Why Manuka Honey May Actually Cure Your Acne

Can manuka honey help you get rid of acne? Yes, in fact it may. Let’s tell you up front that there are no scientific studies confirming this claim. Yet.. But in theory it works. I’ll explain further on in this post.

More importantly, ask people who tried it. Big chance they are positive. Especially if you have tried many things and most didn’t work. That’s the thing with acne right? I think you should consider trying. Only downside? It may get messy. And sticky.

As is the case with so many treatments you are probably inclined to think this is the next so called miraculous natural remedy that doesn’t work. Good for you. A critical mind is a good thing.  A pimpled face is less desirable. Most of us know how it sucks when nothing works.

The good news is that there is some evidence, although minimal, and  trustworthy reviews showing the manuka honey acne remedy really can be effective.

This post is about the use of manuka honey on acne,  the scientific facts, user experiences and more useful information. Read on to find out more.

 

Why Should You Use Manuka Honey for Acne?

It has been years ago since I suffered from acne and I have never used honey myself in this matter. Simply because didn’t know about it back then. So I don’t have experience with using honey to get rid of acne myself. But I do know a fair bit about honey in relation to skin care.

When writing about manuka honey and skin care I regularly stumble upon experts saying honey really can be an effective acne cure. Also posts on the acne.org forum show this natural remedy really works for (certain) people. Links to the sources further on this page.

Since both clinical findings as well as experiences of people on forums are promising and there isn’t much awareness about this natural solution yet I thought it might be a good idea to look into this. Especially considering the antibacterial,anti-inflammatory, dermal empowering aspects of Manuka honey.

 

In order to determine if honey really does get rid of acne we first have to take a close look to what acne exactly is. Scientifically that is.

What Exactly is Acne?

acne causes and definition

What exactly causes acne is not quite clear. Hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy are commonly thought to be causes. Also genetics seem to influence acne.

Acne is simply said clogged pores. These pores get clogged by dead skin cells and a naturally present oil (sebum). A bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes which also naturally occurs in the skin attracts white blood cells. These blood cells produce an enzyme causing inflammation (red bumps) as a reaction to clogging of the pores. A correlation results in an increase of the growth of the bacteria. Ultimately progressing in pimples,              severe acne and possibly scars.

Get Rid of Acne with Manuka Honey?

What are the Benefits of Honey regarding Acne?

How certain improvements exactly are accomplished is not fully understood yet but in general getting rid of acne is thought to have to do with 4 criteria: (The best cures provide a combination of these effects)

 

  • regulate shedding in the pore to prevent clogging

  • destroy the  ‘Propionibacterium acnes’ bacteria

  • anti-inflammatory effects

  • hormonal manipulation

Manuka honey is the most researched, most powerful medicinal honey known today. It has the ability to  penetrate skin tissue and treat infections beneath the skin. Clinically proven to cure wounds, infections, ulcers and other skin conditions. Its antibacterial, antiseptic,  antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties are unchallenged. Read scientific reports here.

So apart from conquering inflammation and bacteria, which are two major factors in acne, Manuka honey also has shown to draw out  impurities in, even in highly infested, problematic, wounds. So it might have the same effect on acne pimples as well. It also has proven to stimulate the growth of new skin cells and fasten wound closure which helps reduce acne scars.

Being aware of these wonderful properties it could be very legitimate to suggest Manuka honey might be a really good natural acne remedy.

 

Does Honey Really Get Rid of Acne?

does it kill Propionibacterium acnes bacteria?

Many species of bacteria are destroyed by the osmotic (water  extracting) effect of Manuka honey. Also acidity (a low pH  value) is a significant antibacterial factor of honey. It must  be used topically because when digested it dilutes which decreases or diminishes its acidic action.

Hydrogen peroxide is another powerful antibacterial agent. Although present in all honeys Manuka honey has something extra. Previously called UMF or MGO, now labeled the Molan Gold Standard, this trait is the most powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory aspect of Manuka. (The label indicates the  honey has been laboratory tested for its activity)

What  might be the most convincing argument for this cure is the fact  that scientists doing research on Manuka honey have not found  any type of harmful bacteria resistant to Manuka honey’s special antibacterial activity. Although this sounds promising, we want  proof. So is there clinical evidence Manuka honey kills the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria?

A look at the Waikato  Honey Research website shows one of the researchers of this university’s current interests is a subject called: “Trials of honey to treat acne”. (after the redesign of their website they haven’t made these publications available yet.) So they think it might work and are looking  into it but there are no study reports on this particular subject yet.

 

Sugar in Honey Supposed to Worsen Acne?

what about bacteria feeding on sugar

The statement that  honey should not be used for acne because of its sugar content should be invalidated. The thought behind this argument is that  bacteria feed on sugar, thus acne would get worse.

