Category Archives: manuka honey health benefits

The Benefits of Manuka Honey For Hair Care

A large part of the world didn’t know about Manuka until it was featured in various health programs and advertisements in the US.

First to become popular is Manuka honey. But if people are benefiting from the bee-processed nectar of Manuka flowers, then the tree itself in the form of oil should be beneficial as well.

Medical and health experts have in fact discovered the many health benefits of Manuka oil. One area where it is noted to be effective is on hair care.

How Manuka oil can help your scalp and hair

There are three general ways as to how this oil can help improve your hair:

  • It cleans and gets rid of fungal and bacterial infection. Manuka oil has excellent antimicrobial properties meaning it combats common scalp problems like fungi and bacteria. So if you are suffering from a persistent hair and scalp irritation which causes problems like dandruff and itchiness, this oil is an excellent addition to your hair care regimen.
  • It improves the texture and physical appearance of your hair. As an essential oil, it can be used as a moisturizer which helps keep your hair look lustrous and healthy. It has been used traditionally as the natural solution for hair dryness, breakage, and to keep the hair’s strength.
  • It has promising effects in hair loss treatment. Manuka oil is also used in the treatment including prevention of hair loss among men and women. One of the contributory factors to hair loss is fungal and bacterial infection.

People suffering from severe dandruff problems for example may notice that the number of falling hair is more than the usual.

Hence, if the hair or the scalp is kept clean, hair loss can be minimized or prevented and can permit the growth of new and young hair.

But when used for hair loss treatment, you will notice that Manuka oil is not alone. Oftentimes, it is only a part of the active ingredients or mixed with several other extracts like coconut oil, Aloe Vera, jojoba, lavender, etc.

Simple tips on how to use Manuka oil

For the greatest ease in preparation and application, you can simply purchase a shampoo or hair lotion containing Manuka oil and use it as directed.

But if you are going for the pure Manuka oil, you can add several drops to your shampoo and massage it to your hair and scalp during bath time.

To get the best hair moisturizing and nourishing results, dilute two or three drops of Manuka oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil and massage it to your hair and scalp leaving it at least 30 minutes before rinsing or taking a shower.

Are you ready to reap the benefits of this all-natural, wonderful hair care product?

 

The Amazing Health Benefits Of Manuka Honey

All honey has antibacterial attributes. Some types more then others. The main reason for these variations is the type of flowers the bees harvest the nectar from.

This results in the additional presence of plant-derived antibacterial components in some honey. Already in ancient times people knew of these differences in benefits of honey:

Dioscorides (c.50 AD) stated that a pale yellow honey from Attica was the best, being “good for all rotten and hollow ulcers”.

Also the fact whether or not the environment is polluted seems to be of importance (although less) regarding the quality of the honey.

Honey from nectar of manuka flowers is the most potent honey in the world when it comes to health benefits.

The manuka bush or tree (Leptospermum scoparium), which is an extraordinary plant itself, grows exclusively in New Zealand.

Manuka honey is special because it has something other types of honey do not. Although a lot of research has been conducted  the past few decades scientists still do not know exactly what this mysterious component is and how it exactly works. But they are able to test the honey on the presence and quantity of this special component.

The natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties of manuka honey are responsible for mankua honey health benefits.

Manuka honey vs ‘normal’ honey

Another distinction that can be made between health benefits of manuka honey is between scientifically proven effective and useful according to anecdotal reports or no evidence at all.

An increasing number of benefits is shown to be effective by studies and other research. Many reports can be found on the Waikato University Honey Research Unit website.

Health benefits are the treatment of skin conditions such as infected wounds such as MRSA and staph infections, abrasions, ulcers, ringworm, insect bites, rashes, burns, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and possibly acne. Manuka honey has shown to be very effective in boosting wound healing.

Its anti inflammatory action helps reducing pain. Fungi such as nail fungus, athlete’s foot and other  fungal infections are exterminated .  Gastritis stomach ulcers, peptic ulcers, acid reflux, sore throat, arthritis are examples of internal use benefits.

It is also thought to boost the immune system, treat cold and flu symptoms and is even said to help diminish wrinkles. Probably because of its hydrating properties.

More soon in another post on how this wonderful natural product works. The honey that has shown to treat infections resistant to antibiotics also has no known side effects.

