Manuka honey comes from the manuka plant, officially known as Leptospermum scoparium. The plant is a bush native to New Zealand and Australia. Manuka honey is manufactured exclusively in New Zealand, and the manuka plant only blooms for a few weeks each year. Methylglyoxal is a compound that occurs naturally in manuka honey, and it is believed to have healing and medicinal properties. The compound forms from the plant nectar and increases as the honey ripens. Manuka honey is sold in varying grades of potency according to how much methylglyoxal is in the product. These grades are known as UMF (unique Manuka factor) ratings and range from zero to sixteen, where sixteen is considered a superior quality. Research into the health benefits of manuka honey is ongoing, and anecdotal evidence from patients suggests the honey aids health in the ways discussed below.
Soothes Sore Throats
Patients often use honey to relieve the pain associated with a sore throat, and many report manuka honey soothes sore throats as well. When choosing manuka honey for sore throat, individuals should opt for the highest UMF rating possible. Experts recommend stirring a teaspoon of manuka honey into herbal tea (with or without lemon) or boiling water, and patients may wish to do this once or twice a day. Some patients may want to take a teaspoon of manuka honey plain each morning, particularly if their sore throat is accompanied by a cough. Studies have suggested consuming plain manuka honey may act as an effective natural cough suppressant. While manuka honey can be an effective home remedy, patients should see their physician if their sore throat worsens or lasts longer than three days. In particular, they should seek medical care for a sore throat accompanied by stomach pain or a fever, both of which could potentially be signs of a more serious condition that needs antibiotics.
Learn more about the health benefits of manuka honey now.