With coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, ginger and lemon, we are opening our eyes more and more to the beauty benefits and wonders that hide in our kitchen. This season, go back to your pantry for the magic of Manuka honey.
What is Manuka honey?
Manuka honey is created by bees that feed from the nectar of wild Manuka trees in New Zealand early in the summer.
Manuka honey is darker and richer than other honey. This honey is often used for medicinal purposes as it is anti-inflammatory, a natural antibiotic and good for digestion. It has been used in traditional medicine and beauty for centuries.
What’s so special about it?
All natural raw honey is good for you. However, what makes this honey beneficial both inside and out is its methylglyoxal (MG). MG is what gives Manuka its antibacterial power.
Not only does it have a high MG content, but it is also rich in amino acids, B vitamins, calcium and zinc. The best part about this is how it not only works to cleanse your body both inside and out, but also hydrates as it is an amazing humectant. It is this season’s super ingredient.
How to use it on your skin?
Where do I start!? My favorite way to use Manuka honey topically is as a quick hydrating facial mask. Now that the weather is a little colder, I spend a little more time hydrating. OK—I spend a LOT more time hydrating my skin!
Here is my Manuka honey facial:
- Wash your face with a face wash of your choice.
- Boil water in a large pan. You can add 2 or 3 drops of lavender essential oil or chamomile tea if you are feeling bloated (bloating occurs during that time of the month or when you have consumed too much salt). If you have a sore throat or are experiencing nasal congestion, you can add a drop of peppermint oil to the water.
- Put a towel over your head and inhale for 5-10 minutes. It’s like a mini-sauna for your face that will clear up your sinuses and pores.
- Apply a thin coat of Manuka honey to your face and leave it on for 10-20 minutes. One tablespoon usually does the trick.
- Follow up with your favorite moisturizer to seal in the moisture.
- Enjoy how clean and smooth your skin feels.
If you are in a rush, you can replace steps 2 and 3 with a warm washcloth or just rinse your face with warm water. The warmth will open your pores.
When your pores are open the dirt and oil will come out and the moisture will stay in.
If you are taking your sweet, sweet time for a day of pampering, add a mud mask followed by toner before the Manuka honey. This will ensure that your skin is free of as much dirt, oil and blackheads as possible before it is moisturized.
Tip: Some people like to use it as a cleanser by applying the honey to dry skin and massaging it in for 30 seconds before washing off.
Another great way to use this miracle honey is as an overnight acne and spot treatment.
Simply apply to the desired areas after cleansing your skin and put a band aid over the area so that the stickiness of the honey doesn’t get on your pillow. The results are amazing and extremely noticeable—especially now that your skin is losing moisture due to the cold weather outside and generic heating indoors.
How to use it internally?
Manuka Honey is known for aiding acid reflux, burns, wounds, gingivitis, sore throats, immunity and even improve sleep.
Adding honey to milk before bed will aid the release of melatonin into the brain. Melatonin is much needed for deep sleep and is a hormone that becomes imbalanced from sitting for too long and being around florescent lighting.
If you are using this honey to cure a sore throat, adding one or two tablespoons to your tea is the way to go as drinking milk when you have a cold or sore throat will increase mucus production and that’s the last thing we want when we are sick.
I also like to use honey on fruits and yogurt. Occasionally, I take Manuka straight from the spoon as a treat to both my taste buds and immune system.
What you should look for when purchasing Manuka honey?
Every bottle of Manuka honey has a UMF rating.
UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor. The ratings range anywhere from 5+ to 16+. I like to purchase 16+. This miracle honey is not beneficial internally unless it has a rating of UMF 10+. Depending on what you would like to use it for, here are the ratings.
0-9: Non-therapeutic (for sweetening purpose and sensitive skin).
10-14: Supports natural healing and bacterial balance (can be used internally and on all skin types).
15+: Highly therapeutic, but you should not take more than 1 tablespoon at a time.
Manuka honey is extremely safe to take internally and to use on your skin. However, please use with caution if you are allergic to bees.
So, get yourself a jar or two of Manuka honey—one for the kitchen and one for your medicine cabinet. Or, as I like to do, get one jar of Manuka honey and put a portion in a mason jar for the bathroom. You will be glowing all season.