Manuka Honey Health Benefits: Skin Care & Digestive Application

Worldwide recognition of Manuka honey for medical use is increasing. Its medical purposes can be roughly divided into two areas. On the one hand topical applications such as skin care and on the other hand internal use such as the treatment of gastrointestinal conditions.

 

Revival Medical Use Honey

worldwide accepted historical medicine

The medical use of honey is making a comeback. The Greeks, Arabs, Chinese, Egyptians, Byzantines, actually most peoples used honey for skin care and digestive purposes. This knowledge goes back least 5000 years ago. A Sumerian tablet of 3,000 BC recommends honey for skin ulcers. Honey butter was used as a topical dressing after Ayurvedic surgery in traditional India. And the most well known example of honey as a skin care product are the honey and milk baths of Egyptian queen Cleopatra.

After the invention of penicillin in the beginning of the 20th century the medicinal aspects and uses of honey became oblivious. The instigation of laboratory research on Manuka honey started in the 1980’s and its promising results has led to the revival of honey as a medicine. This rediscovery should be embraced because an increasing amount of types of bacteria is becoming resistant to antibiotics.

Hippocrates wrote: “Honey and pollen cause warmth, clean sores and ulcers, soften hard ulcers of lips, heal carbuncles and running sores.”

The Koran, Chapter XVI, entitled The Bee, states: “There proceedeth from their bellies a liquor of various colour, wherein is medicine for men.” (The “various colour” refers to the diversified colors of honeys.)

 

Interesting read on thehistory of honey (pdf)

Medicine vs Dietary Supplement

a critical note to avoid confusion

Considering the extraordinary benefits some batches of manuka honey have displayed it should be emphasized that there is a distinction between honey as a medicine and as a dietary supplement. Most manuka honeys even though they have been tested for their antibacterial and other beneficial properties are technically just dietary supplements. The only manuka honey and products based on this honey, such as Medihoney dressings, are approved by the FDA and are indeed medical devices.

Manuka Honey Health Benefits

topical, digestive but non systemic

According to prof. Molan, the world renowned biochemist, researcher and discoverer of Manuka honey’s additional qualities, this honey is known to heal seemingly untreatable wounds. Surprisingly it is very powerful in destroying harmful bacteria but at the same time it assists in restoring the balance of good bacteria the human body,

“There’s more evidence, clinical evidence, by far for honey in wound treatment than for any of the pharmaceutical products. However, it won’t work once an infection gets in the blood. It’s not a miracle.”

Evidence for its efficacy is provided by ongoing studies and laboratory research. Because there are so many ailments Manuka honey is used for there isn’t proof for the efficacy of every treatment. But for many applications there is clinical evidence. Also the vast amount of positive anecdotal reports is promising.

Topical vs Internal use

The use of this honey for its health benefits is twofold; topical (cutaneous) and internal (digestive). Using manuka honey as a remedy is only useful when it is in contact with the area that must be treated.

Medical Digestive Use of Manuka Honey

Heartburn, Acid Reflux

Acid reflux orGerd (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition in which stomach contents leak back (reflux) into the esophagus. This is caused by a muscle not closing properly.

Among those contents is acid which causes irritation, and possible inflammation which might cause permanent damage to the esophagus. This chronic injury is called esophagitis.

Although there is no clinical evidence for the medical use of Manuka honey on acid reflux, abundant anecdotal reports show it does at least seem to offer heartburn relief. Common medicines are known to offer relief but these have side effects whereas Manuka honey does not.

picture digestive system by LadyofHats | Wikimedia Commons

Stomach Flu, Gastroenteritis

Stomach flu, gastroenteritis, gastro, gastric flu, tummy bug is inflammation of the digestive system involving both the stomach and the small intestine resulting in stomach pain and diarrhea. Although the name flu suggests otherwise this disease is unrelated to influenza.

In one clinical trial honey was used in place of glucose in a re-hydration fluid (solution of electrolytes) and given to infants and children hospitalized with gastroenteritis. The honey treatment 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

Peptic, Stomach Ulcers

An ulcer in the digestive system (gastrointestinal tract) is called peptic ulcer. When the ulcer is located in the stomach it is called gastric (or stomach) ulcer. These ulcers can be very painful.

