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by Nadia Kumentas September 22, 2016

manuka honey affect health

Liquid Gold: How Manuka Honey Can Save Your Skin

Not only does it sweeten my tea and taste divine on toast with almond butter, honey is a heavyweight champion in the skincare world. For thousands of years, honey has been used for medicinal purposes due to it’s amazing antibacterial and wound healing properties.  

Not all honey is created equal - Manuka, the champagne of honey:

There are hundreds of different types of honey available depending on what flowers the honey was made from, where the honey is from, and how the honey was processed or collected.  It’s important to note that when it comes to medicinal use, not all honey is created equal.  Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand specifically made from flowers of the Manuka bush ( Leptospermum scoparium ) and is widely known for its skin-saving properties.  

Many clinical trials show that Manuka honey can stop over 250 strains of bacteria, including the most resistant types. (1)

Manuka's ability to stop evil bacterial growth is due to its chemical compounds in combination with its high sugar content.  These two factors help block the growth of microbes. If that is not impressive enough, on top of its antibacterial superpowers, Manuka has also been shown to fight free radical damage which can cause premature aging as well as slow down wound healing. (2) 

Buying Manuka - UMF:

When you go to buy Manuka you will immediately notice a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) number associated with each jar.  The higher the number, the more expensive the product - and for good reason! This UMF number represents the purity, quality, and amount of medicinal compounds found in that honey which include Leptosperin, DHA and Methylglyoxal. (3)  You can find a more detailed breakdown HERE.  Manuka is edible, but I probably wouldn't use it for everyday use as a sweetener.  I use different raw wildflower honey in my kitchen than I do on my face/skin largely because high quality Manuka can be pricey!  

A personal example of how amazing Manuka is:

Three years ago my partner in crime and I and I went on a trip to NYC.  Anyone who’s visited New York knows you can pretty much walk anywhere if you are feeling up to it and want to save the cab money. We were hitting about 10k/day on average for our four-day trip.   ENTER NEW BOOTS. I, in all my infinite wisdom, decided to purchase and then wear a brand new pair of leather boots on our last day of the trip… WITH. NO. SOCKS. (I know, rookie mistake). Hours of searing pain and one blood-soaked boot later, I removed the boots to find the gaping blister that I had just self-inflicted upon myself.

That night when I got back home to my apartment in Toronto, I cleaned the blister, put on a layer of Manuka (I use Medihoney ), and covered the blister overnight.  The next morning a new layer of skin had already begun to form and by the third day, I was well on my way to pain-free walking.  By day five of overnight Manuka treatments I had made a full recovery.

**NOTE: When using Manuka for open wounds it's important to cover them for the healing process and to save your bedsheets.   

nadia kumentas manuka honey

Honestly, if that doesn’t impress you I don’t know what will. I was AMAZED.  From that point forward I put Manuka on any open wound (including any pimples I had picked).  Honey also helps increase the moisture content of your skin so I started integrating it into my skincare routine with homemade masks (I’ll be sharing one soon) and looking for it in moisturizers.  I did however, find it was difficult to find high-quality products that actually used Manuka honey.  Last winter I used Antipode's Vanilla Pod Day Cream and enjoyed it but the price point was a bit high. 

I was recently introduced to the natural skincare line Graydon through my friends at The Detox Market and given a sample of The Putty to try out.  I was excited and intrigued that they used Manuka and with the other amazing supporting ingredients in the formula.  After ten days of use, a stubborn dry patch around my nose and mouth had vanished. POOF. 

graydon the putty

graydon skincare the putty

I reached out to let Graydon know how much I loved The Putty and she was kind enough to offer up a full sized product for a collaborative contest with our wellness blends!

The Contest - HOW TO ENTER:

… That’s it!

The winner will be chosen on October 1st and will win a full sized The Putty Cream as well as two of our wellness blends Nightly Zen and Daily Balance .

How do you like to use honey? Do you have a favourite skincare product with Manuka?


  nadia kumentas



  1. September, B. T. (2016). Manuka Honey Helps Fight, Prevent Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs From Developing. Retrieved September 22, 2016, from http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/46840/20160905/manuka-honey-helps-fight-prevent-antibiotic-resistant-superbugs-developing.htm
  2. Lindberg, T., Andersson, O., Palm, M., & Fagerström, C. (2015). A systematic review and meta-analysis of dressings used for wound healing: The efficiency of honey compared to silver on burns. Contemporary Nurse, 51(2-3), 121-134. doi:10.1080/10376178.2016.1171727
  3. Grading System Explained. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2016, from http://www.umf.org.nz/grading-system-explained/
Nadia Kumentas
Nadia Kumentas

Naturopathic doctor, tea drinker, yoga doer, animal lover, and plant enthusiast. Nadia is also the co-founder of two kick-ass start-ups: Affect Health a medicinal tea company, and Mingo a UTI defence drink mix.

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