Manuka Honey

Native to New Zealand, Manuka honey has recently become the love child for all things healing. Those who love it not only refer to it as the champagne of honey, but they tout it as a medicinal elixir. It has been said to ward off inflammation, bacteria, viruses and keep your gut healthy, as well as being akin to antibiotics. “Its significant antibacterial actions may be related to its low ph level and high sugar content, which is enough to hinder the growth of microbes,” says Isabelle Abrams MA, NNT, BACH expert, a private nutrition service.

Here are ways that this sweet cure-all can help soothe what ails you.

Breakout banisher 

No matter how old you are the prospect of a pimple is still aggravating. Adding Manuka honey to your daily skin care regimen can be the key to helping control those unsightly breakouts. In fact, researchers have found that its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties can help to keep pimples in check. “There is no magic amount you need to use, like in normal protocols,” says Modrn Sanctuary's Dr. Lana Butner ND,  LAc. “Apply a thin layer twice daily to your face.”

Wound healer

While the FDA approved the use of Manuka honey as an aid for treating wounds back in 2007, its healing properties were discovered centuries ago. “It is one of the oldest traditional remedies used by many cultures,” Abrams says. “I often recommend it to my clients as a healing remedy.” Though further studies are needed to explore its active components, in a study published in the journal of Current Drug Metabolism researchers found that Manuka honey can promote wound healing and tissue regeneration.

Night Cap

If you have ever experienced a sleepless night — and millions do every night — you understand the misery that comes from feeling exhausted the next day. While there are meds for those who are considered insomniacs, short-term issues can be resolved with a dollop of this sweet treat added to a cup of herbal tea before bed. Manuka honey helps the body to release the sleep hormone melatonin into the brain, which can lead to more peaceful Zzz’s.   

Gut protector

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common symptom of peptic ulcers is stomach pain due to open sores that erupt on the lining of your stomach and the upper part of your small intestine. The causes range from infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and long-term use of aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen and Aleve. Research suggests that Manuka honey can be a cost-effective treatment to help calm symptoms, promote healing and its antibacterial components can be useful against H.pylori.  

Cough suppressant

”My favorite way to take Manuka honey is on a spoon a couple of times a day if using it for protection (against getting sick),” Abrams says. She also suggests adding a little cinnamon, cardamom or raw cocoa powder if it’s too sweet. But if you are already battling a cough, research shows it can be as effective as the suppressant ingredient, Dextromethorphan at quieting that tickle in your throat. In a recent study that looked at kids ages 2 and older with upper respiratory tract infections who were given 2 tsp at night, there was a reduction in coughing and improvement of sleep. But since there is a risk of infant botulism Abrams and other experts warn that it should not be given to children younger than age 1. “It tastes wonderful, so children will consume it, but babies and infants should not be fed Manuka honey,” she says.