(NaturalHealth365) Superbugs and antibiotic-resistance are a major concern in modern medicine. While the danger of superbugs and vulnerability to untreatable infections are on the rise, a recent study from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) comes as a huge relief. Researchers at UTS, found that manuka honey is effective in treating antibiotic-resistant bacteria and also prevents bacteria from becoming resistant to the antibiotic.
According to Professor Liz Harry, of UTS, ”Manuka honey should be used as a first resort for wound treatment, rather than the last resort, as it so often is.” The UTS research is based on a previous study that found manuka honey’s effectiveness over 80 types of bacterial strains – including MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). The researchers found that when manuka honey was given along with an antibiotic, the MRSA bacteria was destroyed while taking antibiotic alone had no effect.
How is manuka honey different from ‘regular’ table honey?
Manuka honey is obtained from bushes of the manuka tree. The specialty of this honey is that bees gather honey from the same species – Leptospermum scoparium (manuka bush). This imparts characteristic flavor, color, anti-bacterial and rapid wound healing properties of manuka honey.
Table honey contain highly-processed, simple sugars and hydrogen peroxide – the common component in all honey. But manuka honey differs because it contains hydrogen peroxide along with unique components that gives its anti-bacterial and antibiotic qualities.
Manuka honey is particularly rich in methylglyoxal (MG), while it is present in low amounts in other types of honey. The higher the MG level, the stronger is its antibiotic effect. Other key constituents of manuka honey are the sugars in the form of oligosaccharides, methyl glyoxal, gallic acid, coumaric, ellagic acid and antioxidant flavonoids – quercetin and kaempferol.
Science says manuka honey is a powerful healing agent
Many studies have confirmed the rapid wound healing effects of manuka honey especially as a topical applicant and in treating leg ulcers. In fact, a recent study showed that manuka honey might be effective in preventing periodontal diseases including gingivitis and decrease plaque build-up.
The scientific steering committee of the National Cancer Institute approved a proposed use of manuka honey in decreasing inflammation of the esophagus associated with chemotherapy. Imagine what the conventional cancer industry could accomplish – if they focused ‘primarily’ on natural remedies (and solutions) for cancer.
What is the best kind of manuka honey?
Not all manuka honeys are the same. Based on the presence of methylglyoxal – honey manufacturers have developed a rating scale called ‘Unique Manuka Factor’ (UMF). The honey is labeled as UMF 10, or UMF 20+ based on the concentration of methylygluoxal (MG). In order for a honey to be labeled as ”UMF” or ”active manuka honey”, it should have a minimum rating of UMF 10.
The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited, confirms that manuka honey is safe for consumption by healthy individuals. The participants of this study were given 20 grams (3 teaspoon) of manuka honey for 4 weeks and there was no allergic reactions or other adverse effects.
The use of manuka honey individually and in conjunction with antibiotics is becoming more popular – due to its rapid wound healing and anti-bacterial properties. Manuka honey is best consumed in its raw state and is delicious in foods like porridge. It is also available, in the marketplace, as a nutraceutical supplement and also used in medical dressings / bandages.
With all its health benefits, manuka honey is just another example of the ‘future of medicine’ – natural remedies that are safe and effective.
Wallace A et.al. Demonstrating the safety of manuka honey UMF 20+in a human clinical trial with healthy individuals. Br J Nutr. 2010 Apr;103(7):1023-8.
National Cancer Institute: “Scientific Steering Committee Approved Concepts (2006-June 2011).”
Jenkins, R and Cooper, R. Improving Antibiotic Activity against Wound Pathogens with Manuka Honey In Vitro; PLoS One. 2012; 7(9)
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