Facts are that honey’s high sugar content along with its low Ph makes it an antimicrobial agent, actually inhibiting the growth of  bacteria.

 

How To Use Manuka Honey To Get Rid Of Acne

honey face mask, stipping spots..

For some users it dries out their spots while other people say it only helps even  their coloring and complexion. Although not an over night  miracle cure but with some time and dedication it may actually work.

 

Get Rid of Acne with a Honey Face Mask

Just spread a  layer of honey on your face. It’s best to use sterile manuka honey without any other ingredients.

 

Real Active Manuka Honey

I recommend manuka honey with an UMF rating of at least 10+ or an MGO rating of 200+. Always go for reputable brands that have their honey tested for antibacterial activity in certified labs. In my opinion the best brands are East Cape, Manuka Health, Comvita, and Watson and Son.

 

Pros and  Cons of Honey to Get Rid of Acne

Cons

  • messy, sticky

  • might give a tingling, slight stinging  sensation

Pros

  • soft skin

  • no side effects

  • natural

  • really seems to work

 

 

Reviews on Acne.org

Reviews of people suffering from acne who started using Manuka honey. Click on the links below to read  their experiences.

Acne.org  Message Boards

Stuff works great to fade redmarks and kill bacteria. I’ve  tried everything. EVERYTHING! This is the only stuff that  actually worked. Only been on it for 2 days, and I can see a  noticeable difference.

 Acne.org  Message Boards

In conclusion for now, I’ve used the Active Manuka Honey for  two days now (no make-up) and had seen some dramatically positive results. Only two days!!! The red blotchiness is almost completely gone, zits dried up and skin tone looking a  lot better. Looks like scars are fading as well. I love this  stuff.

 

 

Manuka Honey Acne Testimonial

I found this testimonial on Tumblr:

Ingrid:

” As a typical teenager I too suffered from acne. As I entered my 20′s I expected my skin problems to disappear. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I’ve tried  everything from over the counter products to prescription medication. I had heard through a friend that manuka honey could  be used for my problem.

 

With no hope left I was willing  to try something new. My very first night I applied the honey to  my blemish and covered it with a band-aid. The following morning to my surprised I noticed a dramatic improvement. Not only had  the size, swelling and the redness been reduced by I could barely notice that I had a blemish at all! I have finally found  a solution to my skin imperfections! Thank you Manuka Honey! “

 

A Bit About Staph Infections and Acne

2  different things

Staph infections can infect wounds as well as occur on the skin. Little pus filled breakouts will appear which  look like pimples. Sometimes this type of skin infection is  wrongly thought to be acne vulgaris.

Commonly antibiotics  are prescribed by the doctor to treat this infection. However  more and more bacteria get resistant to antibiotics. Research  has shown Manuka honey to be effective at killing the                     Staphylococcus bacteria, the cause of this skin condition. Actually this specific bacteria is very sensitive to the antibacterial action of Manuka honey.

“seven species of bacteria most commonly involved in wound infection have been tested for their sensitivity to the antibacterial activity of honey. The results thus showed that these honeys, with an average level of                     activity, could be diluted nearly ten-fold yet still completely  inhibit the growth of all the major wound-infecting species of  bacteria… …Manuka honey, with an average level of activity, could be diluted with 54 times its volume of fluid yet still completely inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, the major wound-infecting species, and a species notorious for its development of resistance to antibiotics.”

 

Studies, Clinical Trials?

Many websites,  companies etc. state that clinical trials have shown Manuka  honey in fact is an effective way to get rid of acne. I, however, am not completely convinced. I do think it works but I would like to see links to study reports. I can’t seem to find  them searching online. But in the near future studies will be done and possible proof will be there. Until that time I think  it is a remedy worth investing some money and time in.

 

So Does Manuka Honey Help Acne?

conclusion

There has not been done specific research done on the efficacy of Manuka honey on destroying the Propionibacterium acnes. So there is no scientific proof it works (yet).

However considering its cumulative antibacterial properties, the many positive experiences, the abundance of studies showing its efficacy in killing other types of bacteria and infections, all together  make this natural remedy a good candidate for the most effective  natural get rid of acne solution available. Not sure where to get your jar of manuka honey? Check out this post.

 

 

 

 

Where To Buy Manuka Honey – Best Brands and Strengths

If you want to buy Manuka honey you’ll probably want it for its powerful health benefits. Otherwise you would have probably bought a normal honey which is not renowned for its medical uses.

The best manuka honey is characterized by unique antibacterial and antimicrobial activities which can not be found in other honeys. It can cure skin infections where prescribed antibiotics have failed. It not only fights infection it also promotes tissue growth, speeding the healing process.

When you want to buy this New Zealand originated honey there are a few things to keep in mind.

