When trying to make healthier choices with sweeteners, many people will go to the grocery store and pick up honey as a sugar alternative. Local, raw honey is a wonderful way to sweeten your tea, make your own elderberry syrup, or you can use it to cook or bake, but don’t be fooled by the processed and pasteurized bottles on the grocery shelf. You can read this article from the Huffington Post for more details. (Think bear shaped plastic bottles.)
You can usually find healthy, raw, local honey at a local farmers market or the health food store. I get mine in bulk and bring my own container – I may have to find a bear shaped bottle for my healthy honey!
One of the very best types of honey is a bit more expensive, but it is well worth the extra money. It is called Manuka honey and it contains many healing properties. I actually helped my recurring stomach issues by taking two teaspoons of this every day!
After you read about all of the benefits of Manuka honey, you will see why we are saying, “Thank You, Honey!”
Manuka Honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the Manuka Bush. You may be more familiar with the terms Melaleuca and Tea Tree. Manuka honey comes only from these trees and, therefore, carries the anti-bacterial properties of tea tree.
You may have heard of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria and that is because bacteria can mutate and become resistant to elements that are attempting to destroy them. What is amazing about Manuka honey is that it destroys bacteria in a different manner, by drawing water out of the bacteria, making it impossible for the microbes to survive. To date, there has been no reported bacterium that has been able to develop a resistance to Manuka honey.
The nutritional content is up to four times that of normal flower honeys. This is what is called the Unique Manuka Factor. 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 its effectiveness. The UMF properties of Manuka are extremely stable and, unlike the hydrogen peroxide common in most honey, are not easily destroyed by heat, light and enzymes in the body. For medicinal purposes, the higher the UMF, the better.
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.
- 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 labeled 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.
How to Use Manuka Honey:
It is recommended you should take 1-2 tablespoons of Manuka honey a day. The easiest way is to just take it straight, but if it is a little too sweet for you, then you can add it to your favorite herbal tea, over yogurt, or on sprouted grain toast.
If you want to enhance the immune boosting effect or heal a sore throat, add a teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon. Research shows that the antimicrobial properties of cinnamon and Manuka honey are so powerful, that they can really help you recover fast! (click here to read the study)