Integrating Plant Medicine: Manuka Honey
Updated: Jun 22, 2020
Plants are truly magical and we are so beyond lucky to have all the amazing and biodiverse plants that we do on this plant. Mother Nature truly is beautiful and so bountiful in the medicines she provides us.
One of those being the Manuka plant. Manuka is a type of tree within the tea tree family, which is a whole other topic we will dive into another day. But the Manuka plant lives exclusively in New Zealand.
The benefits of Manuka are incredibly powerful! But we're not talking about the plant itself, instead it is Manuka honey that’s the bee’s knees. Again since this plant is exclusive to New Zealand, Manuka honey also must come from bees who collect from the Manuka plant in order to be deemed legit. And with Manuka honey, there is a sure fire way to know if it's legit. MGO a naturally occurring compound that stands for methylglyoxal is what makes Manuka honey so powerful.
Like most things in life, not all Manuka honey is created equally and MGO levels can vary. The good news is every jar of Manuka honey is tested and certified for their natural MGO content. The number of MGO tells you how much there is in the jar.
Different Strengths MGO
Generally speaking anything over 80 is a good amount, but if you are diluting your honey or if you’re looking for more of a medial grade, the higher the MGO the higher the benefits. MGO strength goes up into the 800s.
5 Benefits of Manuka Honey
Gut health is so important, and the production of good bacteria is crucial to helping keep your digestive system healthy. It has been said that Manuka honey helps healthy probiotic production. In a study published by the Institute of Food Science and Technology , they found that through taking consistent doses of Manuka Honey, it increased probiotic growth and decreased pathogen growth.
Manuka Honey has also been said to help with gut health issues such as gastric ulcers, easing stomach aches, improving digestion, and in my case eradicating H. Pylori.
In another study  they talk about the benefits of Manuka Honey and how it has been used in many cultures for it's healing benefits, stating that it is used "as a remedy for burns, cataracts, ulcers and wound healing, because it exerts a soothing effect when initially applied to open wounds."
Manuka Honey is widely known for its antiviral properties and its antibacterial properties making it a useful tool when clearing infections. [P.S.: Some even use on their animals wounds to help fight infection.]
Like many honeys, Manuka Honey is great for sore throats! Especially due to its anti-inflammatory properties and anti-viral properties it can be soothing, relieve soreness and help fight bad bacterias that are causing infection.
Also because of its antiviral properties and its antibacterial properties, Manuka Honey has been said to help treat acne. Soothing the areas and relieving swelling while also fighting bad bacterias that cause breakouts. Experts say to use it in the form of beauty products versus slathering honey on your face though because using the honey can actually clog your pores more.
Boosting Immune System
Honey in general is a great and natural way to boost your immune system and are known to contain high amounts of antioxidants, which can help fight free radicals. But Manuka Honey has even higher levels of antioxidants than your average honey, which can help boost the immune system.
Ways to use Manuka honey
Eat it raw
This isn’t the most pleasant, while it doesn’t have a terrible taste, it is rather unique. But some people love it! So hopefully that’s you!
Put it in your drinks
You can use Manuka honey like regular honey and use it to sweeten your tea or other drinks you would normally sweeten with honey. It’s more manageable for some people when consuming in a drink, but make sure you get a high dosage since it will be diluted.
Cook with it
You can drizzle some over your toast, yogurt bowls, fruit bowls, or really anything!
Use it for your skin and hair
Check out these 10 recipes for more ways to incorporate Manuka honey into your beauty routine
Protect and heal burns and wounds
By using Manuka honey on the affected area when wounded or burned, it has been known too quickly improve the recovery process and heal skin problems. This is due to its anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
My Experience with Manuka Honey
When I was diagnosed with H. Pylori I decided to take the natural route for eradicating the bacteria. My doctor told me I was risking my health and that I should take the Western route of popping pills, but my decision was firm. In that I learned about Manuka honey, it’s amazing benefits and how A LOT of people were using this to combat their H. Pylori as well for a myriad of other health issues/upkeep.
After a year of working with Manuka honey, cannabis, and a high dosage of vitamin C, I was able to eradicate my H. Pylori and live a fairly comfortable life. While there is still upkeep, I went from not being able to eat gluten, dairy, meat, fat, tomatoes, and other acidic foods to being able to a majority of those items again. Before Manuka honey, I would wake up with intense hunger pains and then get sick when I did eat. It was like having the flu for a year.
Many people have H. Pylori and are unaware as it can be mild for some, I recommend seeing your doctor and getting tested if you have stomach issues. But all in all, wether we have stomach issues or not, Manuka Honey is beneficial with a wide range of benefits and something we should all be thinking about integrating into our health routines.
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 Rosendale, D.I., Maddox, I.S., Miles, M.C., Rodier, M., Skinner, M. and Sutherland, J. (2008), High‐throughput microbial bioassays to screen potential New Zealand functional food ingredients intended to manage the growth of probiotic and pathogenic gut bacteria. International Journal of Food Science & Technology, 43: 2257-2267. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.2008.01863.x
Alvarez-Suarez, J.M.; Gasparrini, M.; Forbes-Hernández, T.Y.; Mazzoni, L.; Giampieri, F. The Composition and Biological Activity of Honey: A Focus on Manuka Honey. Foods 2014, 3, 420-432.
al Somal, N et al. “Susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to the antibacterial activity of manuka honey.”Journal of the Royal Society of Medicinevol. 87,1 (1994): 9-12.