Gastric and peptic ulcers are thought to be caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Waikato University researchers have done trials showing manuka honey is effective in killing Helicobacter pylori. The studies also showed manuka honey to be more effective than other types of honey. A clinical trial on 45 people with upset stomach, indigestion (dyspepsia) were given 30 ml of honey before meals three times a day:

“After treatment with honey the number of patients passing blood (from peptic ulcers) in their feces had decreased from 37 to 4; the number of patients with dyspepsia had decreased from 41 to 8; the number of patients with gastritis or duodenitis seen on endoscopy had decreased from 24 to 15; the number of patients with a duodenal ulcer seen on endoscopy had decreased from 7 to 2.” Salem (1981)

source:Waikato Honey Unit

But, this does not mean manuka honey is a clinically proven cure for stomach ulcers. For more detailed information on the research done visit this post titled; does manuka honey cure stomach ulcers?

Cough and Sore Throat

manuka honey is an excellent relief for sore throat
manuka honey offers excellent relief for sore throat

Pain in the throat, a sore throat (pharyngitis) is caused by an inflammation of the throat. Most commonly this inflammation is caused by viral infections, bacterial infections, fungal infections, or irritants such as pollutants or chemical substances.

This is why manuka honey with its inflammatory, anti viral, anti bacterial and anti fungal powers is used more and more for a sore throat.

The best honey rating for a sore throat (as for many home uses) is an UMF rating of 10 to 18 (or a MGO honey with compared strength.) as these ratings are recommended for most therapeutic uses.

Manuka Honey and Sinus Infections

it helps cure the common cold too
it helps cure the common cold too

A sinus infection (Sinusitis), simply put, is inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. This condition is mainly caused by a bacterial, fungal, viral, infection or allergic or autoimmune issues. source: Wikipedia

The pressure and headache caused by a sinus infection are due to the fact that bacteria form layers of living material (biofilms) that coat the surface of the sinus cavities.

photo bymelissaclark | Creative Commons

A study from the University of Ottawa shows manuka honey to be more effective (in many cases) at destroying bacteria that cause sinus infections than antibiotics. The research was restricted to laboratory tests (in vitro).

Manuka honey destroyed bacteria free-floating in liquid. It didn’t completely rid the bacteria in a biofilm, but was still able to kill 63 to 91 per cent of different bacteria types. source: canada.com

Boosts Immune System

Manuka honey can not only kill the toughest bacteria but it is also very useful because it stimulates the body’s immune system. A stimulated immune response results in faster injury repair by an accelerated growth of new cells.

How To Take Manuka Honey Directions

for digestive use

Directions on Digestive Medical Use of Manuka Honey

Learn how to keep the honey as concentrated as possible to optimally coat the gastrointestinal tract.

Medical Use of Manuka Honey in Wound Care

Manuka honey has a potent antibacterial activity. Its powerful healing properties have shown to clear infections, remove dead (necrotic) tissue (debriding*) and pus, stimulate closure and tissue growth and decrease scarring. It is also very effective in preventing wounds becoming infected. (* Debriding is the removal of dead tissue which is also implemented by using maggots of certain types of fish)

There is extensive clinical evidence for the supremacy of themedical use of manuka honey regarding wound care. Research has shown it is more effective than several conventional wound care practices. This was concluded from a comparison of 17 randomized controlled trials involving a total of 1965 participants, and in five clinical trials of other forms involving 97 participants treated with honey. source:using honey in wound care

“It’s been used on wounds where nothing else will work,”

Research has shown that certain strains of manuka honey used on wounds and ulcers have the following action:

  • Its antibacterial properties reduce infection;
  • Increases blood circulation to the wound;
  • Reduces inflammation, which leads to less swelling and pain relief;
  • Its antioxidant activity decreases the amount of destructive free radicals;
  • Speeds wound closure by hastening granulation and epithelialization;
  • Reduces wound odor by preventing ammonia production;
  • Its osmotic effect draws dead tissue, exudate and dirt from the wound;
  • Its debriding action allows easy detachment of scabs and dead tissue;
  • Provides a moist wound environment which aids healing.

 

Staph Infections

Staph infections and other wound infections are a plague to hospitals nowadays. They are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

Manuka honey soaked wound dressings based have shown to be twice as effective as other honey against Eschericihia coli and Enterococci, which are common causes of wound infections. Another notorious staph infection is caused by the MRSA bug.

MRSA infections

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is infamous because it is resistant to various antibiotics resulting in very difficult to treat infections.

