There’s no question that bees are vital to human existence. Not only do the pollinate critical food crops (about one-third)—and do it for free!—but they also make honey, perhaps nature’s most potent healer. And in Australia and New Zealand, honey bees make manuka honey, aka liquid gold.
The name manuka comes from the name of the flowering tree pollinated. Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) is also known as broom tea-tree or New Zealand teatree, not to be confused with another potent healer, tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia).
Manuka honey is prized for numerous benefits when ingested including improved digestive health and a boosted immune system. But it’s benefits also merit applying it topically to the skin for numerous conditions.
5 Benefits of Manuka Honey
- Balance skin’s pH: When used as a cleanser or toner, manuka helps to reduce the alkalinity of skin, which can cause dryness leading to eczema, wrinkles, and blemishes. Because manuka has a pH of about 4.5, it can balance out the skin and keep it healthy.
- Antibacterial: A key component to healthy skin is similar to a healthy gut: you want friendly bacteria in check and harmful bacteria going bye-bye. Manuka’s antibacterial effects can help to mitigate bacterial imbalances, removing dirt and grime along the way. This may help to prevent acne and keep it from returning.
- Rosacea relief: This irritating skin condition can crop up at any time inflaming pores, causing soreness, redness, and scarring around the nose, cheeks, and chin. It’s an incurable condition that can be improved by diet as well as topical treatments and medications, and manuka honey may help as well. When used regularly on rosacea, it has shown the ability to decrease inflammation and even return skin texture. Sufferers of rosacea should talk with their doctors before using manuka or any other natural treatment on skin, particularly if already using a prescribed medication or topical treatment.
- Decreases dandruff: Not only is dandruff embarrassing, but it can also be itchy and uncomfortable. Applying manuka to the scalp not only removes the deep dirt and dead skin, but it boosts hydration, preventing further dryness or irritation. This can also help with overall dry hair, prone to frizz or split ends. Simply dilute manuka (about a tablespoon) into warm water and work into scalp and hair. Rinse and style as normal.
- Dry skin relief: Manuka’s potent moisturizing benefits can bring relief to dry, itchy skin such as caused by eczema, hives, or other conditions. The best way to reap the hydrating benefits of manuka is through a skin mask. Simply spread a thin layer of honey on the skin and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat to dry.
Check out our coconut and blue cornflower soap with manuka honey for all the cleansing skin benefits.