We’re back from an amazing trip to my hubby’s homeland of Australia. Such a wonderful time with his family! Family truly is everything. We helped his parents move from the mainland over to the stunning state of Tasmania to be closer to the grandkids. A beautiful new chapter for everyone and we will make it our 2nd home!
Aside from the family time, one of the things I love most about traveling is learning about the local foods, plants, animal life (we got to feed kangaroos and learned all about the nasty Tasmanian Devil.. yes, it’s a real thing not just a cartoon character), fashion and beauty rituals. For months, I’ve been hearing about the beauty benefits of Manuka Honey which is native to Tasmania and the neighboring country of New Zealand. Of course, I had to pick some up and give it a try.
To recoup from 36 hours of travel and intense jet lag, I’ve been detoxing my body with lots of ACV & lemon water, epsom salt & baking soda bath, cat naps, light walks and a DIY mask with the Manuka Honey. Love that it lived up to the hype! Here is the recipe I used:
- 2 Tablespoons of Manuka Honey
- 2 big dashes (about 1/2 a Teaspoon) of Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Rosewater (make sure not to use too much of the mixture will get too runny)
Simply mix together in a ceramic or glass bowl and apply all over a dry clean face. You can use a brush or just use your fingertips like I did! Let it set for about 20 minutes then use a warm wet washcloth to remove. Use a cotton pad saturated with rosewater to get any residual stickiness off. Apply your usual moisturizer.
WHY THE MANUKA & CINNAMON COMBO?
Cinnamon is an antiseptic so it will reduce the bacteria that causes acne. It also reduces inflammation and redness, stimulates circulation, exfoliates and revitalizes the skin by drawing blood and oxygen to the surface of your skin, leaving it clear and glowing. WooHoo!
Manuka honey, produced in New Zealand and Tasmania, AU by bees that pollinate the Manuka bush (which is a Tea Tree variety), is one of the most unique and beneficial forms of honey in the world. There are many Manuka honey uses that range from healing sore throats and digestive illnesses, to curing Staph infections and gingivitis.
What makes Manuka honey different is its amazing nutritional profile. Regular raw honey is already known for its tremendous nutritional and immune boosting abilities. Generally speaking, the typical raw unfiltered honey is a rich source of:
- Amino acids
- B vitamins (B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid)
Yet with Manuka honey, the nutritional content is up to 4 times that of normal flower honeys. This is what is called the Unique Manuka Factor.
Unique Manuka Factor
In 1981, researchers at the New Zealand University of Waikato discovered that Manuka honey has a considerably higher level of enzymes than regular honey. These enzymes create a natural hydrogen peroxide that works as an antibacterial. Some strains of this New Zealand honey are particularly rich in hydrogen peroxide, methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone.
This medicinal trilogy helps make up what is referred to as the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF), a global standard in identifying and measuring the antibacterial strength of Manuka. (3) Essentially, the UMF is a guarantee that the honey being sold is of a medicinal quality.
UMF is not found in the nectar of all Manuka flowers and, comparatively speaking, regular Manuka only contains the hydrogen peroxide antibacterial property that is common to most types of honey.
What separates UMF Manuka from other Manuka varieties is that it has both the natural hydrogen peroxide and its own natural UMF antibacterial property, which greatly enhances it effectiveness. The UMF properties of Manuka is extremely stable and, unlike the hydrogen peroxide common in most honey, is not easily destroyed by heat, light and enzymes in the body.
How to Verify Genuine UMF Manuka Honey
The minimum UMF rating recognized is UMF5, however, it is not considered beneficial unless it carries a UMF 10+ level of antibacterial activity in the honey. Anything ranging from UMF10-UMF15 is a useful level, and anything UMF16 and up is considered a superior quality.
Genuine UMF Manuka Honey will have these four things:
- It will have a UMF trademark clearly labeled on the front of the container.
- It will be from a New Zealand UMF licensed company and labelled in New Zealand.
- It will have the UMF company’s name and license number on the label.
- It will have a UMF rating number of 5-16+. If it is labeled without the UMF or without a number, then it is not the genuine article.
This means that a UMF rating of 20+ is equivalent in strength to a 20% solution of phenol. The ideal UMF rating varies depending on your purpose, but laboratory studies have shown that manuka honey with a non-peroxide activity level of UMF®12 to UMF®15 is effective against a wide range of very resistant bacteria.
Here is an explanation of what manuka honey UMF you should use:
4-9 Maintenance level with general honey health benefits
10-14 Supports natural healing and bacterial balance
15+ Superior levels of phenols that are highly therapeutic but shouldn’t exceed taking 1 tbsp at a time
[via Dr. Axe]
You can get Manuka Honey on Amazon and at health food stores.
Try it and let me know your results!