Honey is a special gift from mother nature which is being used for thousands of years. There is no exact record of the usage of honey. According to some cave paintings in Spain, beekeeping started around 7000 BC, and in Egypt, there is recorded history as old as 2400 BC. It is not only a natural sweetener but has other countless benefits as well. Its benefits include healing wounds, treating skin diseases, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and several others.
Each type of honey has a different aroma, flavour and colour because it is made from the nectar of different flowers. One of the world’s most famous honey is the Manuka honey which is native to New Zealand. Majority of people would be familiar with the name. It is made by the nectar from flowers of Manuka bush or Leptospermum Scoparium. Manuka is tea tree bush and its honey famous for its unique taste as well as unique properties such as Methylglyoxal (MG), which is an anti-bacterial substance found only in the tea tree flower.
Another type of honey which is less known but has almost double the amount of anti-bacterial properties is Kanuka honey. Sven’s Island Kanuka honey is made by the nectar from the flowers of Aotea Kanuka plant which is only found on Great Barrier Island New Zealand. Majority of people are unaware of Kanuka honey because it is rather new as compared to the famous Manuka honey. Both Manuka and Kanuka honey are related and belong to the same family, called “Myrtaceae”. This new type of honey is being called a fresh “super honey” because its properties surpass that of Manuka honey.
Some people prefer organic cures of diseases over the drugs, and their number is increasing day by day. Nowadays, more people are moving towards herbal treatments as compared to the conventional medicines that contain high amounts of harmful chemicals. The sole reason is that organic products have almost zero side effects and are 100% safer to use.
Crown Research Institute Industrial Research Limited has launched the most significant program of clinical trials for the medical uses of honey. Medical researcher Professor Shaun Holt has stated that they have found satisfactory results and they are planning to use honey in pharmaceutical products. Several clinical trials are being conducted, and many have proved Kanuka to be useful for anti-bacterial purposes and skincare treatment.
Difference between Manuka and Kanuka honey
Both the Manuka and Kanuka honey originate from tea tree family, so there are few similarities. Kanuka honey contains DHA like Manuka honey does, however, Kanuka also contains AGP protein – which is not found in Manuka honey. AGP in Kanuka honey stimulates the healing, which makes it great for medicinal purposes. Also, it has positive effects in cosmetic uses.
Proven benefits of Kanuka honey
Multiple health benefits have made the Kanuka honey a considerable success story in New Zealand. All kinds of honey are safe to use for both oral and topical use. Kanuka has both anti-inflammation and anti-bacterial properties. These characteristics make it useful for healing wounds, burns and bruises. It is also useful in the treatment of skin diseases such as eczema, rosacea and acne. An example of this Kanuka honey is Sven's Island Kanuka Honey
, the rare golden nectar from Great Barrier Island, New Zealand.
The anti-microbial and anti-inflammation property of Kanuka and Manuka is due to the high amount of hydrogen peroxide. The combination of hydrogen peroxide and other compounds kills bacteria, fight fungal infections and reduces inflammation as well. These anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties can be found in Sven's Island's Miracle Manuka.
Treatment of skin diseases
The anti-microbial property of Kanuka makes it the best choice for treating wounds, infection, bruises and some other skin conditions. Kanuka is a natural and organic substance, has no side effects and can be safely used on the skin. It also prevents future re-infection of wounds. In New Zealand, some hospitals have started using Kanuka based products for the treatment of wounds.
Kanuka is also very effective in treating skin conditions like acne, rosacea and eczema. Notably, it has been proven to treat rosacea. It is a condition which causes red rashes on the nose and cheeks. Kanuka honey can be applied twice a day on rashes for rosacea free skin. Unlike anti-biotic drugs that have several side effects, Kanuka honey has no reported side effects.
Another application of Kanuka honey is for the treatment of acne. Trials have shown that Kanuka based products have a significant impact on the inflammation and redness caused by acne. It also acts as a natural moisturizer which gives a fresh look to the skin. Topical use of kanuka honey has also been shown to reduce symptoms of eczema. Eczema causes itchy, painful rashes on the skin of small children. Kanuka cream can reduce inflammation and heal the damaged skin.
According to a 2014 study, both Manuka and Kanuka honey have anti-inflammation properties. It was observed that Kanuka honey has a higher effect on inflammation compared to the Manuka. It is due to the presence of arachidonic acid in Kanuka honey. It also halts the production of neutrophil superoxide, which is responsible for causing inflammation in humans. The study found out that kanuka honey was most effective in reducing the condition of ear oedema, commonly known as swelling of the ear canal.
Immune stimulating property
Both Manuka and Kanuka honey was tested and studied for the immune-boosting property. Kanuka honey was proved to be more effective as compared to the Manuka honey. It increases the production of a substance “tumour necrosis factor-α”, which regulates the immune system.
In addition to all the features mentioned above, Kanuka honey is also beneficial in treating the digestive issues. When used orally, Kanuka honey can provide relief from acid reflux, gastritis and indigestion. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also reduce stomach pain while fighting the bacteria. Being an anti-bacterial agent, Kanuka honey can also treat the gastric ulcers which are caused by the bacteria H. pylori.
For the majority of people, Kanuka honey is safe as it is 100% organic and free from harmful chemicals. But there are certain conditions where you must consult with a doctor before using it.
- People with diabetes must consult with the doctor as their blood sugar level may increase by consuming honey as it is a natural sugar compound.
- People who have allergies towards honey or bees may experience an allergic reaction after oral or topical use.
If you are experiencing any of the conditions as mentioned above, then you must consult with your doctor or other healthcare professional before using Kanuka or any honey.