THE QUEEN OF BEAUTY: Manuka Honey

 

G’day Gorgeous!

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.

FUN FACTS:

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)
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc

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:

0-4 Non-therapeutic

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]

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You can get Manuka Honey on Amazon and at health food stores. 

Try it and let me know your results! 

7 WAYS TO GET AN IMMUNE SYSTEM LIKE WONDER WOMAN

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Who has time to be in bed for a week with the flu or a cold? None of us. The season is here and I am bound & determined to keep my immune system as strong as possible. There are bad habits many of us have that weaken our systems and make us susceptible to germs and viruses. It takes a bit more effort than merely using hand sanitizer or taking extra vitamin C although both of those are good habits.

Join me in being as strong as possible this winter:

  1. GET MORE Zzz’s. When we have poor sleeping habits it lowers our immune system and reduces the numbers of killer cells that fight germs. If you’re a night owl, try going to bed earlier. If it’s possible- take a catnap during the day.
  2. CHILL OUT. Chronic stress does a royal number on your immune system and there’s a major decline in the system’s ability to fight disease. A hot bath is not going to do the trick. Try creating a lifestyle of stress relieving activities like painting, kickboxing or yoga.
  3. NO COMMUNAL PENS. I’m guilty of using the communal pens at the bank and we can’t get around using the credit/debit card machine touchpad pen. (that’s when the hand sanitizer comes in handy) Carry your own pen for bank deposits and to various meetings in your office. Politely tell co-workers your pen is off limits due to it being flu season. Encourage them to use their own pens as well. Keep a box of inexpensive ballpoint pens in your office for co-workers. Tell them they can keep it!
  4. GET YOUR GIGGLE ON. Because the days are shorter, darker and colder- our mood takes a dip during winter. Laughing actually activates stress busting hormones and increases immune cells.
  5. LIMIT THE BOOZE. Ok, I know this is a challenge during winter because of all the holiday parties, but be mindful of limiting your intake.  Alcohol can actually damage the immune system because it prevents nutrients from feeding the immune system. Once the alcohol gets into the blood stream, it begins reducing the number of white blood cells making it difficult to fight off disease.
  6. GIRL TIME. It’s a scientific fact that women who create regular genuine friendships and connect on a regular basis have stronger immune systems. With the busyness of the holiday season on top of cramming in work before your time off, it’s easy to bypass quality time with friends. If you can’t grab coffee, at least have a fun phone chat. You’ll both benefit from the boost.
  7. POP THE SUPP’S. We will never get the amount of immune building nutrients we need from meals. It’s important to consistently take the proper supplements to strengthen your system. Last week with the first temperature dip, I ordered a great supplement filled with immune boosting nutrients like camu camu which has antiviral properties and 60 times more vitamin C than an orange. It’s also filled with amazing nutrients for mental alertness, mood balance, anti-inflammatory properties, energy and healthy skin/hair/nails.

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What habits do you need to change?

Take good care of you, sista.

Love, Tiff

MY NEW BFF: Coconut Oil

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I just have a quick, but very important beauty + health tip today….

I recently mentioned coconut oil (my new BFF) on the Facebook Community and several ladies commented and shared their favorite way to use it.  Ok, so I guess coconut oil has lots of BFF’s.  I’m glad to hear it because this stuff is amazing internally and externally.  Many of you here on the blog are not “facebookers” so I wanted to make sure you got this great info as well.

I have been using coconut oil for the past few years, but only on occasion.  I would use it in the winter as a deep conditioning treatment on my hair or as a moisturizer on my skin when it was super dry, but that was about it. Recently, I have been cooking with it more and it’s delish!  Substitute it for the cooking oil you are currently using.  I switch off between the coconut oil and EVOO.  The list of health benefits from coconut oil is a mile long:

  • hair care
  • skin care
  • stress relief
  • maintaining cholesterol levels
  • weight loss
  • increased immunity
  • proper digestion and metabolism
  • relief from kidney problems
  • heart diseases
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • HIV and cancer
  • dental care
  • bone strength

The benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and soothing properties. (http://www.organicfacts.net)  It even worked on my chihuahua’s hotspots.  I tried several different natural home remedies as well as over-the-counter lotions on her skin and nothing worked as fast as coconut oil.   Make sure to get organic virgin coconut oil that has not been bleached, refined or hydrogenated.

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Be beautiful inside + out!

Love, Tiff