What exactly is Manuka honey and is it worth all the buzz?

I was on the hunt for some good old organic honey at the supermarket about a week ago when I almost had a heart attack mid-aisle, right in front of the breakfast spreads. Why in the world was Manuka honey almost ten times more expensive than the rest?

I first heard about this type of honey through Kourtney (wait for it) Kardashian who in 2016 endorsed Manuka Doctor. The wellness obsessed reality star who boasts of leading a highly organic lifestyle had adopted this honey-based skincare regimen.

I didn’t think much of it then until I noticed an exorbitantly priced jar of Manuka honey and decided to do some research on it.

Manuka Flower

What is Manuka honey?

Believe it or not, not all honey is the same.

Manuka honey comes from the mountains of New Zealand where it’s made by bees that pollinate the native Manuka trees. The flowers happen to have compounds that contain more antibacterial properties than the average, therefore making Manuka honey more potent in its healing properties.

For centuries, honey has been used for medicinal purposes (both prevention and cure) and I can attest to that after having taken a teaspoon of it every morning throughout my childhood. It helps guard against viral infections since it acts as a natural antibiotic.

But whereas regular organic honey has an amazing nutritional profile that includes calcium, iron, Vitamin B, Potassium, zinc and amino acids, honey derived from the manuka bush is said to have four times the nutritive value!

Benefits of this New Zealand sweetener

If hearing some nutritional facts on Manuka honey hasn’t sold you, then perhaps the list below will. Some of the benefits include:

  1. Used as an ointment for wounds and cuts
  2. Boosts the immune system
  3. Clears infections
  4. Improves digestion
  5. Can be used topically to help with acne and eczema
  6. Reducing cholesterol
  7. Treating eye, ear and sinus infections

Notably, there are some studies that have come out inconclusive regarding the effectiveness of Manuka honey on some of these conditions.

That being said, the next time I come across this honey at the supermarket, you can be sure it’s getting right into my basket!

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