5 Science-Backed Reasons You Should Be Using Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is like the gold standard of honey—the pièce de résistance of the hardworking honey bees who pollinate the manuka bush that grows in New Zealand and southeastern Australia.
Maori communities have made use of manuka honey's antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits for centuries, and today producers in both New Zealand and Australia continue to fight over naming rights. Not only is manuka honey one of the most popular superfoods among a population of wellness-seeking consumers, it is also an increasingly common ingredient in beauty products due to its intense hydrating properties.
Once dismissed as alternative folklore, manuka honey is now scientifically proven to be loaded with real benefits, and used in everything from skin treatments to hair oil. Here are five science-backed reasons you should be using manuka honey, not just in your cooking but in your skincare and haircare routines as well.
Manuka honey has healing properties
Honey has been used for thousands of years to treat wounds, burns, sores and boils, and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2007 as an option for wound treatment. The strong antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of manuka honey can help to prevent infections, aid tissue regeneration and also ease pain when applied topically, and can also ease the pain of a sore throat as well as attack the bacteria at fault. That's why tea with a spoonful of manuka honey is so good when you're feeling under the weather.
Manuka honey is super hydrating
One of the reasons manuka honey is used in skincare and haircare products is that it is a natural humectant, which means it keeps things moist without relying on synthetic additives. Kiwi nutritionist Emily White wanted to create a hair oil that boosted shine and improved hair health without relying on silicone, like many other oils on the market, and so COMB Manuka Honey Infused Hair Oil was born. This cruelty-free luxurious hair hydrator is infused with manuka honey and does wonder for hair health with every home hair treatment, which is something we recommend doing regularly.
Manuka honey is nutritious
Like any honey, manuka honey is high in sugar and low in fat, fibre and protein. So, yes, it's basically just sugar. But it is a simple sugar which means it is more easily absorbed and turned into energy compared with refined sugars. Unlike other types of honey, manuka honey has additional nutritional advantages containing amino acids, which contribute to growth and function; B vitamins, which help release energy from food; calcium, which supports strong bones and teeth; iron, for red blood cell production; potassium, which supports the heart; and zinc, which is what helps wounds to heal and macronutrients to be processed.
Manuka honey can improve oral health
Unlike other sugary substances, honey might actually be helpful for better oral health. Studies have shown that manuka honey can combat harmful oral bacteria linked to plaque formation, gum inflammation and tooth decay. One study showed that chewing manuka honey-chew after a meal helped to reduce plaque better than sugar-free gum.
Manuka honey may aid digestion
According to very early research, manuka honey might offer relief to IBS sufferers, decreasing the intensity of its associated symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. A 2008 study tested the effect of manuka honey on rats and found that it improved antioxidant status and reduce inflammation. Many people find that a hot cup of boiling water mixed with apple cider vinegar and a dash of manuka honey is a great way to help digestion.