Scientific name: Leptospermum scoparium mel
How could we forget to introduce one of our star ingredients! When we decided to provide our family and customers with effective natural skincare alternatives, we wanted to make sure that children and adults with skin conditions were well taken care of. As beekeepers, we didn’t have to look too far; the answer was in our own backyard! Manuka honey is a soothing yet powerful ingredient which has several properties that promote healing.
Manuka honey is produced when bees feed on nectar from theLeptospermum scoparium (Manuka) plant, and indigenous peoples from Australia and New Zealand have been using it in traditional medicine for many years. At Beetanicals, we sell Manuka honey MGO 263+ (medium) strength.
Why Manuka honey, instead of just any old flowers? While ordinary honey hasantimicrobial properties from high sugar and a low (acidic) pH, Manuka honey is far stronger due to high levels of the naturally occurring chemical methylglyoxal (MGO). MGO is produced during dehydration of a phytochemical in manuka flowers, and can be present at over 70 times the level of other honeys. Manuka honey contains other beneficial substances besides MGO. These include a type of natural antioxidant known as phenolics, which may contribute to its wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties by protecting cells and tissues from damage. Another, leptosin, isonly found in Manuka honey and can inhibit inflammation.
Manuka honey is increasingly popular at home and in medical practice to speed the healing of inflammation, wounds and infections. At a strength of MGO 263+, or UMF 10+, Manuka honey has been found to act against a wide range of bacterial species that commonly cause infections in humans. This is why we include it in our Bee Soothed Balm, suitable for children one year old and up. Although we still need more large clinical trials to see exactly what types of Manuka honey work best for certain infections, there are many lab studies, clinical case reports and some early trials showing that it works in the real world.
Manuka honey is not recommended as a sole treatment forbacterial infections, but it can help to break up a contributing factor to persistent infections known as “biofilms”. It has been shown to reduce the formation of dental plaque better than xylitol chewing gum, which is a type of biofilm; however, it should only be an addition to your usual dental care, not a substitution. Manuka honey can also help relieve indigestion and has partial antibacterial activity againstH. pylori, which causes stomach ulcers.
We recommend MGO 263+ honey to prevent infections and aid healing of wounds or skin conditions. This is because our intestines house billions of friendly bacteria, which must keep in balance for us to stay healthy. A mildly antibacterial honey may help us keep harmful species in check, however, and has a taste closer to that of regular honey.
Whether you use it as a preventative or to help get over an infection, Manuka honey can be enjoyed as a teaspoon stirred into tea. Alternatively, combine a pinch each of Kakadu plum powder, lemon myrtle powder and ginger with a teaspoon of Manuka honey, for a Bee Well Immune Boosting tea. We recommend our Bee Soothed Balm for skin conditions. While we do not advise you to use Manuka honey as a stand-alone treatment, it can be a fantastic preventative and addition to other therapies.
To see our Manuka honey and balm, please click on the links below:
Written by: Tanya Stanley & Alexandra Preston - Naturopath - BHSc (Nat)
Testimonial from a mum using our Manuka honey:
“Love it, love it, love it! How lucky are we to have this locally produced jar of goodness available for our children. My 3 year old daughter struggles with a terrible cough for weeks at the end of each cold she endures in addition to a nasty cough during the cold/ viral infection at times. I found cough medicines on the market pretty much useless, and prior to coming across this liquid gold was at my wits end with sleepless nights during these periods for both me and her, which took its toll on the whole family. I cannot rave enough about this product and feel so privileged to have a natural, high quality, and effective resource, knowing as a mum who cares I am giving my child the best. The antibacterial qualities are a bonus and the kids love the taste, asking for a teaspoon of their 'honey medicine'. I use this product for coughs and colds to boost their immune system and in conjunction with the chest balm. I did at first use however explain to the kids it was special honey medicine and different to toast honey, so as they were prepared for the different taste - they loved it all the same.”- Belinda (Vic)