Manuka honey can both prevent the MRSA staph infection from infecting open wounds and quickly clear the wound from this dangerous infection. There have been at least 9 papers published in medical journals supporting this last statement. Biochemist Prof. Molan on the medical use of honey in treating MRSA:

“Waikato hospital took up my suggestion to use Manuka honey to try to prevent MRSA infections. In one of the wards, where they had a long history of problems with MRSA, the charge nurse tried putting honey dressings on all patients with wounds when they had an MRSA outbreak. As well as clearing up the wounds that were already infected, there were no cases of cross infections.

“Now, whenever they get a patient with MRSA, rather than putting them in isolation they just put honey dressings on everybody with open wounds and they’ve never had a case of cross infection since. We’ve since tested Manuka honey against MRSA and other super bugs, and they are all very sensitive to it.”

“They (Manuka wound dressings) are being used but I don’t think people have really caught on to the idea that it can be the answer to the MRSA problem. People don’t realize just how much evidence there is and the reason why honey works – it’s not just an antibacterial activity – there are other beneficial healing elements, so even if a wound isn’t infected it’s still the best thing to use to get the most rapid healing without scarring.”

source:manchestereveningnews.co.uk

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Dr. Robert Frykberg, chief of podiatry at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Phoenix, said the Medihoney product has worked on about half the patients with diabetic foot ulcers who have used it.

He said the Medihoney dressing can also prevent the dangerous drug-resistant staph infection known as MRSA from infecting open wounds.

Burn Wound Care

honey superior to traditional burn treatment

Since ancient times honey has been used to treat burn wounds. In 1998 a study comparing honey with silver sulfadiazine dressings for superficial burns was conducted.

(Subrahmanyam) Silver sulfadiazine has been traditionally considered to be the agent of choice for minor or partial-thickness burns. Especially to prevent and or clear infections. However this clinical trial showed

In 7% of the patients burn wound infections were cleared within 7 days, whereas with honey 91% of the burn wounds were sterile within these 7 days. Healthy new tissue appeared almost twice as fast with honey, and new skin cover developed faster also. Honey also got rid of dead tissue and bad odor accompanying the burns. There was better relief of pain, less exudation of lymph, and less irritation with honey. Honey also gave a lower incidence of raised and contractured scars.

 

Manuka Honey Wound Dressings and Gels

medical grade honey products for wound care

The recent FDA approval, and the exploding sales of Medihoney products is emblematic for the revival of manuka honey for medical use. Previously exclusively available to hospitals now also available on the consumer market.

“Wound dressings impregnated with Manuka honey (which has a high level of antibacterial activity) were recently approved by the FDA as a medical device. Apart from removing the risk of getting an MRSA infection (or any other infection) in injuries, the use of a honey dressing will have the advantage of getting the wound to heal faster than with any other treatment, and will prevent scarring resulting from the injury.”

 

Did you  already know about the extraordinary health benefits of manuka honey?

A few weeks ago me and a friend were in a shop which has multiple stores all over our country (the Netherlands) when we saw UMF 10+ Manuka honey from the Medibee brand on the shelves.

The shop owner told us that the two jars we bought were the last ones because the firm has taken them out of the assortment! There was not enough demand for this product was the answer of the lady of the store to our astounded reaction.

This example is emblematic to the fact that the big public has yet to discover this great natural product with very effective medicinal properties.

Manuka honey has been effective where antibiotics failed and is even known to cure the superbug MRSA!

Due to unhealthy side effects, topical antibiotics can only be used for a short time but active Manuka honey can be used for long term treatment.

It can be used safely and without side effects. It sterilizes open wounds, speeds up the healing process creating less scar tissue, has anti-inflammatory effects and an antibacterial level 4 times greater than standard antiseptics.

Just to recap, a summary of manuka honey’s proven health benefits, manuka is known to treat:

* wounds
* ulcers
* stomach ulcers
* burns
* sore throat
* cracked lips
* rashes
* herpes
* cold and flu symptoms
* eye and throat infections
* ringworm
* relieves eczema and skin irritations
* kills antibiotic resistant infections
* destroys the stomach ulcer bacteria helicobacter pylori

Here some manuka honey reviews and experiences of other users.

Since I had to move this article because the site it was previously on closed down I put it up again here on ManukaBenefits.com.

The comments added there offer a great insight in which benefits other users of manuka honey have experienced. That’s why I added these comments below.

