Uses for Mānuka honey, how to take it and how much
While just about everyone loves the taste of honey, Mānuka honey offers many different uses from skincare to helping wounds heal faster. All raw honey has the potential to provide some benefits but Mānuka is produced by bees that pollinate the flower Leptospermum Scoparium, otherwise known as the Mānuka bush. The antibacterial properties it contains are what make it stand out from traditional honey as numerous scientific studies have revealed.
The active compounds in this “liquid gold” have the potential to play an important role in both topical and internal uses, of which there are many. We’ll tell you all you need to know about those possibilities as well as how to take or apply them, and how much to use.
Topical: Clearer Skin, Faster Healing
‣ Clearing breakouts by using Mānuka honey
Many people have had success in clearing up breakouts by using Mānuka honey. As it contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties along with those antibacterial compounds, it’s well-known to help reduce the redness and swelling of pimples while helping to speed healing. It helps to draw bacteria out bacteria while oxygenating pores, with the potential to significantly reduce acne in areas of the skin that are most prone to it.
Ways to use: Simply dab a little onto a pimple, let it sit for about a half-hour, and then rinse.
‣ Decrease bacteria on skin that can lead to acne
Even when your skin is clear, it’s a good idea to continue to use it as it will decrease bacteria that can lead to acne to prevent it in the first place as well as aid in sloughing off dead skin cells to keep the skin clearer and cleaner.
Ways to use: For this purpose, wash your face with it daily, using enough to cover the surface area of your face with a thin layer. Massage it around for 30 seconds or so and then rinse.
‣ Assist in healing minor wounds
For minor wounds, Mānuka honey may help them heal faster. Of course, a severe burn or deep cut should always be assessed by your healthcare provider as you may need antibiotics or stitches. Generally, the amount to use is determined by how large the wound area is. The larger it is, the more of the honey you may need.
Ways to use: You’ll apply it to a bandage, and then put the bandage onto the wound rather than applying this sweet nectar directly. Be sure to change it out once or twice a day for optimal benefits.
If you'd like to learn more about wound care with Mānuka honey, we dived deeper in our article: Wound Care Treatment and the Science behind Manuka Honey here.
Internal: Digestive Health, Immune Support, and More
‣ Help Improve Gut Health with Mānuka Honey
Who needs an excuse to eat honey? Especially Mānuka. There are multiple reasons to use it internally, including digestive problems. It’s been lauded for its benefits to gut health, which makes it especially good for those who suffer from acid reflux or GERD. It may even help kill bacteria that can lead to stomach ulcers.
Mānuka honey is also known to have natural compounds that may boost your immune system to help battle infections and illness. It has a unique compound methylgloxal, known for its potent antibacterial activity, which is only found in Mānuka honey.
Ways to use: For either purpose, you can consume it straight or add it to food, starting with a heaped teaspoon 1 to 3 times per day, on its own, added to your morning cup of tea, a cup of warm water, mixed into yogurt or oatmeal, or spread onto your toast.
‣ Soothe a sore throat
Yet another reason to consume it is to soothe a sore throat or cough. Of course, if you’re using it to strengthen your immune system it might prevent you from getting sick in the first place. Not only can Mānuka attack harmful bacteria, but it also coats the inner lining of your throat providing a soothing effect.
Ways to use: Mixing one heaped teaspoon into a cup of warm water, herbal tea or hot lemon & ginger is the best way to use it for this purpose – even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends honey to relieve a cough.
Oral: Supporting Healthier Teeth and Gums
‣ Support healthier teeth and gums
Gum disease is common, caused by the formation of plaque which is a result of bad bacteria. It’s important to minimize it in order to keep your gums healthy and avoid tooth decay. At the same time, you need the good bacteria that keeps your mouth healthy. Research has found that the high level of antibacterial properties that Mānuka honey offers can be effective for inhibiting the growth of bacteria that harms oral health, like A. actinomycetemcomitans and P. gingivalis.
Ways to use: You can use the honey as part of a gum massage, rubbing a drop directly on your gums, to help reduce inflammation and fight bacteria. Many dentists even recommend it for protecting your oral health.