Nutritionists have been telling us to avoid processed foods and sugar, so it’s no surprise that ingredients from different parts of the world are taking up space in our pantry to replace them.
Manuka honey, which comes from New Zealand, is one of those superfoods that claims to help a host of ailments all in one teaspoonful. It’s collected from honeybees that forage at native manuka (or tea tree) trees in New Zealand, according to the NHS. Tea tree is well-known for its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity.
The active ingredient in the honey, methylglyoxal (MG) has been given a rating known as UMF (Unique Manuka Factor), which helps to differentiate the honey between the many fake products sold on the market. A rating of 10 or higher is considered therapeutic, explains DrWeil.com.
There’s also some star power behind it. Tennis player Novak Djokovic eats manuka honey every day for its antibacterial properties, according to his book, “Serve to Win,” and Scarlett Johansson uses it as a facial mask to open her pores.
Manuka honey is prescribed by various healthcare practitioners for ailments ranging from digestive problems to acne, but don’t expect your $5 jar — prices for the honey go upwards of $45 per 500 grams.
While some medicinal trials have been carried out to uncover the honey’s effects, other benefits are anecdotal. Read to see how manuka could help what ails you: