Since ancient times, honey has been used by people of different cultures for its valuable nutritional and medicinal properties. It has been used as a remedy for burns, cataracts, ulcers, and wound healing. The peculiarities of the composition and the benefits of manuka honey have made it the most promising and interesting natural remedy for skin treatment. The presence of polyphenols and important biologically active compounds in manuka honey gives it antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
Health Benefits of Manuka Honey: 5 Promising Directions
Modern scientific research has confirmed the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties of manuka honey. We have highlighted the 10 main useful properties of the product.
1. Use of manuka honey in wound healing
Honey, with its antioxidant and antibacterial activity, has been used since ancient times to heal wounds. This product keeps the wound moist and, due to its high viscosity, provides a protective barrier on the wound, preventing microbial infection. The immunological activity of honey has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Normal wound healing is a series of sequential processes (coagulation, inflammation, cell proliferation, tissue remodeling) whereby damaged tissue is gradually removed and replaced by repair tissue. Normally, the inflammation goes away within 1–2 days as the number of neutrophils decreases. The accumulation of these cells in the area of the wound disrupts the network of regulatory cytokines, as a result of which the wound goes into a state of chronic inflammation. In such a wound, bacteria actively multiply in the form of biofilms. Common therapeutic wound care products (silver sulfadiazine, hydrogel, hydrocolloid, and alginate dressings with silver) lead to bacterial resistance. Therefore, modern medicine has focused on natural antiseptic products and their use in clinical practice.
2. Manuka honey is an effective antioxidant
In addition to antibacterial activity, the components of honey regulate the production of free radicals, protecting the components of the cell from their harmful effects.
Manuka honey contains a large number of phenolic compounds that have a powerful ability to reduce free radicals while providing adequate antioxidant capacity. Due to its unique bioactive properties, it is used as the “gold standard” for assessing the antioxidant capacity of various types of honey from various botanical and geographical sources.
The role of manuka honey as a scavenger of superoxide anion radicals has also been investigated using electron paramagnetic resonance. The unique properties of the product are due to the presence of a compound – methyl syringate. Manuka honey reduces DNA damage, malondialdehyde levels, and glutathione peroxidase activity in the liver of the studied objects. These effects can be explained by the stimulation of the activity of antioxidant enzymes (catalase) and the high antioxidant capacity of phenols. This allows manuka honey to be used as an alternative natural supplement to improve physiological oxidative status.
3. The use of manuka honey in the treatment of cancer
Besides antimicrobial and antioxidant activity, recent studies have shown that honey may have antiproliferative effects against cancer cells. These anti-cancer properties include the following processes:
- Apoptosis of cancer cells through depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane;
- Inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 by flavonoids;
- Release of cytotoxic h 2o 2;
- Capture of reactive oxygen species (ros) and correlation with phytochemicals.
Manuka honey has been shown to have potent antiproliferative effects on melanoma, colorectal carcinoma and human breast cancer cell lines, depending on time and dose.
The use of manuka honey has shown the following effects:
- Decrease in tumor volume;
- Increased apoptosis of tumor cells;
- Decrease in inflammation of the colon;
- Restoration of lipid peroxidation and improvement of antioxidant parameters.
4. Manuka honey in cosmetics
The bioactive components of this beekeeping product make it possible to actively use manuka honey in cosmetics. Manuka honey for acne treatment is very famous if you want to take the natural route of treatment.
When added to the composition of cosmetic products, the product provides the following effects:
- Elimination of pathogenic microorganisms that cause skin inflammation. The components of honey (coffee, isoferulic, 4-hydroxybenzoic acids) effectively suppress the growth of pathogenic skin flora, which depends not only on hydrogen peroxide, but also on cytotoxic metabolites.
- Fast healing of wounds and scars. Methylglyoxal exhibits antiseptic properties that are superior in effectiveness to antibiotics, and promotes early wound healing.
- Effective hydration. The application of Manuka honey evens out the osmotic pressure, which controls the moisture balance of the skin. This has an additional antimicrobial effect and also reduces water loss by improving overall hydration.
- Aging protection. The powerful antioxidants of manuka honey (quercetin, gallic, n-coumaric acids, kaempferol, ratsin) neutralize the action of free radicals, protecting the skin from premature aging.
- Protecting skin cells from mutations. Manuka honey pinobankxin prevents mutagens from altering the DNA of skin cells.
- Lightening of the skin, protection from the negative effects of light. Kojic acid effectively brightens skin tone, prevents photoaging, and is used to treat melasma.
Manuka honey is excellent care active for various skin types. It fights inflammation, effectively moisturizes, promotes regeneration, brightens, and prevents aging. Good results can be achieved by using manuka honey hair products. Consumers note an increase in density, softness, and the appearance of a lively shine.
5. Other benefits of using manuka honey
Bioactive compounds in manuka honey have been investigated for their effectiveness in the treatment of a number of diseases. The benefits of using a beekeeping product in the treatment and prevention of the following diseases and conditions have been proven:
- Treatment of cerebral ischemia, intracerebral hemorrhage, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis.
- Restoration of normal kidney function in urate nephropathy, a decrease in the concentration of uric acid in cells, prevention of inflammation and hyperuricemia.
- Improvement of neurological status in the elderly, treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, prevention of degenerative processes.
- Antiviral action: effectively fights against the hepatitis B virus, influenza A, etc.
- It has a hepatoprotective effect.
- It has hypolipidemic, hypotonic, antidiabetic activity.
The presence of a spectrum of useful properties makes manuka honey a promising medicinal and preventive natural remedy.