Sweet, sticky and good for you – that’s Manuka honey. Go on, lick some
Spread it on toast, mixed into a sweet and sour sauce or drizzled artistically over your girlfriend – we don’t care how you indulge in Manuka honey because it’s a healthy habit you can afford to get addicted to.
All honeys are antibacterial to some degree, but Manuka honey – and specifically Manuka honey with a UMF rating, more on that later – has more than most. Its healing properties make it great for getting inside you but also for applying on the outside. You can apply it to your spots, wounds, boils and cracked skin – even patches of psoriasis – and its anti-lurgie capabilities will work their magic.
On internal matters, Manuka honey with a high UMF rating really kicks bacterical butt: studies have shown it can fight stomach ulcers by battling the bacteria helicobacter pylori, kill the sore-throat bacterias staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli and streptococcus pyogenes.
Now on to UMF – it stands for Unique Manuka Honey – and refers to the enhanced anti-bacterial properties contained within. Since no one has managed to pinpoint the exact ingredient that gives this honey its special powers, scientists have called it UMF. It is calculated by comparing the honey’s anti-bacterial strength against standard antiseptics – the higher the UMF figure, the stronger it is.
It’s so powerful that used in high-tech wound dressings it works as an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, provides osmotic action promoting faster healing and aids wound tissue regrowth. If you’d like to test the honey as a wound healer for yourself, get an ApiNate Dressing from comvita.co.uk for £39.95. For all other purposes, buy a supermarket Manuka honey – we recommend Sainsbury’s Manuka honey active 10+ (£5.99) for fantastic flavour.
Words by Siski Green