When Manuka Honey is mentioned in connection with medicine and healing processes, reports and studies are full of superlatives. Why? Because the components in this particular honey have the power to prevent microbiological growth in unusual ways. Manuka Honey is presently getting lots of attention again, as scientists have the hope that it may be able to reverse the increasing resistance to antibiotics of some bacteria, including the dreaded MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staph Auereus) that is sometimes present in hospitals and nursing homes.
What’s so special about Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is unique. The nectar for the production of Manuka honey comes from the flowers of the Manuka bush or by its Latin name - Leptospermum Scoparium. The shrub is native to New Zealand, where the beekeepers set up their hives in natural, undeveloped areas where the Manuka bush grows wild. Besides being a delicious treat, this exceptional honey has powerful natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral and antiseptic components.
Until the arrival of penicillin and antibiotics, honey was a common medicine on hospital shelves to treat wounds and infections. All honeys contain an enzyme called glucose oxidase. It’s an enzyme that slowly forms and releases hydrogene peroxide, known for its antibacterial activity. Depending on the potency of the particular honey, the effects can range from minimal to very high. However, hydrogene peroxide is easily destroyed when it is exposed to heat and light and becomes inactive in the acidity of the stomach. It also needs oxygen to interact and to be effective.
Manuka Honey contains the same component, but also has non-peroxide antibacterial properties that are more stable and that provide an unusual combination of activities. Manuka Honey has been extensively researched for the past 28 years, and the University of Waikato even hosts a special Honey Research Unit, (link) where more and more interesting facts about this fascinating natural product are being discovered.
How can Manuka Honey help the healing process?
In addition to its impressive antibacterial properties, Manuka Honey also contains powerful antiviral components. This is a unique combination that no conventional pharmaceutical currently available on the market can offer.
The constituents in Manuka Honey provide antibacterial barriers that can help clear infections, support and increase wound healing and help fight viruses such as Streptococcus pyogenes, that causes sore throats.
Unlike ordinary honeys, the phytochemical in Manuka Honey is not reliant on oxygen to be effective, which means it remains active even if covered by medicinal dressing or inside of a wound.
Manuka Honey is also a rich source of antioxidants, the substance that protects the body from the effect of free radicals. Free radicals can form as a result of pollution, toxins and the general process of ageing. They are produced as a bi-product of the body’s metabolism. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals that can cause damage to cells and may lead to disease.
Clinical studies have also shown that the anti-inflammatory action of Manuka Honey is helpful in treating irritated skin and burns, as well as inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Mauka Honey’s anti-fungal components may be beneficial in the treatment of fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot and ringworm.
It’s important that the Manuka Honey you purchase is Bio-active, organic and contains no additives. It is best in its purest form, not mixed with other honeys for sweetness. You should also look for Manuka Honey that has been given a rating. Generally, ratings vary from 5+ to 40+, and are an indication as to the strength of antibacterial activity.
Remember, pure and bio-active is best. Then drink it up – Good medicine has never tasted so sweet!