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Manuka honey is a special type of honey found in New Zealand that is famous for its many health benefits. It is derived from the nectar of wild Manuka trees that are indigenous to New Zealand and contains special compounds that are not found in regular honey. One of the main compounds found in manuka honey is called methylglyoxal, which is believed to be responsible for its antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties.
What Makes Manuka Honey Special?
Manuka honey contains a unique compound called methylglyoxal, which is not found in other types of honey. This compound is believed to be the major factor behind most of the health benefits of manuka honey. The potency of manuka honey is measured based on the levels of methylglyoxal present in it. A rating system called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) is used to indicate the potency and purity of manuka honey. The higher the level of methylglyoxal, the higher the UMF rating.
How Does Manuka Honey Help in Reducing Scarring?
Manuka honey has several benefits that can help reduce scarring. Here are some ways in which it can be effective:
Wound Healing Effect of Manuka Honey
Studies have shown that manuka honey creates an acidic environment in wounds, which is important for the process of wound healing. An acidic environment helps reduce the risk of infection and contributes to the antimicrobial action of manuka honey. In contrast, wounds with alkaline or neutral pH have a higher risk of infection and take longer to heal. By creating an acidic environment, manuka honey promotes faster and more efficient wound healing, which in turn reduces the amount of scar tissue that is formed.
Manuka Honey Prevents Scarring
Studies have also shown that honey, including manuka honey, can substantially reduce the amount of scar tissue formed during the healing process. In a study conducted on rats, it was observed that scar formation was significantly less in the rats that had been treated with honey compared to those that hadn’t been treated. This indicates that honey, including manuka honey, can effectively prevent the formation of scars and fibrosis.
How to Use Manuka Honey for Scars
To use manuka honey for reducing scarring, it should be directly applied topically to the wound. A wound dressing can be created by applying a thick coat of manuka honey onto the dressing and gently placing it on the wound. The amount of manuka honey used depends on the amount of fluid or exudate coming out of the wound. Commercially available manuka honey dressing pads are also an option for easier application.
Precautions When Using Manuka Honey
When using store-bought manuka honey, it is important to check the UMF rating to ensure its potency. Some people may be allergic to honey, especially those with existing allergies to bees or pollen, so a patch test is recommended before consuming manuka honey. Botulism poisoning can be a serious risk if manuka honey is consumed by children under the age of one. Diabetic individuals can consume manuka honey but should monitor their blood sugar levels closely.
In conclusion, manuka honey can help wounds heal faster and more efficiently, while also preventing bacterial or fungal infections. This faster healing process reduces the formation of scar tissue. Studies have shown that manuka honey, when applied topically, can significantly reduce the amount of scar tissue formed during the healing process.