Not All Manuka Honey’s Are The Same

The increasing popularity and public demand have led to a flood of products on the market. Many of these so called active manuka honey’s are not what they seem. Manufacturers and distributors want to gain financially by promoting their products as being active, healing, special and unique. While the cold truth is that a lot of these products are not tested for their antibacterial activities and consequently do not have the unique traits of genuine active manuka honey.

“Some honeys are no more antibacterial than sugar while others can be diluted more than 100 fold and still halt the growth of bacteria.”

Some manufacturers provide manuka honey products that aren’t necessarily consistent from batch to batch. So read on to find out where to buy real active manuka honey and how to find out if it’s tested for its health enhancing properties.

What To Look For When Buying Manuka Honey

Since there has been so much distortion on the market it is actually pretty hard to determine which brands are the best. I would like to give some guidelines anyway. The products displayed on this page are all genuine UMF or MGO Manuka or Molan Gold honeys with special health benefits. These brands have been tested in laboratory (for example the Waikato University laboratory) and are guaranteed for a certain amount of antibacterial activity and subsequent health benefits.

 

* Scroll down on this page clinical trials and other proof on the effectiveness of Manuka honey.

 

Manuka Honey Testing and Rating Systems (UMF, MGO, Molan Gold)

At first there was the Waikato University Manuka honey rating system created to benefit customers. The renowned professor Molan is head of the Honey Research Unit of the Waikato University New Zealand. This pioneer in Manuka honey research has discovered the healing properties of this natural product in 1982. At that time it wasn’t clear which process was exactly responsible for the special traits of this honey. That’s why professor Molan called it the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF).

Later on, in 2006 Professor Henle, head of the Institute of Food Chemistry at the Technical University of Dresden, identified Methylglyoxal (MGO) being responsible for the ‘spectacular antibacterial properties of Manuka honey’.

A few years later the Molan Gold certification saw the light.

Recent publication by Dr. Molan about ‘rating the activity of Manuka honey’

The existence of both the UMF and the MGO rating system have led to a little bit more clarity on the consumer market. For more in-depth info do a Google search for “Rating the antibacterial activity of manuka honey” by Professor Peter Molan of the Honey Research Unit, University of Waikato.

UMF Manuka Honey

How to recognize Manuka honey that’s been tested for its activity

Personally if I buy manuka honey, and I do so every few months because I always have a jar at home I buy UMF, MGO or Molan Gold honey.

Whatever certification and rating system you choose,  there are a few criteria that are important in case you want to buy manuka honey.

First of all the term ‘active’ is no guarantee for the product being tested. In order to make sure to buy the good stuff only buy UMF 10+ Manuka honey. This means:

The product has the name UMF® clearly stated on the front label and has a rating of UMF 10 or more.

There are 4 UMF ratings to indicate the antibacterial potency of Manuka honey:

  • UMF0 to UMF4: not detectable

  • UMF5 to UMF9: maintenance level only (not recommended for therapeutic uses)

  • UMF10 to UMF15: useful therapeutic levels endorsed by the Honey Research Unit at University of Waikato

  • UMF16+ : superior strength with very high antibacterial levels

MGO Manuka honey

 

The MGO system was developed after Dr. Henle discovered the existence of Methylgyoxal. Manuka honey with an UMF rating of 10 can be compared with MGO 100 Manuka honey.

  • UMF® 10 = MGO 100

  • UMF® 16 = MGO 250

  • UMF® 20 = MGO 400

 

Although the UMF and MGO rating system both indicate the presence of antibacterial activity none of the systems is ideal.

From the Waikato Honey Research Website: It is now known that this unique antibacterial activity is due to the combined action of methylglyoxal (MGO) and an unidentified synergistic component(s). Although very low levels of MGO are found in most honey, the high level of MGO in manuka honey is unique, as is the presence of the synergist which more than doubles the antibacterial activity of MGO.

What about the AMHA checklist?

the guideline to determine which honey is the real deal. Only companies that are member of the Active Manuka Honey Association New Zealand (AMHA) are allowed to use the registered UMF trademark.

These AMHA members have to meet stringent criteria in order to use this trademark. Licensed Manuka honey producers have to constantly monitor and audit the quality of their honey.

They need to send samples of the honey they produce to a specially appointed laboratory for testing the antibacterial activity. This laboratory uses testing criteria declared by the Honey Research Unit of the Waikato University, New Zealand. (The Waikato Honey Research Unit and especially professor Molan are THE authority on the research on the medical benefits of Manuka honey).

Customers can use a checklist to identify authentic UMF Manuka honey:

Genuine UMF Manuka Honey complies with all five of the following criteria:

 

1. It has the name UMF clearly stated on the front label.

2. It is packed into jars and labeled in New Zealand.

3. It is from a New Zealand company licensed to use the name UMF.

4. It has the UMF licensee’s name on the front label.

5. It has a rating of UMF10 or more.

 

But this checklist is not up to date anymore. Many Manuka honey jars are distributed by for example English distributors who put their own label on it. This way the customer has no clear sight of what he buys.

