Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush. Manuka Honey is one of the most famous honeys in the world It is a beautiful, delicious tasting dark colored honey with high antioxidant properties and now well known,remarkable anti bacterial healing powers.
Healing Power of Honey
Honey has been used since ancient times to treat multiple conditions. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that researchers discovered that honey has natural antibacterial qualities.
Honey protects against damage caused by bacteria. Some honey also stimulates production of special cells that can repair tissue damaged by infection. In addition, honey has an anti-inflammatory action that can quickly reduce pain and inflammation once it is applied.
Latest research seems to indicate that this additional non peroxide activity is a substance called MethylGlyoxal which has very powerful germ killing abilities. Why it naturally occurs in some but not all Manuka honey at extraordinarily high levels (up to 200 times stronger than all other honeys around the world) is not yet fully understood. But thank goodness it does because we can then keep some in our cupboards ready for use when we need it!
It’s so good at healing infection that in many hospitals around the world now, Active Manuka Honey is used when nothing else works for treatment of antibiotic resistant MRSA super bugs, Bed Sores and other external ulcerative conditions, Helicobacter Pylori (stomach ulcer causing bacteria), E Coli, Staphylococcus Aureus ( the most common cause of wound infection) and Streptococcus Pyogenes ( stubborn , often antibiotic resistant bacteria which inflame and cause sore throats).It is very healing externally on the skin for conditions such as burns, wounds, dermatitis, eczema,abscesses etc. It is also known to decrease the duration of bacterial diarrhea . Studies show that honey assists rehydration of the body during diarrhea sickness and that bacteria which cause diarrhea are very sensitive to the antibacterial action of honey. And it’s an ideal energy food as it helps improve physical endurance. Perhaps it’s most famous for it’s use medically with hospital patients, applied externally on the skin to heal ulcerative slow healing wounds.
Components of Manuka Honey
All pure honey around the world is basically good for you and your health because pure honeys contain a varying level of the enzyme Glucose Oxidase. This enzyme, which is introduced into the honey by the marvelous bees, slowly releases antiseptic Hydrogen Peroxide effectively into infection sites, in or on the body, killing harmful bacteria without damaging body tissue.
Some of the Manuka Honey could be said to be a “wonder of Nature”! By that we mean that some but not all of the Manuka honey has a healing ability or anti bacterial “activity”that is truly exceptional because not only does this special Manuka contain Hydrogen Peroxide activity in good stable levels but also a”non peroxide” activity additional to and above or stronger than the Hydrogen Peroxide.
Thats why we call it ACTIVE MANUKA HONEY. Or it could be called NON PEROXIDE ACTIVITY.
Hydrogen peroxide is a component of honey. It gives most honey its antibiotic quality. But some types of honey, including manuka honey, also have other components with antibacterial qualities.
The major antibacterial component in manuka honey is methylglyoxal (MG). MG is a compound found in most types of honey, but usually only in small quantities.
In manuka honey, MG comes from the conversion of another compound — dihydroxyacetone — that is found in high concentration in the nectar of manuka flowers.
MG is thought to give manuka honey its antibacterial power. The higher the concentration of MG, the stronger the antibiotic effect.
Honey producers have developed a scale for rating the potency of manuka honey. The rating is called UMF, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor.
The UMF rating corresponds with the concentration of MG. Not all honey labeled as manuka honey contains significant levels of MG. To be considered potent enough to be therapeutic, manuka honey needs a minimum rating of 10 UMF. Honey at or above that level is marketed as “UMF Manuka Honey” or “Active Manuka Honey.”
How Manuka Honey Is Used
The main medical use for manuka honey is on top of a wound. It is generally used for treating minor wounds and burns. The honey used to treat wounds is a medical-grade honey. It is specially sterilized and prepared as a dressing. So the jar of manuka honey in the pantry should not be considered part of a first aid kit. Wounds and infections should be seen and treated by a health care professional.
Active Manuka Honey can be simply taken by the spoonful for example, sore throats. Take a teaspoon every 2 or 3 hours until symptoms cease.You can add Active Manuka to hot drinks such as tea and Coffee (unlike other honeys with hydrogen peroxide, which is easily destroyed by heat and light, Active Manuka still retains most of its anti bacterial properties, even after boiling or moderate dilution)
For internal stomach ulcer type conditions, spread about a tablespoon on a slice of bread or some food an hour before each meal and most importantly again just before bed.This allows the honey to heal all night while sleeping! For Helicobacter Pylori, the cause of stomach ulcers, scientific studies have shown Active Manuka Honey inhibits the bacteria growth and to be 8 times as effective as normal honey as a treatment !
For external slow healing wound conditions, Active Manuka is applied to the wound,then dressed with a suitable bandage. What is truly marvelous about honey and in particular Active Manuka Honey with a 10+ or 15+ or 20+ non peroxide rating is that when applied externally, the honey draws healing fluids and nutrition to affected areas which creates a natural thin layer of moisture on the wound surface. So when bandages,dressings are removed, new regrowing tissue is not damaged and healing is more rapid.
A study in the European Journal of Medical Research in 2003 claimed Active Manuka Honey used under dressings on post operative wounds had an 85 % success rate in clearing up infections compared with 50 per cent for normal antibiotic creams.
In 2007,an inspection of MRSA superbug victims who were receiving treatment at one of New Zealands leading hospitals found that the wounds treated with dressings impregnated with Active Manuka Honey cleared up quickly.
Manuka’s Antioxidant Properties
Perhaps an even more amazing medicinal benefit awaits from Manuka Honey as an understanding of it’s great antioxidant potential emerges.Whilst it is not yet fully understood,it appears that Manuka Honey may slow the oxidation process in the body which is associated with many degenerative human health conditions.Manuka Honey may “anti oxidize” or protect us from free radical unstable oxygen damage?
Recent research at the University of Illinois backs up this possibility, showing that darker honey which is related to the flower nectar type honeybees collect, is a good source antioxidants.
For centuries Manuka honey is also used in treating many other conditions. These include:
- Preventing and treating cancer, especially stomach cancer, all kind of gastro-intestinal diseases, including crohn’s
- Reducing high cholesterol
- Reducing systemic inflammation
- Treating diabetes
- Treating eye, ear, and sinus infections
- Treating gastrointestinal problems
Like many other practitioners I am successfully treating gastro-intestinal problems, colitis, ulcerous colitis, gastritis, stomach cancer, skin rashes, psoriasis with Manuka Honey.