Is Manuka honey worth the money? and is medicinal benefits proven?
Manuka honey originates from New Zealand, it is made from nectar collected by bees that forage on the wild manuka tree, which give it a distinctive flavour. So...what about its supposed health benefits?
Most honey is believed to have some bacteria killing properties because it contains chemicals that produce hydrogen peroxide. A study in 1991 from the Honey Research Unit - New Zealand demonstrated that when you remove the hydrogen peroxide from a range of honeys, manuka was the only type that retain its ability to kill bacteria. This is due to the presence of a unique ingredient, now identified as methylglyoxal, which has specific antimicrobial properties.
In response to this discovery, jars of manuka honey began to be marketed bearing a UMF number – "Unique Manuka Factor" – relating to how many bacteria the honey could kill once the hydrogen peroxide had been removed.
The labelling on jars has, however, caused some confusion. As well as the UMF rating, some jars display MGO, (methylglyoxal) which equates to the same sort of measurement, while others show NPA or TA. The NPA (non-peroxide activity) rating is similarly founded on the level of methyglyoxal the honey contains once the hydrogen peroxide has been removed. TA is instead the total activity, so this includes the hydrogen peroxide, which is present in normal honey. At the same time, some jars can be found with ‘Activity’ or ‘Active’ next to numbers, while some just have numbers alone with no explanation as to their justification.
What about its medical properties?
In terms of honey being used as a medicine, 'medical grade honey' is licensed around the world for wound care treatment. There have been many recent research developments stemming from Cardiff University which have shown honeys in general, and particularly manuka honey, as an effective aid with chronic wounds and MRSA (antibiotic-resistant infection).
It is very important to note that any honey used in this capacity will be medical-grade honey with the impurities removed: you should not apply any honey to your wounds at home.
Instead, many people buy it thinking that it might help with sore throats, gut problems or even allergies. So what is the evidence for these benefits?
There is not enough evidence that methylglyoxal survives being eaten, nor that it does any good inside the body. This is not an area in which a lot of independently-funded research has been done, but although there is as mall bit of evidence that in general honey can soothe a sore throat, there is not yet conclusive evidence to suggest that eating shop-bought manuka honey will be any more effective at this than a cheaper alternative. Similarly, there hasn’t been robust conclusive evidence to show it can be used to ease indigestion.
So, although some people will swear by its properties, this has not been backed up by clinical trials.
Its coming up to that time of year, where money is tight and expectations are high... well why not make some creams/ointments for your family/friends and work colleagues.
These will sit in the house for a while and be a reminder throughout the year, that you gifted a thoughtful and practical gift all under a tenner!
Here is some basic ideas... its a little messy, so suggest you do this when the kitchen is clear and dinner is over!
KOPAKOPA (PLANTAGO, PLANTAIN)
ARO - Kopakopa rau (leafs) and wai (water) are widely used for treating sunburns, stings, insect bites, rashes, burns, blisters, and cuts, also applied to swollen joints, sore muscles, sprains, sore feet sore throats, and mouth sores.
Kopakopa is a excellent wound healer.
ELEMENT PAPATŪĀNUKU (EARTH)
example what puts out fire over water is dirt (earth)
so for hot swelling (kopakopa poultice or paewhenua dock leaf) burns sun burn some eczema's (not medically proven - but we know it works for our guys)
So here goes....
100ml kopakopa oil
100ml kopakopa water
heat all ingredients genetly ( remembering if you over heat carrier oil's the medicinal properties will be lost)
heating genetly & separately
in a bowl add your water then put in your oil and with an electric blender on the lowest power setting, gently start to blend together then slowly pour your beeswax in to the mixture.
keep blending until you have a nice cream texture, some people blend slow & gently but we suggest blend fast once its a creamy consistency, it can take up to 20 minutes to blend some times more some times less - it varies on the temperature and quality of your equipment.
pour your cream in to a snap lock bag - just the cheap sandwich type bags
seal the bag up
cut the corner (piping bag effect)
pipe in to your jars and label keep in a cool place not directly in the sun (the heat and sun will expire your cream)
After 3 months if they have changed colour or changed scent - dispose and make some more for Easter!!!
change the Rau.. use kopakoa water & change the oil to another rau
(Tataramoa) or vice versa.
paewhenua water & kopakopa oil
manuka oil & kawakawa wai
Tanekaha water & Tohetake oil
kopakopa water & kawakawa oil
Enter your email address below to join our mailing list and have our latest news and member-only deals delivered straight to your inbox.
All Good Stuff!
Rhayne products are all Free of Sugar, Gluten, GMO, Dairy, Peanuts and have zero added Colourings or Preservatives.