An example:

I bought a 10+ UMF Manuka honey jar recently. I wanted to know up front if it really was genuine UMF manuka honey so I used the checklist. The company, a British distributor, was not on it. So I e-mailed with general AMHA manager John Rawcliffe. He told me the brand I wanted to buy was indeed active manuka honey.

“the product is from a Licence holder, it is distributed by another company “

Conclusion: Until the new Waikato University Testing and Rating system is rolled out it is best to only buy UMF 10+ or higher or MGO manuka honey from established brands like Comvita, Eastcape, Spirits Bay, Haddrell’s of Cambridge and Molan Gold, and Honey New Zealand.

Many Manuka honeys on Amazon are not the real deal..

Bestselling Manuka honey on Amazon is not tested for additional healing properties

Let’s take a look at the Amazon bestseller list and we’ll see Wedderspoon Raw Organic Organic Manuka Honey Active 16+ is

The best selling Manuka honey on Amazon and the amount of reviews (this product has by far the most) also seems to give an indication this is the best product. But I personally would not buy it because as far as I know it has not been tested. At least not by University labs such as those from the University of Waikato or Dresden.

 

Bestsellers are no guarantee for quality!

Only the fifth Manuka honey on the Amazon Bestsellers List..

is UMF® Manuka honey.

Yes, the price of the genuine Manuka honey is 31% higher than the bestseller. But you’ll buy UMF manuka honey with the health benefits that the others may or may not have. So if you would ask me, the fifth manuka honey has a far better price quality value.

So why spend that much on normal honey?

A five star rating is no indication for certified laboratory tested manuka honey. Some products have very good ratings and reviews:

“I’ve recently read about the benefits of manuka Honey. I was very pleased with this product.”

But people might not be aware of the fact that what they have read about the medicinal benefits of manuka honey may in fact not apply to the product they have bought.

So take good care when buying Manuka honey and buy honey that’s been tested for its antibacterial activity

Best Buy: UMF Manuka honey rating 10+ or higher or MGO 200+ or higher

list of the best brands to buy

I always recommend to buy manuka honey from Comvita, East Cape, Manuka Health and the Watson and Son company. In my opinion these are the most trustworthy brands. Also keep in mind that a manuka honey with a strength of 5+ won’t do you much good. Medicinal benefits start working from 10+ and up. And even then it’s sometimes wise to go for a stronger version. For example when you are planning to use it internally. Let’s say for stomach relief or for acid reflux relief.

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

 

Buy Manuka Honey at Discount Prices

You can also order Manuka honey at Silverfernz in New Zealand. In some cases you could save considerable amount of money. Not only because of lower prices but also because of the New Zealand Dollars (NZD) and United States Dollars (USD) currency rate (For 7 US dollars you get roughly 10 NZ dollars)

 

  • No extra delivery costs
  • What’s also convenient is that the delivery rates are the same! (Compared to Amazon delivery rates *)
  • Your credit card will be charged in New Zealand Dollars. All the exchange rates on the Silverfernz website are updated every day from The Bank of New York.
  • Delivery takes a little longer

* The Amazon standard shipping rates delivery times for U.S. deliveries are within 3 to 5 business days. The Silverfernz delivery times are 5 to 11 days. So if you are not in a hurry you can save a lot on ordering your Manuka honey products at Silverfernz.

 

Medihoney

Buy Manuka honey Wound Gel and DressingsUMF 10+ Manuka honey in jars can be used for internal purposes. For example on a sore throat, mouth or stomach ulcers or acid reflux to name a few.

For use on the skin, for example on wounds, cuts, burns, insect bites or ulcers it is strongly recommended to use medical grade manuka honey. This is manuka honey that is sterilized by gamma irradiation. This is necessary because non treated honey might contain problematic microorganisms which make it not suitable for external therapeutic use.

Medihoney/ Comvita products manufactured by the company Derma Sciences, are the only FDA-cleared, honey-infused wound dressings and gels on the American market. They offer various types of dressings and a wound paste

Other companies, such as Honeymark, sell Manuka honey-based wound creams, acne cream, hand soap and lotions online. Honeymark’s products also contain Manuka honey, but they are less tightly regulated by the FDA and aren’t necessarily consistent from batch to batch. Source: US News

 

Manuka Honey Health Benefits

the medical use of Manuka honey

Not only has Manuka honey healing properties that can’t be found in other honeys but Manuka honey is often more effective than conventional medicines*. It is used effectively for treating:

 

  • wounds

  • ulcers

  • stomach ulcers

  • burns

  • sore throat

  • eye and throat infections

  • ringworm

  • and much more..