  • Eliza O’BrienMay 7, 2013 @ 11:19 am|
  • I used manuka honey MGO 400 on a scab that was,nt shifting. I had the scab for about six months on my hairline.
  • After using the honey for about 6 weeks daily the scab disappeared. I suspect it was due to sun damage.
  • lizzyMar 21, 2013 @ 12:07 pm|
  • To clarify my previous comment. I did not use Manuka honey to get rid of the scabies just the eczema. I used medically prescribed lotions to get rid of the scabies. Still, the effect of the honey masque I used was amazing on the excema.
  • BeasMar 21, 2013 @ 4:48 pm|delete
  • A friend of mine has persistent eczema on his hands and it also improved a lot after using manuka honey. It did not disappear entirely, maybe because he doesn’t use it all the time but combines it with an ointment I don’t know the name of. Thanks for sharing lizzy. Always good to hear how people benefit from this honey.
  • lizzyMar 21, 2013 @ 12:09 am|delete
  • It cleared my chronic sinus infection. I had picked up scabies from the hospital and then got excema. The honey was slathered on like a masque and the dry skin came off and the excema disappeared. I love this honey. A friend had surgery on his knee which got infected internally. Has not totally disappeared with antibiotics – I wonder if manuka would help him if taken internally.
  • KarenFeb 22, 2013 @ 6:10 pm|delete
  • I had a very bad steam burn on my hand with blisters under the skin, I put Manuka Honey on the burn & I didnt even lose the skin it was amazing.
  • BeasFeb 22, 2013 @ 8:21 pm|delete
  • Great to hear Karen. Thanks for sharing. Manuka honey really is something special. Recently a friend of mine complained about a little wound under his foot that didn’t heal. I advised him to put manuka honey on it. When I asked him later on he told me the next day already the wound had almost healed.
  • CornellMarComJan 12, 2013 @ 10:41 pm|delete
  • This is great. Manuka Honey sounds fantastic. Good info….thank you.
  • CindyDec 22, 2012 @ 1:24 am|delete
  • I read on the internet that one should take a probiotic if taking Manuka honey since this honey is like an antibiotic. Has anyone heard about this? I know it kills bad bacteria but does it also deplete good bacteria?
  • BeasJan 11, 2013 @ 4:52 am|delete
  • If I’m correct it only kills harmful bacteria. I can’t find the source right now but you could try the searching the website from the Waikato Honey Reseach Unit, New Zealand or search for Dr. Thomas Henle from the University of Dresden, Germany.
  • After a quick search I did come up with this: The Dresden study examined the possible health risks of consumption of naturally-occurring methylglyoxal in manuka honey.
  • Professor Henle said the research showed unambiguously that methyglyoxal in manuka honey was not absorbed into the body and did not pose a dietary risk for consumers. Methyglyoxal was rapidly degraded to lactic acid in the small and large intestine.
  • “Our research shows that dietary methylglyoxal in manuka honey is stable in conditions of the mouth, throat and stomach where it has antibacterial activity, killing “bugs” that can cause infection and that it is safe to eat.”
  • More on PharmacyToday.co.nz
  • Healthy Mumma of 4 boysDec 7, 2012 @ 5:53 am|delete
  • Manuka honey is absolutely amazing stuff! I use it regularly for the whole family for colds, flu, tonsilitis and just this week it totally cured my ear infection. For chronic throat issues I dissolve a teaspoon of 15+ manuka honey in the back of the throat for a couple of minutes then swallow. Repeat every 2-3 hrs for the first day, administering at the very first sign of a sore throat. Continue a few times daily for the next couple of days til it’s gone. Ear infection treatment: Dissolve a teaspoon of the honey in half a cup of warm water and store in an airtight jar. Use a syringe to put approx .5ml into the infected ear and leave in for a minute. Keep treating as per throat infection above!
  • BeasDec 7, 2012 @ 9:56 am|delete
  • Hi mumma, I use it for sinusitus as wel. I put a bit of Manuka honey on a q tip and apply it to the inside of my nose. You can also use the syringe technique. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
  • OUTFOXpreventionNov 24, 2012 @ 12:45 am|delete
  • Great info on honey I need to try. Thanks for the lens.
  • Mr. van de LaakNov 14, 2012 @ 11:34 pm|delete
  • My seven year old daughter got a nasty infection on her ear’s cartilage. Got antibiotics of the doctor, which didn’t seem to help. Eventually the swelling got bigger and became as big as a marble. Pus came out and it could be drained. The swelling reduced, but the infection still stayed, and my guess is that still some pus was being formed. Also the area was red due to inflammation. After doing some research on the internet I read about honey to fight infections and such. So I bought some (regular honey) and tried to apply that. No effect. Then I bought some 15+ Manuka honey, applied that yesterday night before bed time. Put a gauze on it, and let her sleep. This morning the inflammation and swelling were visibly reduced. I hope that maybe a few more treatments the pesky bacteria will be gone. So far it seems to be working.
  • I am going to add this honey from now on, to my organic apple cider vinegar. Super combo.
  • BeasNov 19, 2012 @ 4:49 pm|delete
  • Great to hear another success story. thanks for sharing!
  • VspaBotanicalsAug 3, 2012 @ 1:53 pm|delete
  • I love this honey
  • MelindaMay 19, 2012 @ 4:01 pm|delete
  • After a visit to a health spa, I contracted an antibiotic resistant Staph infection on my back. I tried prescription topical antibiotic ointment, plus two different oral antibiotics. Nothing worked, and the infection grew worse. I read about Manuka honey for treating Staph, so I bought some. It was hard to apply it to my back– it stuck to my clothing and bed sheets. I tried mixing it with some skin cream and it worked better. Within a week the infection was almost gone, and within two it was gone completely.
  • I’ve also been using it for toenail fungus, and it seems to be working so far.
  • I love Manuka honey.
  • GlenMar 24, 2012 @ 10:03 am|delete
  • I used to pass lot of gas and after using this honey for a month, my problem is gone for a year. I need to continue taking this. Does this have any side affects?
  • BeasMar 24, 2012 @ 10:20 am|delete
  • Hi Glen, great to hear how manuka honey worked for you. As far as I know, and I have read a lot of research reports on this honey, there are no side effects. The only thing is that in some people, who have sensitive skin, this honey may cause a little stinging sensation. But that’s upon topical use. Just keep on using manuka honey.
  • Linda McGrawJan 30, 2012 @ 9:54 am|delete
  • Picked up the stomach flu while caring for my son that had it and, and he really had it. He vomited, and also had severe diarrhea. I started feeling symptoms, and I drank Kombucha, and then took a half teaspoon on Manuka Honey, and also put some in ginger tea, and my symptoms subsided. I only had diarrhea and some chills, however only for a few hours. He is still recouperating today. I’m feeling norma. I am impressed. I use Manuka honey a lot. It is a miracle.
  • BeasMar 24, 2012 @ 10:26 am|delete
  • Thanks for sharing Linda, I know from experience that you may get the feeling that this honey is a miracle. It certainly has very special health benefits.

