps and lotions from Manu Nutraceuticals. You can even buy sunscreens with manuka honey. Authentic manuka honey should always be a thick, golden amber, almost like melted caramel. It should not be runny or drippy. Fake versions will often be runnier and darker.
Because it is so good at killing off insidious bacteria, it will not expire or go rancid. It should be stored in a cool, dry area and never heated above 105 degrees Fahrenheit, as heating raw honey to high temperatures destroys its nutrients and enzymes.