This due to the strong anti-bacterial, but also fungicidal, skin regenerating , soothing to skin nerves, anti-inflammatory, anti rheumatic, itchiness relieving and anti-allergic characteristics.

 

* “The clinical evidence for the effectiveness of honey as a wound dressing” by Dr. Peter Molan provides extensive information and scientific evidence.

 

A satisfied user

“I got bitten by an Alsatian. It grabbed my hand and gave me a five-stitch bite. So I went off to the doctors, and they solely used manuka honey, nothing else, no other treatment. I’ve got barely a scar now, and that’s only three weeks ago. Now in the medical kit I carry in the truck, I have manuka honey and bandages, and that’s all.”

Chris Graham

 

Professor Peter Molan

biochemist and rediscoverer of honey’s healing powersProfessor Peter Molan has devoted almost 30 years to investigating this honey’s antibacterial qualities.

 

The more research Dr. Molan has done the more he realized its potential as a medicine:

 

” I’ve got quite committed to drawing this to people’s attention and get them to start using it.

 

Dr. Molan has initiated the successful commercialization of Manuka honey products for wound care that are now registered as medical devices with the regulatory authorities in Australia, Canada, the countries of the European Union, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the USA.

A complete list of thepublications by Dr. Molan on the effectiveness and the effects of Manuka honey on; infected wounds, burns, infected skin lesions, ulcers , staphylococci bacteria, plaque and gingivitis, oral wellness, mouth ulcers, wounds infected with MRSA and VRE, and the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

 

References

What’s so special about manuka honey 

What is Manuka Honey Used For

The ancient Egyptians offered honey to their God Min, in the Hindu religion, honey is considered an elixir of immortality and even the prophet Muhammad promoted honey as “healing for mankind”. 1 It’s a wonder that scientists have taken to so long to discover what the ancients have known all along – that honey, and specifically Manuka honey, can be as effective as, if not more effective than traditional medicine, at treating certain wounds and conditions.

Manuka honey is honey produced specifically from the Manuka or Tea tree bush which is native to New Zealand and Southeast Australia.2 Whilst the Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium )has recently been studied for its various pharmaceutical uses, Manuka honey in particular has caught the imagination of scientists. In fact they are so interested in its medicinal qualities, that the University of Waikato has established the Waikato Honey Research Unit in order to fully study the antimicrobial effects of this golden delight. Read on to learn what is manuka honey used for.

What scientists have been proving – the benefits of Manuka honey

Dr. Peter Molan, MBE, an Associate Professor of Biochemistry, has been at the forefront of Manuka honey since the early 1980’s, and through Dr. Molan’s extensive research on the subject, he has been able to study antibacterial effects of honey and Manuka honey in particular. What he has found is that Manuka honey contains not only one but two agents which help to heal wounds and fight bacteria. This additional antibacterial agent is referred to as non-peroxide activity.

Manuka Honey Testing and Rating

If you want to take advantage of manuka honey it needs to be tested for its antimicrobial activity. The thing that makes manuka honey unique is that it also has a non-peroxide anti-bacterial activity. (all honeys have hydrogen peroxide activity) Independent laboratories test batches of manuka honey on this unique trait. In order to determine its rating the batches are compared with the equivalent concentration of phenol with the same level of antibacterial activity. To illustrate; when Manuka Honey has a rating of 10, its non-peroxide antibacterial activity will fight off bacteria as effectively as will a 10% phenol solution.

So what exactly can Manuka honey do? – The benefits of Manuka Honey

Because Manuka is antibacterial, as well as having anti fungal properties, it has been shown to have both internal as well as external benefits.3 External application of the honey includes the treatment of eczema, arthritis, infected wounds, ring worm, acne and it even has anti ageing properties which fight the signs of ageing such as wrinkles.

Internal uses include the treatment of a sore throat, stomach ulcers, some cancers, gastritis, acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome. Manuka honey is used by many to treat sinus infection and as a natural remedy for strep throat. Furthermore it is popular as a natural water warts treatment. A visitor wrote me how manuka honey was able to cure bladder infection.

Manuka Honey for external use

Manuka has been scientifically proven to be effective in treating most wounds including skin ulcers, diabetic ulcers, wounds, burns, boils, acne, atopic eczema.4

Wounds generally become infected when they come into contact with or are infected by Eschericihia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.5 These infections are particularly difficult to treat successfully and can even lead to dire results such as amputation in the case of diabetic ulcers which become antibiotic resistant. Manuka honey is effective at killing these persistent bacteria. Here’s more info on how manuka honey can help heal a c-section wound.

Applying Manuka to wounds creates a moist wound healing environment which has been shown to speed up wound healing with the added benefits of reduced scarring. Moist wound healing techniques also require less dressings as the dressing for these wounds need to be changed less often than conventional dressings.