 

What Do You Think of Manuka Honey’s Health Benefits?

Questions, Remarks, Stories to Share?

Leave a note here..

The Best Honey in the World

There are almost as much many varieties of honey on our planet as there are types of flowers. Therefore it’s hard, if not virtually impossible to pinpoint one type of honey as the best honey in the world.

If you would want to do so you should try to find out which of them would prove most useful to us on a health basis.

Obviously you have to define in which terms a type of honey is the best honey in the world. We’ll have a look at the best honey in the world regarding health benefits.

Lets first start with a bit about the origins of bee-keeping and how this has evolved.

Honey, the sweet-tasting food created by bees has been popular among mankind for ages. There is evidence in Mesolithic paintings in Spain that humans first began collecting honey at least 10,000 years ago.

Two female honey-hunters are painted collecting honey and honeycomb from a bee nest. In ancient Egypt, honey was used to sweeten cakes and biscuits, but was also used in the embalming process.

Ancient Aztecs kept apiaries on the edge of their forests. The honey produced was used to create fermented beer.

In ancient Egypt, honey was used as a currency

 

 

What Actually Is Honey?

Honey comes in a range of colors and is usually an indication of flavor. Colors range from near-white to gold, amber, brown, red and almost black. Usually, a lighter color means that the honey has a milder flavor, while darker colored honey is stronger.

The flavor and texture of honey varies according to the type of flower nectar used to produce it.

You might enjoy trying the Buckwheat variety, especially if you are prone to respiratory problems.

Other varieties of honey are also available made from the nectar of specific plants, like thyme and lavender.

The honeybee starts to create honey by visiting a flower and eating nectar. The nectar unites with special enzymes in the bees’ saliva and this creates honey. Any excess is stored in honeycombs to feed the hive over the winter months.

