Is Manuka Honey One of the Best Organic Skincare Ingredients
by Marie Hailes
for this is that studies (1&2) have shown that bees can travel up to and sometimes
over 1.7km (that's 1-2 miles to me and you) to feed and collect pollen, meaning
that pollen from GMO crops and pesticide sprayed crops can be brought into the hive
contaminating the honey.

What makes it unique?

Once the bees have gathered the nectar they take it back to the hive where they add
an enzyme called glucose oxidase to preserve the honey, which then slowly releases
small amounts of the antibacterial agent hydrogen peroxide into the honey.

So how does this differ from other honey? Whilst all honey contains hydrogen
peroxide this varies in potency by almost 100 fold across all types of honey, and
when exposed to heat and light the enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide is
destroyed, and so is the antibacterial property of the honey.

Professor Peter Molan at the Honey Research Unit of Waikato University, New
Zealand, has discovered that what makes Manuka Honey unique is the presence of
Methylglyoxal (MGO) in high quantities (between 100 and 1000mg/Kg). This non-
peroxide ingredient is what gives this honey its unique antibacterial, anti microbial,
antiviral, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti fungal properties. A
Methylglyoxal level of 400 mg/kg and higher in the manuka honey gives it the power
to destroy a very large number of destructive microorganisms, viruses and bacteria.

Another unique aspect of MGO is that it is stable, meaning that it is not broken down
by heat or light, or the catalase enzyme present in body tissue, hence its unique
ability to heal wounds.It also does not require dilution or oxygen to become active
meaning that it can work in wound dressings, internally (in the digestive tract/
stomach), and at a more potent level. This unique property has been termed the
Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). But beware research has shown not all Manuka honey
contains UMF and not all are strong enough to have a therapeutic effect. UMF needs
to be 16+ at least to have significant anti-bacterial and healing properties and must
be active.

So the words you are looking for on the label of your tub of Manuka Honey are
organic, active, and UMF of between 16+ and 24+. The higher the UMF level, the
higher the health benefits.

So What are the Benefits of Manuka Honey?

Most people will know that this honey has antibacterial properties, and that it's good
for their health but most won't be sure why this is or how it works. Professor Molan
at Waikato University Honey Research Unit in New Zealand has been researching the
properties and benefits of Manuka Honey for over 28 years and has made some
interesting discoveries the latest of which is that it has anti-ageing properties as it is
able to stimulate collagen synthesis in the skin helping to plump out fine lines and
wrinkles in organic facials.

It is also anti-inflammatory making it a great organic skincare ingredient. It can help
to heal conditions such as acne, stomach ulcers, arthritis, and eczema. It can be both
taken internally and applied topically to the skin. This is because Manuka honey's high
sugar content creates a waterless environment in which the bacteria that are
infecting a wound are unable to survive. Also, thanks to the presence of an enzyme
called glucose oxidase, it is acidic, which adds to its unique antibacterial properties. In
fact Christie Hospital in Didsbury is now using Manuka honey in the treatment of
patients with mouth and throat cancers. Of course the most well known benefit of
Manuka Honey is that it is anti-bacterial. The Center for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) in the US has stated that at least 70% of bacteria are now
immune to at least one kind of antibiotic. No bacteria are known to have developed a
resistance to Active Manuka Honey.

Manuka Honey destroys bacteria by drawing all the moisture out of the cells. It
damages the environment that bacteria multiples in and in turn kills bacteria. Medical
researchers in Trenton New Jersey are now producing a Medical Gauze made with
this honey. In the case of MRSA, studies show that it interferes with the separation
process when the bacteria try to multiply thus, preventing MRSA from spreading. It
has also been shown to increase good bacteria in the stomach helping to aid
digestion and strengthen the immune system.

Why it is used in beauty treatments:

Next time... some handy home remedies for common ailments that Manuka Honey
can help ease.

About The Author

Marie Hailess is a fan of and has been using it for more than 10
years. Marie works as an organic skincare buyer for a boutique beauty store sourcing
and natural and organic beauty products.
Where does it come from?

Manuka Honey is produced by honey
bees that collect nectar from the
Manuka Bush or Leptospermum
Scoparium, a tea tree indigenous to
New Zealand. New Zealand has one
of the highest standards of organic
certification for honey in the world.

In fact one of the unique things that
New Zealand does that many other
countries don't, is insist that the bee
hives, the land they are on and the
surrounding land for a three-five mile
radius is certified organic. The reason
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