Winnie the Pooh was one smart little bear. Honey, it appears, may be able to cure what modern medicine cannot. I was going to share how wonderful my skin feels after using a honey mask. But, after reading some incredible stories about how honey has saved limbs and lives, that seemed a tad shallow. Thankfully, most of us will never have to face a life-threatening injury. Still, it's reassuring to know that something as natural as honey can come to the rescue.
The healing ability of honey has been recognized since ancient times and was regularly used to treat wounds and fight infections before the discovery of penicillin. However, you may not want to rely on today's over-processed honey (that's been stripped of its antioxidants, enzymes, and antibiotic properties) to do the same. Instead, look for raw honey, and if you want the very best, you may want to splurge on a jar of Manuka.
Super Manuka Honey
So what makes honey from the manuka bush in New Zealand so exceptional? And why people are paying upwards of $30 a jar! Although all honey is antibacterial (from naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide), Manuka has an additional, more powerful antibiotic, known as "non-peroxide activity" or NPA. To ensure you're getting the real deal, look for the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) trademark. You'll also see a number next to this, which rates the NPA potency of the honey. Anything labeled UMF 10+ is considered strong enough to be therapeutic. Hospitals use a sterile grade of Manuka on serious wounds, burns, drug-resistant staph infections, and even MRSA. However, If you're not dealing with a dire injury and just want to enjoy good honey that's a lot more affordable, then stick with raw honey.
How to use Honey
Cleopatra was renowned for her flawless skin and was said to have bathed in milk and honey. As well as being an effective moisturizer, honey also contains glycolic acid, which loosens dead skin cells and brightens your complexion. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties can also work wonders on acne, eczema, and other skin irritations.
"The secret of my health is applying honey inside and oil outside"