Does Manuka Honey Really Heal Resistant Infections?
Does Manuka Honey Really Heal Resistant Infections?
I am always researching alternative options for my family’s healthcare. I strongly believe nature can provide the majority of our needs. I learned about manuka honey and was intrigued. Could this special honey actually heal resistant infections and much more? Here is what I have learned and how science is backing up many of manuka honey’s merits.
In England, the hospitals use this honey on a consistent basis. Honey has been found by archeologists in tombs of royals. It has been used thousands of years medicinally. The honey often found in supermarkets is not pure and is not much different than fructose syrup and is lacking in healthy benefits.
In 1962, the properties of non-peroxide honey with antibacterial and antiseptic components were found in manuka honey. This distinguished manuka honey from the natural occurring hydrogen peroxide properties in most other honey. This is an important discovery. In the hydrogen peroxide honey, the body’s enzymes break down the effectiveness of the honey’s antibacterial ability. In addition, oxygen, water, air, and the warm temperatures also degrade the effectiveness. This does not occur with the non-peroxide manuka honey rated UMF 10 and above. Manuka honey must have a UMF of 10 or higher to be considered therapeutic.
What is the UMF designations?
UMF is the Unique Manuka Factor which is a quality trademark and grading system identifying natural unadulterated manuka honey that has a special unique natural property found only in some strains of manuka honey. There is an Active Manuka Honey Association that tests the UMF ratings to insure people are truly getting the medicinal manuka honey. This association was renamed in 2011. It is now known as the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (a registered trademark). Look for the UMF rating when purchasing manuka honey. Make sure you are using UMF 16 or higher to get the phenol (disinfectant) antibacterial strength needed for best medicinal use. Honey from the manuka tree can vary each year. This is why it is so important to know your manuka honey has been tested and is of a therapeutic grade.
The UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) is a way to know the antibacterial strength of manuka honey. It takes into account the natural hydrogen peroxide (gives antibiotic quality), methylglyoxal (gives antimicrobial properties derived from dihydroxyacetone). Together, these components give manuka honey a superior amount of enzymes for better antibiotic strength. Not all manuka honey has the special nectar. Make sure you look for the UMF 16 and higher.
- Immunity booster
- Full of vitamins & minerals – manuka honey is a star with up to four times the nutritional value of other honeys
- Stimulates wound healing
- Pain Reducer
- Scar minimizer
Dr. Peter Molan, PhD has dedicated much of his career to the study of manuka honey. He not only believes that manuka honey is an effective way to treat wounds, he has the scientific evidence to back it up. You can review several articles he has published. One of his many articles “Honey: A Biologic Wound Dressing”, is a very worthwhile read.
Laboratory studies and clinical trials support the effectiveness of honey as a broad-spectrum antibacterial alternative.
Manuka honey may help the following conditions
- Treating wounds and burns (even hard to heal wounds)
- Staph infections (MRSA) – My mother had several rounds with MRSA. Unfortunately, nothing was able to get rid of the problem. It remained in her body causing severe health issues. I wish I had known about manuka honey before she passed. It might have been able to do what the strong pharmacological meds could not.
- Acne, eczema, hives, rashes
- Sore throats
- Sleep aid, a little honey with warm milk
- Gastrointestinal problems
We have all heard about antibiotic resistance. This is very real and a major problem for treating many health issues. Manuka honey does not become antibiotic resistant because each harvest of honey varies each season making the honey unique each year. Climate conditions, soil conditions, and bees pollinating different plants before pollinating the manuka tree makes natural variations to the honey. Even the same tree’s honey can be a different grade of UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) from year to year. This is why it is important to purchase only manuka honey UMF 16 or higher. The higher the number, the higher the phenol (disinfectant) and the higher the cost. Generally UMF 20 will be the number to aim for.
There was a study by the Cardiff Metropolitan University that concluded manuka honey can kill Streptococcus pyogenes biofilms (found in non-healing wounds) in vitro and prevent bacteria from binding to the wound tissue. This is a huge discovery. Manuka honey has also been reported to restrain 80 plus species of bacteria. This is one of the reasons it is frequently included in licensed wound care products today.
Manuka honey can be used topically and internally. The taste of manuka honey is a little different. It is less sweet and very pleasant. I purchased my manuka honey from Amazon. It is called Manuka Health MGO 400+ Manuka Honey (20+), 250gm – 100% pure New Zealand Honey. As a prime member, shipping was free. I am incorporating this honey into our natural medicine cabinet. Perhaps you will do the same.
What does MGO mean?
It is a test for a chemical compound with plus or minus 5% margin of error. The MGO™ Certification is scientific, precise, and transparent and leaves no room for misleading. It is also very easy to explain to consumers:
MGO™ 100+ Manuka Honey means honey contains 100mg per kg of Methylglyoxal
MGO™ 250+ Manuka Honey – 250mg per kg
MGO™ 400+ Manuka Honey – 400mg per kg – This is the one I have.
The lowest number MGO to purchase for therapeutic benefit is MGO 100+, the higher the number, the more health benefits it will have. There are two ways you will see the manuka honey described, using the UMF or the MGO numbers and sometimes both numbers will be stated. To recap, you will want UMF 16 or higher or the MGO 100 or higher.
Manuka honey is a great addition to a natural medicine cabinet and to have in your home and bug out bag for emergency situations. If you experience an emergency and must leave your home you might encounter situations where this honey may be the solution to prevent or rid yourself of infection.
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- Peter Molan’s articles
- Dr. Axe
- Honey: A Biologic Wound Dressing
- Ostomy Wound Manage
- Honey Traveler
- Society for General Microbiology
- Therapeutic Uses of Active Manuka Honey
- Cardiff Metropolitan University