Manuka creates an optimal wound healing environment by excluding environmental influences on the wound. It also has a natural component which produces hydrogen peroxide which in turn aids the healing process while at the same time creating a germ free environment. And finally, the UMF antibacterial component found within Manuka also penetrates the tissue, thus reaching and treating deep seated infections.

Quite simply, Manuka treats external wounds by cleaning the wound by removing dirt from the wound, clearing the bacteria which are responsible for the infection, protecting the wound against further infection by environmental influences, and making the change of wound dressing easier. Honey wound dressings don’t need to be changed as frequently and they do not stick the wound like conventional dressings thus affecting the wound each time a conventional dressing is changed.6

Special, sterilized, FDA approved, class 1 medical devices are marketed under the brand name Medihoney dressings. The use of these medical professionals as well as individuals is increasing rapidly.

Manuka Honey for internal use

Stomach ulcers in particular dyspepsia and peptic ulcers are caused by a bacterium called Helicobacter Pylori. Although there seem to be no formal scientific studies on the subject yet, Manuka’s special UMF factor has been shown anecdotally to be effective in the treatment of the above conditions.7

The UMF factor present in Manuka has been proven to inhibit the growth of Helicobacter Pylori under laboratory conditions and it stands to reason that the honey should therefore be effective in the treatment of various stomach ailments including stomach ulcers. Once again we shall perhaps have to wait for science to prove what some ancients already knew? This post goes deeper into the question whether or not does manuka honey cure stomach ulcers.

Manuka and MRSA

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) has become the nightmare of hospitals all over the world. This highly infectious strain of Staphylococcus roams the passages of hospitals infecting already ill patients with a sometimes deadly strain of bacteria which has become resistant to most if not all conventional antibiotics.

Recent laboratories studies as well as hospital trials have shown Manuka honey to be effective in the treatment of wounds infected with MRSA. 8

So with all the medicinal benefits of Manuka honey in mind, should you rush off and purchase yours immediately? The simple answer is no. Not all honeys are born equal and this is true of Manuka as well.

Choosing Manuka honey

On active manuka honey testing for its level of antibacterial activity has been carried out. If correctly done these tests are carried out by independent laboratories on each batch of honey.

The abovementioned research trials and clinical studies have been based primarily on the work of Dr. Peter Molan. Dr. Molan makes it clear that when purchasing Manuka honey, you should be careful to choose Manuka with a UMF or Molan Gold rating of 10 or more. Dr. Molan created these ratings for Manuka in order to rate the antibacterial effects of the honey, and the higher the UMF or Molan Gold factor of the honey, the higher the anti-bacterial effect9, so it stands to reason that when choosing Manuka honey for medicinal purposes, you should choose the honey which will be most effective. Make sure you do your homework and find the highest quality Manuka that you can purchase.

References

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptospermum_scoparium
4. http://manukahoney.com/resources/research/wound-care.html
5. Willix DJ, Molan PC, Harfoot CJ. A comparison of the sensitivity of wound-infecting species of bacteria to the antibacterial activity of manuka honey and other honey. J Appl Bacteriol 1992; 73: 388-94. as quoted on http://www.manukahoney.co.uk/article1.html

Manuka Honey For Wound Healing

Manuka honey is the most researched type of honey and is clinically proven to enhance wound healing. Various studies also show it to cure various skin ailments. But why is manuka honey special? What does it have that other honeys don’t?

Regular varieties of honey lose hydrogen peroxide when used to heal a wound. This causes a risk of bacterial growth in the wound. The sugar content in the honey overtakes its lost antibacterial property which promotes the growth of bacteria in the wounded area. But New Zealand’s active manuka honey (Leptospermum honey) enhances the healing property of natural honey by a unique factor called UMF which is the acronym for Unique Manuka Factor.

This is a factor which supports the antibacterial property of honey in addition to hydrogen peroxide. UMF is a stable property and doesn’t get destroyed easily. It is even dominant over the antibacterial effects of hydrogen peroxide.

Manuka honey is able to provide a germ free moist environment for wound healing which otherwise results in infection and fungus growth. With its high sugar content the honey feeds the wound with glucose which keeps the wounded area free from any odor which will otherwise smell bad as the bacteria produces ammonia and sulphur compounds.

This amazingly unique product (it really is!) has not shown any side effects so far. The amount of honey needed for the wound treatment depends on the fluid from the wound. Therefore the Derma Sciences company has developed different types of manuka honey wound dressings. For normal wounds, moderately exudating wounds, and heavily exudating wounds. These products are called Medihoney dressings. They are especially suitable for leg and foot ulcers, pressure sores, surgical and traumatic wounds but also normal, less serious wounds, will benefit from these natural treatment.

