A lingering worry that you’ll fall sick during your trip?
Many of us went through the unfortunate experience of falling sick before, during or after a trip. Or perhaps being paid a visit by our good-old Aunt Rona — yes, the Coronavirus — is your concern during your holiday?
As we excitedly embark on long-awaited adventures since the borders reopened, keep in mind that the chance of catching Covid-19 is real and may end up leaving you all gloomy and boohoo-ing in your hotel, on your bed, quarantined, alone. NOT FUN.
Nobody likes to be the one missing out, stuck under the covers while their family or travel buddies enjoy vacation activities or have a good time experiencing a new place.
Hence, it’s always a good practice to be mindful of possible scenarios as you plan your trip. This way, you can help keep yourself and those travelling with you safe and maximise your travel experience as well as your own vacation happiness.
And here’s why honey —— an age-old remedy, particularly Mānuka Honey (one of the best- researched honey types) may just turn out to be one of your good companions during your travels.
The properties of Mānuka Honey
The Big 4 - Antibacterial, Anti-viral, Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant properties are what make Mānuka Honey such a desirable and helpful product.
Firstly, Mānuka Honey is distinguished from other honeys by its antibacterial qualities. How, you might ask?
The antibacterial properties of normal honey is generally attributed to the element hydrogen peroxide. However, Mānuka Honey remains to exhibit antibacterial activity even when hydrogen peroxide was removed. This also makes the antibacterial properties of Mānuka Honey more stable as compared to other honey whose anti-bacterial properties might be affected by heat, light and enzymes present by the body (eg: saliva or blood).
This is generally attributed to a unique element in Mānuka Honey called Methylglyoxal (MGO) acting synergistically with a non–antibacterial component in Mānuka Honey that almost doubles the antibacterial effectiveness of Methylglyoxal.
On the other hand, experiments on Mānuka Honey’s antiviral activity show a potential inhibitory effect on the course of infection through the suppression of viral replication and mRNA copy numbers.
Honey may also help to support the body’s own immune and anti-inflammatory response. Honey has shown a cell dividing effect on immune cells by activating white blood cells in the immune system (lymphocytes and neutrophils) to trigger the body’s defence mechanism.
Mānuka Honey also includes a high concentration of phenolic compounds that have been found as having a significant capacity to decrease free radicals, giving it a useful antioxidant capacity.
But, does Mānuka Honey really help?
Here are some practical areas where Mānuka Honey may come in handy to support your health during your vacation:
Honey was shown in studies to have a beneficial impact on cough frequency, cough severity and sleep quality (usually disturbed by coughing) compared to no treatment. Thus, Mānuka Honey may come in handy when you get a cough. Honey can function as a demulcent to produce a film over the mucous membrane, reducing the inflammation or irritant that causes the cough reflex.
Since 2018, honey has been suggested by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) as one of the self-care management for acute cough symptoms in adults and children aged 1 year and above.
Lastly, a study conducted at the University of Oxford's Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences also concluded that honey might be more effective than usual care alternatives such as certain over-the-counter cough syrups and medications like antibiotics.
The antibacterial and antiviral effects of honey coats the inner lining of the throat and attack harmful bacteria, which contributes to a soothing effect.
Sore throats can be commonly caused by a type of bacteria named Streptococcus mutans and studies have found that Mānuka Honey may help to decrease the bacteria count thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Now, you’re in a new place, meeting new people. The last thing you would want is a case of repelling oral stink as your first impression.
One of the main causes of bad breath (halitosis) is due to the build up of volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs) resulting from the decomposition of protein by bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis or Fusobacerium nucleatum from food residues that remained in the mouth.
And guess what? Mānuka Honey is not only effective in inhibiting the growth of harmful oral bacteria that are associated with bad breath, but dental plaque and gum inflammation issues too.
Now, the question is, how to know whether the jar of Mānuka Honey is 100% genuine?
Here are 5 points to look out for when you’re selecting your jar of Mānuka Honey:
|(1) Produced, packed and labelled in New Zealand||
|(2) Look for UMF™ ratings||
|(3) Choose your MGO grade||
|(4) Traceable origins||
|(5) Quality testing conducted||
In a nutshell
Just as we naturally bring along an anti-bacterial hand sanitizer to use externally on our hands, consider including a jar of Mānuka Honey (that is known for its antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties) which is UMF™ certified and MGO graded for our own internal health too. Travel safe everyone!
Kimberly Ling S.A, Dietitian
BSc (Hons) in Dietetics with Nutrition
International Medical University
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