You may have seen Manuka honey on shelves at the supermarket and wondered why it cost much more than ordinary honeys. Then just before last christmas, I was totally debilitated, run down, tired, had no energy and felt awful. Coupled with all those symptoms I had a cold. I’m not one to believe in putting chemicals in my body, so taking any over the counter medication certainly does not appeal.

Discovering the joys of Manuka honey

I was bemoaning my lot to a very good friend and she told me to try Manuka. She said she took it regularly, has masses of energy and always looks great. So I thought why not?  I found a 10+ strength, as that was actually all they had in stock). I took it several times during the day. It was immediately wonderful because I had totally lost my appetite, and the honey with a thick slice of lemon in hot water was very gentle on my system. By Wednesday morning I felt much better. I took more on Wednesday and Thursday, and I couldn’t believe how much better I felt.

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It was almost miraculous. No actually it was miraculous, and I have sworn by it ever since. Just last week, a friend had the most awful cough and recurring tonsilliti, and nothing from the doctor had helped, so I recommended Manuka to her. As I was not feeling my best either, feeling very cold and extremely tired (yet again), I took some during the evening and the following morning and felt so much better thanks to the ‘wonder drug’ of Manuka.manuka honey

The history and science of Manuka

Honey has been known for thousands of years to have curing powers and was used before the discovery of antibiotics for dressing wounds. Throughout history, there have been mentions of it, in ancient Greece and Rome. In Egypt it was said that on opening some tombs, they found honey in jars that was still perfectly fine! And of course in the bible they talked of the promised land as ‘the land of milk and honey’!

But honey is a lot different today. As with everything, you get what you pay for. Regular honey that you find in the local supermarket is probably not much more than high fructose corn syrup. Manuka honey is made by bees that feed on the flowers of the Manuka bush, also known as the tea tree, in New Zealand. We all know how good tea tree properties are for us. New Zealand’s Maori were the first to identify the healing properties of Manuka and some of their remedies and tonics are still used today.

What makes Manuka honey different is its amazing nutritional profile. For a start, the typical raw unfiltered honey is a rich source of so many nutrients, including amino acids, B vitamins such as B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin,  and pantothenic acid. It also has calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.  No wonder it’s so good for us.

Healing power behind Manuka numbers

The UMF is the Unique Manuka Factor, a quality trademark and grading system identifying natural unadulterated Manuka honey that has a special unique natural property found only in some strains of Manuka honey. This grading system ensures the purity and quality of the Manuka Honey, because not all Manuka honeys are the same. It differentiates strengths to ensure you are getting the real Manuka.

It must have a number on the jar and be made in New Zealand by a licensed user to provide optimal health benefits. It is recommended that a 10+ is ideal, as this enables natural healing and bacterial balance.  They do say that 15+ is helpful, although of higher intensity shouldn’t be taken too often, as it’s too concentrated, so stick to the 10+ and you’ll be fine. Manuka honey is great for getting rid of sore throats.  It’s said to heal wounds and burns, in fact there have been several studies that have come out recently describing how Manuka honey can help cure gingivitis and periodontal disease.

It can be used to fight IBS.  Manuka can also aid restful sleep.   Stress can cause all sorts of illnesses and diseases and a good night’s sleep might not be something you get on a regular basis.  By adding honey to milk at bedtime it can help the body release melatonin into the brain which is necessary for deep sleep, which will ultimately enable you to cope easier with the day to day stuff that comes up.

It’s said that Manuka honey enhances vitality, youthful energy and been known to improve skin tone and has so many health benefits In my case Manuka honey has certainly boosted my energy and made me feel so much better, so who am I to disagree? All I can say is try it, it’s delicious, and who knows what wonderful health benefits you’ll get as a result. Enjoy.

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