As a natural antibiotic the honey as a healing medicine doesn’t have any expiry date when stored in a proper place and at the right temperature. It is readily available in almost all places at an affordable price.

Manuka honey is well known for its medical importance for all age groups. But its property as a wound treatment is a sweet surprise for many people as it will be readily available in your home at all times. Honey provides an antibacterial strength to the affected area with its natural acidity. Honey heals the wound as it nurtures the affected area with moist content which assures quick healing.

Tissue regrowth gets delayed if the wound dries. Also the moisture in the wound heals it with less scarring. It is less painful and it requires lesser dressing. Dried wound is very painful when removing the dressing which may sometimes tear the underlying tissue. Also the acidity of honey releases oxygen which is essential for the growth of new cells in the wounded area. When all the above properties of honey are common to all the honey varieties manuka honey differs as far as risk factor is concerned. Learn more about the benefits of Leptospermum honey in wound care.

Where To Find Manuka Honey

When you are asking yourself where to find manuka honey you will have two options on where to get it. You can buy it online or in physical stores. When purchasing manuka honey online you have to consider the fact that you may have to pay shipping costs when the product is delivered from abroad.

What’s much more important though is to make sure you will get a brand that has its honey tested for its health boosting properties. This is done in certified laboratories (if it’s done properly that is). The scientists testing the batches examine the amount of antibacterial, antimicrobial, and other chemical traits. This guarantees customers they get manuka honey that actually is active.

Properly testing is crucial since not all jars available on store shelves and in online shop distribution centers contain active manuka honey. Even though the label says so, but this is because this term isn’t protected. Some brands just offer non-active, or much less active honey, because it is often diluted with normal honey.

These practices end up people buying overpriced honey that doesn’t really help them with what they intended to purchase it for. So in order to make sure to find the right type of manuka customers should pay close attention to which brand they buy.

Some trustworthy brands are Molan Gold, Watson and Son, Eastcape, Comvita, and MGO manuka honey. For more info on which brand to choose check out this page: the best manuka honey to buy.

Benefits of Manuka Honey for Skin

Manuka honey is known for a wide range of benefits for skin ailments. It is probably the most extraordinary natural health care substance of the past decades.

Admitted, honey has been recognized as an effective skin care product since the dawn of mankind. Ancient cultures as the Egyptians and Greeks already mentioned its health and skin care benefits. But this honey from New Zealand has something extra.

“good as a salve for sore eyes and wounds” Aristotle (384-322 BC)

Increasing research demonstrates manuka honey’s uses in traditional medicine and as a powerful skin care product. This curative agent is still mainly perceived as a alternative remedy but is rapidly taking its place among conventional medicines.

This, thanks to the scientists doing the research. For research reports and other information read this article on the website of the Waikato University: What’s special about Active Manuka Honey?

Benefits of Manuka Honey for Skin

Manuka honey has very potent hydrating properties. Hydration is a key element to proper skin care.

Wound Healing

Thanks to manuka honey’s antibacterial action it is used to fight and prevent infections and speed the wound healing process. Wound debri is removed painlessly and special dressings are patient-friendly because they do not stick to the wound.

Manuka honey has shown to cure heavily infected very problematic wounds. Bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics (such as MRSA and staph infections) are successfully removed by this honey.

Acne Treatment

Not only in wounds but manuka also seems to benefit acne treatment. It seems to work on acne because it is characterized by inflammatory reactions of the body to skin lesions. Also the aforementioned anti-bacterial action seems to be beneficiary to reducing acne breakouts.

(Diabetic) Ulcers and Sores

More and more people opt for having their ulcers and sores treated with manuka honey-infused bandages. There are much anecdotal reports of persistent ulcers finally healed. Upon treatment granulation tissue re-appeared and within measurable time the ulcers resolved.

Skin Conditions Such as Athletes Foot, Jock Itch, Psoriasis, Eczema

More and more people use it to relief and cure athletes foot, eczema, herpes, psoriasis (see before and after photos here). The antimicrobial properties seem to play a major role here. Funghi which often cause such conditions are fought off while hydration enhances the skin’s recovery process.

Also nail funghus, water warts, and insect bites benefit from topical application of this special nectar from the manuka bushes in New Zealand.

O, not to forget, manuka honey is also very tasty! It is very sweet and has a specific, flowery taste that actually can’t be described very well.

Manuka Honey Benefits For Stomach

Manuka honey has several benefits for stomach ailments. In fact several of these benefits are proven by scientific reports.

People use this healing honey for various stomach-related purposes.

  • stomach flu (gastroenteritis)
  • stomach ulcers
  • acid reflux

Stomach Flu

One clinical trial researched the effects of honey (instead of glucose) added to a re-hydration fluid (solution of electrolytes) given to children hospitalized with gastroenteritis.

