In this article, we are going to discuss how we can combat inflammation with a powerful and incredible natural ingredient, Manuka Honey.
The aging of the skin can be due to several factors other than natural chronological aging. Our skin ages due to: Oxidative stress, UV radiation, and Inflammation. These three factors damage our skin’s structural proteins. The major ones like Collagen and elastin are important to maintain our skin health and keep it youthful and radiant.
When the above mentioned external factors damage the structural proteins, it causes fine lines and wrinkles to form on our skin making it look old and dull. Our skin needs protection from all the three skin aging factors and the best way to get is through natural resources.
WHAT IS MANUKA HONEY?
Manuka flowers grow on the trees with the same name native to New Zealand. These are small white flowers with astonishing medicinal properties. The beekeepers in New Zealand allow their bees to gather nectar from these flowers to create honey from it. The bees collect honey from the flowers and store it in the hives.
The gathered honey is then sent to Unique Manuka Factor Association to check its purity and clinical strength for medicinal use. Once the Manuka honey is tested, it is graded on the basis of its Methylglyoxal (MGO) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) contents. Higher the MGO, higher is the Manuka Honey graded.
The UMF system grades Manuka Honey numerically in different groups, the lowest grade is UMF 5+ wherein the MGO value is roughly around 83 and the highest is 24+ or in MGO value, 1123. Higher UMF grade shows that the Manuka honey is of clinical-grade and can be used not only for antibacterial purposes but also for skin anti-aging because of its powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
WHAT IS MANUKA HONEY USED FOR?
Manuka honey is famous for its fabulous healing properties. It has marvelous anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and therapeutic properties. After 2011, it was approved by the US Food and Drugs Administration for its use in wound healing processes.
The Manuka tree is used by the Maori tribe of New Zealand who is well-acquainted with its medicinal uses. They use parts of the tree to heal cuts, burns, wounds, and infection.
In general, any honey offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties but in Manuka Honey, these properties are multiplied making it ideal honey to use as a medicine. A study showed that applying Manuka honey on non-healing wounds can decrease their size substantially.
Apart from healing skin, using Manuka Honey for oral hygiene reduces bleeding in gums and plaque. Its antibacterial properties fight against the bacteria in our mouth and protect it from plaque and gingivitis. It helps to soothe sore throats that are caused due to cold or viruses, improve our digestive system and prevent gastric ulcers.
MANUKA HONEY FOR SKIN
As we already know, Manuka Honey is an excellent wound healer with phenomenal tissue regeneration benefits because of its immunomodulatory properties.
These properties are extremely helpful in skin anti-aging as well. Part of the reason why some of us experience premature skin aging is skin inflammation. Inflammation in our skin triggers inflammation mediators and other substances that breakdown the skin’s structural proteins collagen and elastin. It causes tissue injury and destruction.
All this happens either because of age-related changes leading to normal cell destruction or as a disease response. In any case, this super honey helps to fight inflammation in our skin to reduce the damage and give us healthy and youthful skin that glows.
The anti-inflammatory properties of this super honey also fight inflammation caused due to external factors like pollution or free radicals. It effectively diminishes the damage caused due to these factors. Along with these, it contains anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and immunomodulatory responses that help our skin.
Anti-fungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties reduce skin infection and keep our skin healthy. It helps in healing cuts, burns, and wounds without letting it get infected.
SKIN ANTI-AGING WITH MANUKA HONEY
With all these qualities, Manuka Honey is also useful in the process of skin anti-aging. Aging occurs in two ways, the chronological aging or normal aging that occurs when we grow old and the premature aging that occurs due to external and internal factors (mainly environmental stress, bad lifestyle habits, and improper and junk food).
Manuka Honey also has relatively low pH (3.5-4.5) which curbs microbial growth and increases fibroblast activity which produces more collagen that smoothes out wrinkles and fine lines in our skin. It supports our skin structure keeping it smooth and firm for longer making us look youthful and radiant.
Especially in Manuka Honey with higher grades (UMF 24+), these properties are more powerful and potent. This means that the honey with UMF 24+ is able to heal our skin into its deeper layers and not just superficially. It inhibits the Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) which are enzymes that activate because of inflammation and UV exposure. The MMPs are responsible for the breakdown of skin proteins like collagen and elastin.
When Manuka Honey curbs the activation of MMPs, it effectively reduces skin protein damage. This leads to stronger skin structure, firmer, smoother and healthier skin. Therefore, the super honey is a favorite of anti-aging skincare producers and users but the highest grade of this honey (UMF 24+) is as costly as it is rare. So the skincare products that contain it are also a little too costly. Bee Elite Essentials use this honey with UMF 24+ in its Ageless series products but they have some really amazing offers that bring its products right in our budget. Go check out!
What’s so special about Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey has amazing anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties that help to reduce infection and a whole bunch of other skin issues including aging due to injury and inflammation.
How do I use Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey can be used orally or topically. The best way to use Manuka Honey topically it to use it through a formulation-based skin that can enhance its active properties.
What does MGO mean in Manuka Honey?
Methylglyoxal (MGO) is an active compound found in Manuka Honey. It is the substance that gives Manuka Honey the amazing properties it contains.
Does Manuka Honey draw out infection?
Manuka Honey has excellent antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that inhibit the growth of microbes and bacteria to reduce and prevent infection.
What is the difference between MGO and UMF?
MGO is an abbreviation of Methylglyoxal which is an active compound in Manuka Honey that gives it the amazing properties it is famous for whereas UMF is a grading factor for the quality, standard, and efficacy of Manuka Honey. Higher the MGO value, the greater the UMF grade.
Honey has been a part of our daily lives for a long time and we all know how beneficial honey is for our skin and health. There’s always something better though, and that is Manuka Honey. With its incredible healing, protecting and regenerating properties, Manuka Honey is a golden skincare super honey.
It protects our skin from inflammation and infection, it increases fibroblast activity to stimulate collagen production and heals our skin to the tissue level. If you wish to know more about Manuka honey or other honey bee-related products like Bee Venom, Royal Jelly, and Coffee Honey then head over to our article, Exciting facts about anti-aging skincare. It discusses facts about anti-aging skincare ingredients that are around us almost all the time.