The Best Honey (No really, it’s amazing)
Honey is one of nature’s greatest gifts to people.
Or, I suppose honey is one of the greatest gifts to us that bees can provide as there are thousands of other things that abound in nature that can improve our lives.
Like with most things I write about, some versions of honey are better than others.
And I don’t just mean that some of the honey grocery stores sell have been cut with fake sweeteners and aren’t actually real honey.
What I mean is that there are some versions of honey that are actually superstars in the realm of helping us to maintain optimal health.
One of those is manuka honey.
Perhaps you’ve heard of it before.
Manuka honey is a rare kind of honey that only comes from New Zealand, and only from bees that pollinate the manuka bush.
So what makes it better than other honey?
The fact that it has extensive antibacterial benefits. In fact, some people call it nature’s premier antibiotic.
In this article I’m going to review some of the scientific evidence to support manuka honey use as well as some recommendations on where to get it.
A Potent Killer of Bacteria = Feeling Wonderful
Manuka honey derives its antibacterial properties from a compound called methylglyoxal.
There’s substantial research to support methylglyoxal’s use to keep infections at bay. So much evidence that the FDA has even approved its use in clinical settings.
So, let me show you how it could help you in your everyday life.
1 - Could help support great digestive health:
As I’ve written about in previous articles about gut health, helping to maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria is key to supporting the health of your gut microbiome.
And the better off your microbiome is the better you can extract nutrients from food, the less gas and bloating you’ll deal with, and the better you’ll likely feel.
Manuka honey, being an antibacterial, can help to positively modify the presence of certain bacteria in your gut.
Well, studies in animals have shown that manuka honey could help to discourage the overgrowth of problematic bacteria like Clostridium difficile.
Traditionally antibiotics are used to kill this bacteria. The problem with this course of treatment is that a course of antibiotics could wipe out good bacteria and expose your gut to an over-colonization of bad bacteria.
Using manuka instead of antibiotics may help to avoid losing good bacteria in the gut while working to keep bad bugs at bay!
2 - Helps to improve wound healing:
Another thing that manuka can be very effective for is helping to heal wounds.
Rather than relying on neosporin or other topical antibiotics, you can use manuka.
A quick anecdote about how effective it is. A few years ago Dr. Lantelme’s oldest son chopped deep into his thumb with a machete; he went all the way through the nail and almost to the bone.
All Dr. Lantelme had him do was clean the wound out with soap and water and then he put manuka honey on it and super glued the nail to his finger.
Within a few weeks the wound had healed completely, and no infection had taken place.
So while that’s an interesting story, we can’t use a single story as the basis of using something like manuka to heal your body.
Fortunately there is clinical evidence to show manuka honey is great at helping support wound healing.
An excerpt from an article about manuka’s health benefits reads as follows:
“Multiple studies have shown that manuka honey can enhance wound healing, amplify the regeneration of tissue and even decrease pain in patients suffering from burns.
For example, one two-week study investigated the effects of applying a manuka honey dressing on 40 people with non-healing wounds.
The results showed that 88% of the wounds decreased in size. Moreover, it helped create an acidic wound environment, which favors wound healing.
What’s more, manuka honey may help heal diabetic ulcers.
A Saudi Arabian study found that manuka honey wound dressings, when used in combination with conventional wound treatment, healed diabetic ulcers more effectively than conventional treatment alone.
Additionally, a Greek study showed that manuka honey wound dressings reduced healing time and disinfected wounds in patients with diabetic foot ulcers.
Another study observed the effectiveness of manuka honey in healing eyelid wounds after surgery. They found all eyelid wounds healed well, regardless of whether the incisions were treated with manuka honey or vaseline.”
With this info in mind, the next time you hurt yourself you could consider using manuka honey as opposed to traditional methods.
The main reason you’d do this is because it works.
The other reason is that it works and it doesn’t necessarily create the risk of creating antibiotic resistant superbugs we’re worried could grow out of control in the next few years.
3 - Helps crush sore throats:
Sore throats are generally a sign that your body is under attack from some kind of pathogen.
And when they hurt, they really hurt.
As you may have guessed, manuka honey could help soothe a sore throat.
Some of you probably don’t find that all too surprising since a Hot Toddy is a go-to for your seasonal distress.
So what does it do?
The first has to do with how manuka’s high viscosity can help coat your throat and heal raw and exposed nerves. Think of it as a healing balm for your throat that also helps to knock out the bacteria that caused the irritation in the first place.
One of the leading causes of sore throat is a bacteria called Streptococcus mutans, a type of bacteria responsible for sore throats.
A study of people who had chronically sore throats owing to other medical conditions took manuka. Within a few weeks time the numbers of Streptococcus mutans they found were on their way down and sore throat incidences waned as well.
Manuka honey is that effective…
But you ought to know that studies have shown that regular honey can be just as effective as a common cough suppressant in helping to keep coughs away and help heal throats!
Where to get it?
So we don’t carry manuka honey.
In fact, it’s not that common since it’s derived from a small group of bees on a sparsely-populated island in the Southern Hemisphere.
The best place to get it, then, is from beekeepers who raise bees that produce certified Manuka honey.
I found that New Zealanders are highly protective of this resource. And this website here gives you a list of certified Manuka honey.
We’ll look into getting manuka honey here in the store. But for now, shop wisely using the resource I listed above.