At Manukora, our team is always inspired by the ways Mānuka honey provides health and healing benefits. Interestingly, the humble Mānuka tree is full of surprising ways it can be used, from herbal tea to healing skin irritations.
Here are a few interesting uses:
Read on to find out more.
For centuries the Mānuka tree has been a source for health and healing. The Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, were the first to discover the powerful properties the Mānuka tree could provide. Today the honey stands centre stage as the most prized product from the Leptospermum Scoparium plant, commonly known as Mānuka. However, in addition to the honey it produces, the tree can be used in many other ways.
Teas and infusions
The humble Mānuka leaf is often discarded as a natural remedy these days. When Captain Cook arrived in New Zealand, his crew were quick to discover that boiling Mānuka leaves made delicious tea that aided digestion. Additionally, infusions made with the leaves were used to reduce fevers and treat other stomach ailments. Today, the potency of high-grade Mānuka honey outweighs the boiling of Mānuka leaves which is why the use of the leaves is now not so common. While we don’t all have Mānuka leaves to make a fresh herbal tea, some modern and more readily available alternatives include infusing fresh or dried thyme sprigs. Tea made from these herbs can ease stomach pain and headaches. Peppermint tea found in-store is a popular choice for the same reasons. Adding a spoonful of Mānuka honey to your cup of tea can provides additional relief from pain and discomfort while strengthening your immune system at the same time.
Wound care and balms
The Māori have always had a very close relationship with nature and the many benefits derived from the endemic flora found here. One such close relationship was the Manuka tree and the many health benefits that go with it. The gum produced from the Mānuka tree was used as a balm to aid burns and ease coughing. Once Mānuka honey was produced it has become extensively used as a topical treatment for aiding burns too. It can also be applied on dry spots, insect bites and on wounds to reduce scarring. Popular modern topical uses for Mānuka honey closely align with those in the past. Our customers have found the honey heals the irritations from insect bites, eczema and the same stubborn effects of scarring and burns. Allergic reactions on the skin can be eased with a topical application and honey can also work wonders on broken and dry cuticles.
Internal aid and digestion
New Zealand Story, a resource published by the New Zealand Government, cited that historically Mānuka honey was found to assist with more acute internal health problems. Infusions reduced fevers and treated stomach and urinary ailments. Concentrated brews from the Mānuka tree bark were used as a sedative, a mouthwash and to treat diarrhoea and fever. Reviews from some of Manukora customers mention how Mānuka honey has relieved the discomfort from sore throats and stomach pain. A spoonful in green tea or hot water is the perfect way to access this pain relief. Recently, our customers have found honey eradicates the effects of acid reflux and gastritis. Digestion issues and acid reflux is common and it can be extremely difficult to define the source. Honey is a great option if you prefer a natural remedy to solve the uncomfortable and reoccurring pain. As our immune system is naturally weaker in the colder months or when we are surrounded by others who are unwell, Mānuka honey is also found to deter colds and support our immunity in a natural form.
Honey, your helping hand
Utilising some of nature’s powerful properties is a great source to draw on to support our health and wellbeing. The wide variety of historical uses found from the Mānuka plant highlights it’s strength in easing pain and discomfort, encouraging healing and deterring colds and nasties. Our advice? Look to nature first.
- Manuka illustration: 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. (https://teara.govt.nz/en/1966/23646/manuka-leptospermum-scoparium)
- Wooden spoon: ValentynVolkov/iStock/GettyImages