In ancient times, honey was used not only as a natural sweetener, but also as a healing ingredient. Stone Age paintings demonstrate that mankind has been using honey for at least 8000 years.
Since 2000 years ago, honey has been used to treat infected wounds, long before it was discovered that bacteria were actually the cause of infections. Honey has been also used for centuries for skincare. It was mentioned in Sumerian and Babylonian tablet writings, and also Egyptian papyruses.
In fact, history indicates that ancient beauty models, such as Cleopatra, regularly applied a mixture of honey and milk on their face to maintain the young, radiant and smooth skin look.
Hippocrates mixed honey with herbs, seeds and other local plants in healing recipes. Dioscorides, the Greek physician, traveled extensively throughout the Greek and Roman empires, searching for medicinal substances, and he was also using honey for various purposes: as a laxative, a treatment for stomach, cough and sore throats, wound healing and ocular infections.
Aristotle wrote that light-colored honey was a good remedy for eye pains and wounds. Honey is attributed to many curative properties that underlie traditional medical treatments practiced around the world even today.
Manuka honey, also known as “healing honey”, is produced in free hives by bees who pick nectar from the manuka tree (Leptospermum Scoparium). It grows especially in the East Cape region of North Island, New Zealand.
Manuka honey is one of the few honey types approved for therapeutic use. The Maori (New Zealand native population) were a great supporter of local food use and the fight against many diseases affecting communities. In ancient tribal culture, the knowledge of medicinal plants was exclusively held by Tohunga (Doctor Maori), but nowadays, knowledge is passed on from generation to generation by the elders of the tribes so that the use of these traditional remedies continues.
Special healing properties
The manuka tree has been considered to be very important in traditional Maori medicine for centuries and is recognized as a plant with special healing properties. Manuka leaves infusions are used as flavored teas to treat fever, cold, and diuretic affections. Preparations made from Manuka bark are considered sedative and its crushed leaves are used to produce an antiseptic oil, and the manuka seed crust is sometimes used as a wound aid. Manuka honey is brown in color, and has a distinctive, strong aroma and distinctive woody aroma.
One of the few honey types actually approved for therapeutic use
Due to its remarkable properties, manuka honey is a powerful and effective ingredient for skin care products: it heals, rejuvenates and hydrates dry, cracked and damaged skin, enhancing the natural regeneration of cells and improving its tone, giving it a younger and softer look. Also, manuka honey nourishes and revitalizes the scalp, while helping maintain the healthy hair look.
Manuka honey in body care
The powerful beneficial properties of manuka honey come from the strong natural antibacterial substances it contains and its high mineral content. Although any kind of honey has a certain antibacterial action thanks to the hydrogen peroxide activity, manuka honey is much more powerful than others and has a variety of of additional antibacterial components, referred to as the “unique manuka factor”.
The value of the unique manuka factor activity indicates the antibacterial power of the honey. Unlike regular honey, the healing properties of manuka honey are stable and do not lose their efficacy when exposed to certain conditions such as heat, light or liquid dilution.
This magical honey’s healing properties are so powerful that scientists believe it is more effective in dealing with certain problems than many modern medicine solutions. It has been found that manuka honey is extremely effective in treating wounds, burns, acne, scars, and even various insect bites.
In recent years, manuka honey has been used as an active ingredient in adhesive pads by health authorities around the world.