Our dog sometimes has a sensitive tummy and allergies. One of the trainers at Humaner Trainer gave me some information from Whole Dog Journal advocating honey as a health aid for dogs. I did a little more research and found that it's also great for humans. There is a special honey from New Zealand called manuka honey, that is particularly good for your health. I ordered some for the dog and for us.
A few times a week, I have a spoonful myself when I give him some. And so far, I've not had so much as a cold this winter. Usually, I get everything that passes by. Sometimes my husband will feel like he's coming down with something for a day or two and then he bounces back. The day after that, I'll usually go down in flames. Not this year. Most of the folks I work with have been sick this year with some kind of flu bug that lasts for weeks. The cedar has been particularly bad in Austin this winter as well. But I haven't gotten sick.
This is certainly not empirical evidence, but this is the first year that's happened to me. So I felt compelled to share this health nugget with you.
Manuka honey is a particular kind of honey found in New Zealand. It's apparently very effective in relieving stomach ulcer symptoms, gastritis, healing skin ulcers, wounds, burns, MRSA, eczema, sore throats and even improves oral hygiene.
Most honeys have antibacterial properties because of a natural hydrogen peroxide. Bees add an enzyme to their nectar when processing honey to help preserve it. When this comes in contact with the moisture in our bodies, it releases a low level of hydrogen peroxide that is effective against bacteria but not tissue damaging. But this enzyme is easily destroyed by heat and sunlight.
There is a second antibacterial quality in manuka honey called the unique manuka factor. You'll see a "UMF" number on labels. This antibacterial quality is much more stable and resistant to heat and stands up to bodily fluids to retain it's healing qualities. The higher the UMF rating the greater the antibacterial strength. (Look for at least a UMF of 10.)
I found the Airborne brand of honeys available at Whole Foods, but they haven't had the Airborne manuka honey in stock in monthes. So I order online at Amazon.
At $20/jar, it's a little pricey. But I only have about a teaspoon at a time a few times a week so it lasts. It has a rich, earthy flavor.
Manuka honey links:
MSNBC article: Honey Making a Medical Comeback
Dr. Andrew Weil on honey's healing properties.
University of Waikato (New Zealand) Honey Research Unit info.
Airborne Manuka Honey on Amazon.
A few more food items for flu season:
"Influenza sorbet" on Apartment Therapy The Kitchn.
Lake Austin Spa's pickled ginger sorbet -- great for sore throats and tummyaches.