- Food and Cooking
Manuka Honey a Miracle Healer?
Manuka Honey - pure goodness
Every now and again a natural organic produce that has been around for hundreds of years is 'rediscovered' because of its healing properties.
Manuka Honey is no exception to this phenomenon, firstly it is better to explain that it is different than other types of honey because of its extremely powerful antibacterial properties that, it is said outperform many pharmaceuticals and traditional forms of medicine. ( in most cases.)
Don't take this as a 'snake oil' sales pitch, read with an open mind and all will become very logical.
Manuka Honey an Alternative Medicine
Alternative medicines are constantly gaining in popularity and natural healing sources such as Manuka honey will grow in demand as the word gets out.
Manuka honey is one of those rare products that can be taken internally like other types of honey, but also externally; it is antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral, so it can be used for skin conditions and infected wounds as well as a treatment of acne and eczema.
Internally Manuka honey can be taken for stomach ulcers (H. pylori), ringworm, gastrointestinal disorders, upset stomach, acid reflux, sinus infections, irritable bowel syndrome, cold and flu symptoms and often as a last resort when all else fails.
Medical research has shown that there is no known bacteria that has been able to develop a resistance to Manuka honey and it is capable of eradicating the MRSA bug, further there has been no reports of any side effects from its use as an alternative medicine.
Manuka honey, good and bad bacteria
The problem with antibiotics when taken orally is that they kill all bacteria inside, good and bad, they don't discriminate and there are some forms of bacteria that our bodies need. When the antibiotics eliminate the good bacteria, it offsets our system's balance which could present negative side effects.
There is no explanation as to why Manuka honey doesn't effect the good bacteria, yet destroys the infectious bacteria.
Is there a Manuka Bee?
No, Manuka honey is made by bees who have fed on the flowers of the Manuka bush. This might explain the healing properties of Manuka honey because the bush is also known as the "Tea Tree" and Tea tree oil generally comes from the Melaleuca tree native to Australia (related to New Zealand's Manuka bush) and is used as an antibiotic and anti-fungal compound for wounds that are failing to heal.
Good for non believers and skeptics
If you are suffering from a condition mentioned earlier but frown upon alternative treatments, consider this; Manuka honey is pure and organic, simply use it in conjunction with whatever you are taking as a medicine.
If you have not yet been prescribed any medicines, why not try Manuka honey first?
Not all Manuka Honey is the same
There are so many different types of Manuka Honey and not all are the same.
My personal choice is Spirits Bay Manuka Honey because it appears to be the most powerful bioactive Manuka Honey.
It is harvested in the far North of New Zealand on traditional Maori land renowned for producing the highest quality Manuka Honey with exceptional health giving properties sourced from the apiaries of a genuine Maori owned business; Watson and Son Ltd. It is tested and rated by a certified laboratory for anti-bacterial qualities and awarded the Manuka Gold Standard (MGS).
Spirits Bay Manuka Honey from Simply Feel Good - Spirits Bay Manuka is the original and the best Active UMF Rated Manuka Honey.
Spirits Bay Manuka Honey Available in the UK from Simply Feel Good UMF +20
Research Confirms Manuka Honey is a Healer
Dr Peter Molan, MBE is an Associate Professor in Biochemistry at The University of Waikato, New Zealand.
His research which has been conducted since 1981 into the ancient healing properties of Manuka honey has led him to discover that honey has genuine healing properties because of a natural hydrogen peroxide antibacterial agent which is an ingredient in most honeys but in varying levels.
We are all fully aware that bees gather the nectar from flowers and return to the hive. The bees then introduce an enzyme called glucose oxidase to the recently collected nectar, this helps preserve the honey.
It has been discovered that when Manuka honey makes contact with the natural moisture of the human body, the glucose oxidase enzyme begins to slowly release the antiseptic hydrogen peroxide at sufficient levels to fight bacteria, yet without damaging body tissue.
Dr, Molan added catalase (one of the most potent catalysts known ) to Manuka Honey samples. Catalse removes the hydrogen peroxide, the sample honeys were then tested for evidence of any remaining antibacterial activity.
Results of the experiment showed some Manuka honey samples still had significant antibacterial activity. A non-peroxide antibacterial activity called UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). See below for more information relating to UMF.
An important aspect is that there is a wide range of hydrogen peroxide antibacterial activity in honey.
The ranges of hydrogen peroxide antibacterial activity depends on how the honey has been handled; for example the glucose oxidase enzyme is easily destroyed by foreign fluids, heat and sunlight.
Some nectar, depending on the flower, produce a catalase that destroys the glucose oxidase enzyme.
Also the hydrogen peroxide can be destroyed by a catalase enzyme which is present in body tissue and serum and this reduces the antibacterial potency when used on a wound or infection.
Not all honey is effective in this non-peroxide anti-bacterial action and healing properties, so much so that there is a vast variability between different batches of honey and this range can vary as much as 100 fold. It became very misleading and consumers were not fully informed as to the 'strength' of Manuka honey.
In order to standardize the classification of antibacterial honey activity an organization called TradeNZ, in conjunction with the Honey Research Unit was formed in 1996.
An industry standard was set called the UMFÂ® , standing for Unique Manuka Factor.
Always check for the rating as Manuka honey is often marketed as being 'active' when it isn't.
The higher the UMF level, the higher the antibacterial activity, so Manuka honey with a UMF level of say, +10 is recommended for therapeutic use. The levels range from UMF +5 to +30.
The UMF Antibacterial Strength Ratings:
0-4: Not detectable
5-9: Maintenance levels only (not recommended for special therapeutic use)
10-15: Useful levels for therapeutic uses
16-30:Superior levels with very high potency