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Hasn't been too long since I last wrote about a miraculous mushroom.
But, if we take a quick look back at the Ancient Greek period, one of the most influential figures, Hippocrates quotes is, "Let thy food be thy medicine and the medicine be thy food."
This time, it's not a proper food or a fungus, but rather, a particular type of honey that, on recent days, has taken Internet and media by storm. According to the food experts and medical researchers, it's the most precious and coveted honey on the market. It's the Manuka Honey.
This honey is produced by European honey bees, Apis mellifera, that forage the nectar of the Manuka tree, which grows throughout New Zealand and Southeastern Australia. Manuka is the name of the tree in the Māori language, still spoken by the indigenous population of New Zealand which had already known about the healing properties of that plant.
The New Zealand honey has been for years the best one, but new research shows the Australian's is just as good because of its medical properties, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities. Another revolutionary discovery about medical treatments comes from the team of UAE University that found New Zealand's honey can effectively stop the process of the cancer cells, including breast, colon and skin cancer; it is also used to reduce toxicity related to the chemotherapy. The two essential indicators to measure the beneficial activity, are MGO (Methylglyoxal) and NPA (Non-Peroxide Activity).
We have more evidence given by Mr. Peter Molan, Director of the Waikato University in New Zealand whose studies about the honey have confirmed the antibacterial activity and the completely safe to be taken by diabetics subjects.
Cliff Von Eaton, the author of 'Manuka: The Biography of an Extraordinary Honey,' represents another confirmation of Manuka properties: he brought to our attention that all others honey produce hydrogen peroxide when diluted but, differently, Manuka honey already contains those extra substances that allow it to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria commonly found in severe wounds, bed sores, and leg ulcers.
Besides the health, we have good news, as well, regarding the beauty section that provides a vast range of product containing the precious substance of Manuka nectar: from creams and facial serums to lip balms and all sort of cosmetics. The demand for these products is continually rising also because of several Youtube videos showing how to make a homemade mask with Manuka honey base to leave on your skin to soften and sooth it.
My Manuka honey daily intake consists of a couple of teaspoons in the morning after waking up, followed by a couple more before going to bed. Not long ago my boyfriend was curious to try, and he wanted me to make him a cuppa with a spoon of Manuka honey in it, and he liked the taste. Now it is just a matter of letting him try how delicious the flavour is, spread on the toast.
The taste is not too different from the regular honey, even though a slight graininess gives honey a little bit of body and plumpness and the colour, with amber shades, reminds the colour of gold. Furthermore, the visibility and the fame of this product has blasted out because several celebrities have started using it praising its virtues. Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Ritchie, just for name some, are using Manuka honey in their drinks and even as a supplementary in their face routine.
Some of the famous chefs have introduced it in their food experiments, like Mike Bagale, executive chef at Alinea in Chicago, who added to a goat cheese-based dessert a freeze-dried piece of Manuka. It is also important to mention that Manuka honey appears to be a versatile sugar substitute because it doesn't alter the glycemic index in your blood.
It is likely Manuka honey will turn to be as precious as a piece of jewellery.