Honey has doubled as a tea-time condiment and powder-room staple since Cleopatra’s rumored milk-and-honey baths. But, active Manuka honey, collected from the manuka bush in New Zealand and Australia, one-ups regular nectar with higher pollen counts, live enzymes, and antibacterial properties.
“All raw honey has some antibacterial properties based on hydrogen peroxide,” says Dr. Jeannette Graf, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and author of Stop Aging, Start Living. Thanks to methylglyoxal, a substance in the manuka bush, manuka honey packs a more potent punch than other honeys. "It can make for anti-irritating and soothing, antibacterial, and in general, quite nutrient-rich products,” Graf says.