The fluttering of the bees’ wings creates ventilation which helps to reduce the water in the honey, ensuring that it can be preserved for longer. Making honey is not an easy task, as bees have to fly more than 55,000 miles in order to create just 1lb of honey.

Did you know..

Honey can help you get into sleep. Taking some honey before going to bed raises our insulin slightly and allows tryptophan, the substance that makes you sleepy, to enter the brain more easily.

Which is The Best Honey in the World?

The First International Symposium on Honey and Human Health, held in Sacramento in 2008 found that honey may assist with the control of blood sugar.

Honey has a ratio of 1:1 fructose to glucose. It’s the fructose which unlocks the enzyme from the liver which changes the glucose into glycogen. Honey contains 18 amino acids, and small amounts of many minerals and vitamins.

Consuming honey may also improve insulin sensitivity and those with glucose intolerance have shown significantly better results by using honey rather than other sweeteners.

The antioxidants in honey may be of further benefit to diabetics by improving their endothelial function and vascular health.

Buckwheat honey has been shown to be an effective cough suppressant for children. Some honeys have been shown to possess a large amount of friendly bacteria, including six species of lactobacilli and four bifidobacteria species.

Raw honey is well known for its health benefits – but these depend on the quality of the honey. Raw honey contains some of the resins found in propolis ( bee glue) which they use for sealing the hive to keep it safe from bacteria and other micro-organisms.

The resins found in propolis form only a small part of those phytonutrients found in honey and these have been shown to possess cancer-preventing and anti-tumor effects.

Researchers have proven that certain of the phytonutrients prevent colon cancer in animals by stopping the activity of two enzymes. Unfortunately, when raw honey is processed and heated, these benefits are eliminated.

Honey provides a similar boost as carbohydrates do during heavy exercising.

Manuka Honey, The Most Researched Honey in the World

The most beneficial of the genus is Manuka honey. Manuka honey is typically from New Zealand where the manuka bush grows uncultivated and unchecked, although some Manuka honey is produced in Australia.

The value of this particular type of honey has been recognized by researchers internationally, and is still undergoing research on many other aspects of its health properties.

Manuka honey has potent antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and a range of different medical applications and dressings have been created specifically using active Manuka honey.

Manuka’s honey effectiveness in treating wounds stems not only from the antibacterial effect of the honey, but also its ability to remove harmful microbes from the site.

It prevents wounds from being infected with MRSE and VRE and can help wounds to heal and regenerate much faster than regular antibiotic and silver dressings.

With trials ongoing, it would certainly appear that Manuka honey is extremely beneficial so must be acclaimed as the best honey in the world!

Honey is a potent wound healing agent. It prevents and cures infections and speeds the healing process.

 

Considering the name and topic of this website it may not be a surprise we are touting manuka honey as the best honey in the world.

You may disagree and if you do, please let us know.

We would like to be informed about a type of honey that is able to cure MRSA infections, be used as a wound dressing that does not stimulate bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics, that has prevented leg amputations, cures acne, cures or reliefs psoriasis and eczema, acts as a superior moisturizer, and tastes delicious too.

 

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

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.

What If Antibiotics Don’t Work For Strep Throat

Strep throat is generally treated with antibiotics but what if antibiotics don’t work? It is strongly discouraged to continue antibiotics treatment when it doesn’t work. So what to do then?

Strep throat or streptococcal pharyngitis is caused by a group A streptococcus bacterium. The most common symptoms are a sore throat and fever.

Preferred choice of antibiotics are penicillin V in the United States and Amoxicillin in Europe. In general these are still effective. Resistance is reported to azithromycin and related antibiotics.

Most sore throats are caused by viruses instead of (strep) bacteria. Sore throats should only be treated with antibiotics if the strep test is positive.

What If Antibiotics Don’t Work For Strep Throat
Medicinal manuka honey may very well be the next best option in case antibiotics don’t work. Laboratory studies have demonstrated active manuka to be able to cure antibiotic resistant infections such as MRSA and VRE. Such studies have also shown manuka honey to be effective against the streptococcus bacterium.

Since strep throat treatment with manuka honey will be topical, unlike antibiotics treatment which is systemic, it would be necessary to expose the nose and throat area to the honey as much as possible ( the strep throat causing bacteria are mostly located in the nose and throat).

