From the ancient Egyptian Papyri to Traditional Chinese Medicine, honey has a long documented use as a food and a medicine.
Manuka honey in particular displays a multitude of healing properties such as antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-fungal and wound healing. Not all honey's are created equally and honey produced by honey bees feeding from the delicate flowers of the indigenous New Zealand Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium), is the most prized of all for its unique beneficial compounds.
UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) is a measure of the attributes and values that make up Manuka honey, and assures purity and quality. KFactor is another grading system to measure the active components available in the honey. Below a certain UMF or KFactor, there is little added medicinal value in the Manuka in comparison to other natural honeys, so it is important to select a Manuka honey with a UMF or KFactor of 12 or more as a minimum to ensure that you are getting a good dose of healing benefits.
My jar of Wedderspoon 100% Raw Manuka Honey, lives between my medicine cabinet and bathroom as I use it on at least a weekly basis. Here are some of my favourite uses:
1. Manuka Honey Face Mask
- With a warm face towel and your favourite cleansing oil or wash, gently cleanse your face. Try Rocky Mountain Soap Company's Transformative Cleansing Oil for a 100% Natural cleanse.
- After cleansing, hold a warm towel over your face to gently open your pores.
- Using a spoon (never dip your fingers directly into the jar to avoid potential contamination), apply about a teaspoon of Manuka honey to your fingers and spread over your skin avoiding the eye area.
- Leave the mask on your face for 15-20 minutes.
- Gently remove the mask with a warm face towel.
- Rehydrate with a natural moisturiser and enjoy the glow!
2. Manuka Honey Facial Scrub
- Simply add half a teaspoon of sugar to 1 teaspoon Manuka honey and mix in the palm of your hand before applying gently to cleansed and warmed skin as above.
- I like to leave the scrub on for 10 minutes to let the Manuka soften the skin first.
- Wet your hands with warm water and gently rub the Manuka sugar scrub into your skin.
- Wash off any remaining honey and sugar.
3. Wound Healing
Due to its antiseptic properties, Manuka honey can be used to treat cuts, burns and ulcers.
- Apply a thin layer of Manuka to the affected area and apply a plaster bandage to protect the skin further if required.
- A combination of Manuka honey with Coconut oil in equal parts can also be applied to larger areas or irritated skin areas affected by eczema or psoriasis.
4. Manuka Dry Scalp and Hair Treatment
- Combine 1 Tablespoon Manuka Honey, 20 drops of Argan oil, 3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil. (You may need to increase the quantities if you have longer hair).
- Optional: add a few drops of Rosemary or Lavender oil to the mix. Rosemary is stimulating and can help promote hair growth while Lavender helps to improve blood circulation to the scalp and balance sebum production.
- Apply to the scalp and hair and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Wrap in a warm towel.
- Wash out with a natural shampoo such as the all natural Rosemary Mint Shampoo from Rocky Mountain Soap Company, which contains organic Apple Cider Vinegar to help remove the coconut oil. I like to rinse and shampoo twice after using a hair treatment to ensure that it removes all residue.
5. Digestive upsets and Gut Flora
The anti-inflammatory action of Manuka Honey can help soothe an irritated or inflamed stomach lining. Additionally Manuka has been shown to improve gut flora and can be taken orally on a regular basis.
- Take 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey 3 times per day to help maintain healthy gut flora.
- Add Manuka honey to this Golden Mylk Recipe for an extra healing treat. Add the Manuka honey in just before serving the mylk warm to ensure that heat does not destroy any of the properties in the honey.
With a jar of quality Manuka Honey in the cupboard, you will always have a truly effective natural remedy on hand.
Happy Healthiness my Lovelies! xx