Manuka. I refer not to a character from Disney World. Instead to a wonder of nature found in Australia and New Zealand. A special kind of honey that is produced by bees that pollinate the Manuka bush. Honey has been used for medicinal purposes for a while. So much so that archaeologists claim to have found honey in tombs all over the world. Manuka honey is special because of its unique nutritional profile and anti-bacterial properties. Honey has several vital ingredients including amino acids, copper, calcium, iron, manganese etc. What makes Manuka special is that it has several times the quantum normally found in honey.

In particular Manuka has high levels of  hydrogen peroxide, methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone. This gives it a moniker of its own known as UMF or Unique Manuka Factor. Depending on the quality of the honey, the UMF is higher or lower, higher being better in this case. The high UMF gives it extra ordinary healing properties for a range of ailments. Manuka is used world over now to treat acid reflux, acne and eczema, burns, woulds, ulcers, sore throats, allergies and sinusitis. It has also been found useful in treating cancer, diabetes, inflammation and gastrointestinal problems.

Applications can range from rubbing it on your zit to get rid of it to drinking it along with cinnamon, ginger and turmeric. Since it is extremely potent, you need to be careful with quantities. At the higher end of the UMF, even a tea-spoon can be plenty. Don’t go sprinkling it all over your cake thinking it to be honey dust. The world of beauty is now discovering the wonder that is Manuka and beginning to introduce a series of products that improve your skin and make your look gorgeous. But you were already amazing looking to begin with, weren’t you?



Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.