It showed a statistically significant reduction in the duration of diarrhea caused by bacterial infection (58 hours cf 93 hours). Haffejee and Moosa (1985)
source: Waikato Honey Unit

Stomach Ulcers

Many sufferers from stomach ulcers are infected with the helicobacter pylori bacterium. Research indicates that taking four teaspoons of manuka honey, four times a day on an empty stomach for eight weeks appears to get rid of the infection.

According to a Daily Mirror article:

Helicobacter pylori triggers acid indigestion. Although it doesn’t cause symptoms in everyone, virtually all patients with duodenal ulcers are infected. Plus three quarters of those with gastric ulcers. [..]

Acid Reflux

These were the results of a poll among users of this honey: (more than 80% of the respondents noticed relief upon taking manuka honey)

Did you benefit from using manuka honey for your acid reflux?

Yes, it reduced the symptoms
61.9%
Yes, my acid reflux has disappeared!
19%
I’m not sure
14.3%
Too bad, It did not work.
4.8%

You can find links to research reports on the benefits of manuka honey on the website of the Waikato University, section Honey Research Unit.

Where do you use manuka honey for?

Which Manuka Honey For Acid Reflux

Manuka honey is used most commonly for acid reflux, heartburn, stomach ulcers, gastritis, and acne treatment. Whether or not manuka honey is a cure for acid reflux is disputed but that it offers many people considerable relief is a fact.

Which manuka honey should you use for acid reflux relief? Experts such as prof. Molan (discoverer of the unique properties of this type of honey) recommend to use a honey with a rating strength between 12+ and 18+ to 20+.

There’s also difference between brands. Not all brands have their products tested by certified laboratory. When customers want to be certain about the potency of the honey they buy they should go for brands such as Watson & Son , Comvita or brands with the MGO certification.

Manuka Honey For Acid Reflux

Manuka honey soothes in case of acid reflux and heartburn and may prevent (further) damage to the esophageal sphincter muscles. (the muscle that normally prevents stomach acids from refluxing)

How does it do this? Well, manuka honey kills various types of harmful bacteria. One of them is the Helicobacer pylori bacterium, which is the most common cause of stomach acid overproduction and a common cause for peptic ulcers.

According to the world renowned Waikato Honey Research Unit manuka honey is “much more effective than other honey against Helicobacter pylori.”

In addition, manuka honey has a very powerful anti-inflammatory action. This alone may offer relief since refluxing stomach acids may cause inflammation of the stomach’s mucous lining. Regular use of manuka honey may prevent damage of this tissue. Once damaged, the muscle will function less well with more acid reflux as a result.

Yet another benefit of using manuka honey for acid reflux is that it has no side effects while common acid reflux medicines do.

Which Manuka Honey Is The Best

There’s much dispute among experts about which manuka honey is the best. Scientists, suppliers, and marketing managers differ from opinion on which rating system optimally measures the healthy benefits of this special type of honey. There are several manuka honey brands, rating systems, and test labs. This leads to much confusion among customers. In order to determine which manuka honey you should buy it is the safest option to go for the Molan Gold brand.

This brand is founded by the most renowned researcher in this area, Dr. Molan. When you purchase this brand you also know this honey has been tested for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties in laboratory that work closely with the Waikato University. This university is the home of most of the research conducted on the medicinal properties of this honey.

US customers can buy Molan Gold Standard Manuka honey at Amazon.

Another product with the same certification is Watson & Son Premium Certified Manuka Honey 15+ . At this moment it is not available.

Did you know..

Manuka honey is the only, currently known, substance that is effective in fighting off the antibiotic-resistant MRSA bug. This superbug as it is called is responsible for the deaths of 5000 hospitalized patients in the United Kingdom alone. So the help of the honey from New Zealand literally is a lifesaver.

Does Manuka Honey Cure Nail Fungus?

Yes manuka honey is able to cure nail fungus in two ways. In theory this is. Because of manuka honey’s powerful antifungal properties it is an effective topical agent to fight of the fungus that causes the yellow, cracked nails. But there’s more.

According to experts (such as the Mayo Clinic) the most efficient treatment of Onychomycosis (nail fungus) is oral. They advice to use prescription drugs to fight off the fungus from the inside out (systemically).

But many people encounter side effects as a result of using such prescription drugs. Manuka honey, which is completely natural, can also be taken internally. Thus it works both topically and oral. Cricital note: whether or not the honey is powerful enough to enter the bloodstream and reach the infected nails is disputed.

Research indicates manuka honey to be able to effectively treat; athlete’s foot, jock itch, and ringworm. All fungal infections.

Nail fungus infections are highly contagious. Usually the fungus enters the nail through cracks or cuts in the nail. Once there it thrives under the nail bed. The nail affected by a fungus will start to get discolored, thick and sometimes bridle if left untreated. Optimal conditions for the micro organism are moist and warmth.