5 Benefits of Manuka Honey

Too bee or not to bee, that is the question.

At least when it comes to manuka honey, a type of honey that originates from certain parts of Australia and New Zealand.

It’s produced by bees that pollinate the flowers found on a manuka bush, a kind of tea tree.

Traditionally used to heal wounds, soothe a sore throat and prevent tooth decay, manuka honey has become a buzzy ingredient lately. And research shows it can also be used to help treat acne and prevent ulcers.

But is manuka honey right for you? Registered dietitian Bailey Flora, RD, shares the benefits of manuka honey, as well as whether it’s worth your time.

What is manuka honey?

Manuka honey has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

It gets its antibacterial effects from an active ingredient called methylglyoxal (MGO).

MGO is created in manuka honey thanks to the conversion of another compound known as dihydroxyacetone (DHA). A high concentration of DHA is found in the nectar of manuka flowers. The higher the concentration of MGO, the stronger the antibacterial effects of manuka honey.

Manuka honey is considered a monofloral honey, made mostly from the nectar of one kind of flower. Traditional honey is typically polyfloral honey, where the nectar comes from a variety of different flowers.

“The antibacterial effects of manuka honey are a lot higher than other honey counterparts,” says Flora. “It’s about 100 times higher than other traditional honey.”

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