Mānuka honey and its benefits

Mānuka honey is a monofloral honey produced in Australia and New Zealand from the nectar of the mānuka tree.

Mānuka honey is a monofloral honey produced in Australia and New Zealand from the nectar of the mānuka tree.

Salma Abdel-Azim, Contributor

Being a teenager in high school… It’s great, but there’s one thing that really unfortunate about it. ACNE and BAD SKIN! But there is hope for teenagers everywhere and it is found in mānuka honey!

Mānuka honey is made by bees that feed on the flowers of the mānuka bush, the tea tree, in New Zealand. What makes this honey stand out is that this honey is darker, richer, and is basically like honey flavored peanut butter. It sounds a bit weird, but that’s the way it can be described. Another difference is the honey is untampered with and all the proteins are left in tact. Grocery store honey is boiled, so all its benefit is filtered out of it because of its boiling at the point it gets to the isles. Testing in 2011 actually showed that many jars of honey at the grocery stores actually contain very little actual honey. Manuka honey is the only honey approved for medical use. In fact, it is used in some hospitals on wounds to prevent infection.

This honey has many benefits: getting rid of blisters, cleansing, brightening and softening skin, reducing acne, getting rid of dark circles (there’s a problem solver), reducing redness or inflammation, it can be used as an antibiotic. To reduce acne, mix a teaspoon of the honey with a bit of water. Then, smooth it over your your face, or the desired area, and leave it there for 5-10 minutes a day for the desired effect.  For a weekly mask, mix the mānuka honey with lemon juice and leave it for two hours on your face to make your skin silky smooth and get rid of dark circles or discoloration. For spot treatment, like a particular zit that’s annoying you, put honey over the spot, apply a band-aid to it and leave for 30 minutes or overnight for maximum effect. To be used as an antibiotic, such as when having a sore throat or a cold, take two teaspoons a day, preferably once in the morning and once at night.  Of course, if there’s a major problem, go to the doctor, but if you have something minor, you can use it.

But not all mānuka is the same; in fact you can buy different strengths of it. Mānuka honey has a grade system which is called UMF, Unique Mānuka Factor. It’s a grade used to indicate its strength, and the recommended grade is 15. It does go up to 20, but anymore than that could be too much for your body. Manuka honey can be purchased online, like on Amazon, but most likely will not be found in grocery stores. 500 grams of certified manuka honey (it can be faked) UMF 15 is around $70. This may seem like a lot, but most used include teaspoons or less, so it should last a very long time.

As teenagers it is often stressful to have to deal with acne. But if you have any problems with acne, scarring, dark circles, basically anything relating to your skin, or minor sickness, you need to try mānuka honey. It’s effective and definitely worth the money.