Cultivated in the New Zealand wilderness, from the nectar of the manuka tree, hyped by big names like Gwyneth Paltrow and Katherine Jenkins, it sounds like an ingredient you’d find on a menu in some fancy restaurant. You’d be right; the monofloral honey has been used in cooking around the globe and spotlighted for the damp-earth aroma and the uniquely bitter taste, decreed by many to be very un-honey-like. The taste is understandably not why it makes headlines.
See, honey’s been used as medicine since the dawn of history worldwide; China, India, Egypt, and Assyria have all used honey to treat wounds, with Egypt referencing it in over 900 remedies. Recorded as an antibacterial by modern medicine as early as 1892, it’s been the source of incredible breakthroughs in science, such as diabetes treatments.
Honey is pretty much a heal-all medicine. It has tons of vitamins, such as vitamins C, thiamine, riboflavin, and pyridoxine. Even better, it’s full of enzymes, which help stimulate cellular processes, like oxidase. Oxidase is really cool, because it turns the dioxygen in your body into water, which moisturize and hydrates, or into hydrogen peroxide, which prevents infections, cures funguses, and detoxifies the body. That’s right, when you use honey, you’re making hydrogen peroxide on your skin. Naturally.
Of course, it has other amazing properties. It’s bacteriostatic, which means it prevents bacteria from growing; it provides a barrier to stop infections from setting in, too. It’s antiseptic, which prevents viruses and kills any infections in the area. It’s a fantastic ‘humectant’ meaning it draws moisture from the air to rehydrate your skin, whilst creating a barrier to keep the dirt from getting inside.
But not all honeys are created equal. So why do we use Manuka instead regular, boring, inactive honey? It’s so much better.
If you want your honey to do the best work it can, it needs to be a honey that has high Methylglyoxal, or MG, a natural compound that encourages growth arrest and cell death of bacteria and infections, helps heal irritated skin, and promotes regrowth of healthy new tissue. That’s where Manuka takes the spotlight as the most active honey available on the planet.
Manuka honey contains as much as 1000 times MG than regular honey, with hyperactivated antimicrobial properties. It’s been shown to aid the healing process by providing essential skin building nutrients, whilst also preventing further scarring. As a natural, safe bleaching agent (Thanks to that natural hydrogen peroxide), it lightens skin, covers age spots, and helps your teeth look like a white-strips advertisment.
Flowers, and therefore honey are negatively charged, and when applied on the skin successfully attract the positively charged dirt and toxins deep embedded within the skin. The deep cleansing not only gives you smooth and clear skin, it shrinks your pores, heals and prevents acne gently, and restores the skins natural protective barrier. Goodbye Blackheads, and hello bright, tight hydrated, protected skin!