Probably the best treatment would be to take tablespoons of manuka honey regularly and keep them as long as possible in the mouth. In order to reach the nose a spraying device as used in hospitals to administer antibiotics and honey into the sinus cavities can be used.

(Always seek professional medical advice in case the strep throat doesn’t get better. This information does not replace the advice of a qualified health care professional.)

The recommended, therapeutical, strength will be between 12 and 18 UMF, Molan Gold, or a comparable MGO strength.

Manuka honey also seems to cure throat congestion and other symptoms caused by bacterial infections. Sometimes, supposed allergies turn out to be bacterial infections which may be cured with manuka honey.

The Medical Uses of Manuka Honey

The buzz around the medical uses of manuka honey is getting louder. Thanks to ongoing (laboratory) research and positive experiences with the application of this medicinal honey from New Zealand.

More and more people are wondering; “what can manuka honey do for me?”

Well to keep it very short and simple; as far as science has discovered, this honey is able to cure (or soothe) various skin conditions. On top of that there are some substantial benefits to the gastrointestinal system. It soothes and possibly cures several digestive ailments such as stomach and bowel complaints.

The beauty of this gift of nature (I think this term is not overdone) is that it’s natural, has no side effects, is very powerful in destroying harmful bacteria but at the same time it assists in restoring the balance of good bacteria in the human body.

Let’s be more specific on manuka honey’s medical uses;

Dermatological Uses of Manuka Honey
Various skin and tissue conditions have been shown to benefit from topical application of this special honey.

It is used in wound care to help treat;

  • (surgical) wounds,
  • burns,
  • amputation stump wounds,
  • ulcers, diabetic leg and foot ulcers,
  • (bed and pressure) sores,
  • decubitus ulcers,
  • ringworm (Tinea),
  • MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staph Auereus) infected wounds,
  • surgical wounds and even more.

It seems to help some people with reducing acne outbreaks too.

Research has shown it is more effective than several conventional wound care practices. This was concluded from a comparison of 17 randomized controlled trials involving a total of 1965 participants, and in five clinical trials of other forms involving 97 participants treated with honey. source: using honey in wound care (.pdf)

“It’s been used on wounds where nothing else will work”

A visitor of one of my Squidoo lenses sent me photos of a decrease of her psoriasis outbreaks as a result of applying manuka honey.

Digestive / Gastrointestinal Uses of Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is used internally for gastrointestinal disorders, such as;

  • acid reflux (GERD),
  • heartburn,
  • up-set stomach,
  • gastroenteritis (stomach flu or tummy bug),
  • esophagitis (inflammation, irritation, or swelling of the esophagus),
  • stomach ulcers, peptic ulcers,
  • h. pylori (helicobacter pylori),
  • gastritis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach),
  • duodenum ulcers,
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),
  • and other digestive diseases such as diverticulitis, and ulcerative colitis.

As well as for the medical use of manuka honey on acid reflux as for a part of the other conditions mentioned above there is no clinical evidence it works. At least not yet. But many studies are in the pipeline at the moment and the many positive testimonials are significant.

On acid reflux for example there are abundant anecdotal reports demonstrating it does at least seem to offer relief. Common medicines are known to offer relief too but these have side effects whereas manuka honey does not. Here’s more info on manuka honey offering acid reflux relief.

There are indications manuka honey also helps treat sore throat, sinus infections, water warts, and eczema. Just recently a mother informed me about her 3 year old daughter being cured of a recurring bladder infection supposedly thanks to the use of manuka honey.

Critical note
Considering the extraordinary benefits some batches of manuka honey have displayed it should be emphasized that there is a distinction between honey as a medicine and as a dietary supplement. Most manuka honeys even though they have been tested for their antibacterial and other beneficial properties are technically just dietary supplements. The only manuka honey and products based on this honey, such as Medihoney dressings, are approved by the FDA and are indeed medical devices.

Manuka Honey Cures Bladder Infection

A reoccurring bladder infection in a 5 year old was cured by manuka honey. Yesterday a visitor on my Squidoo lens on medical uses of manuka honey informed me about this positive development.

She wrote:

Manuka honey has been the only thing in 3 years to stop my 5 year old daughters reoccurring bladder infections. She now has a teaspoon a day and has not had one since. It has changed our lives!

Thanks for sharing Angela!

A bladder infection is also commonly referred to as; cystitis, urinary tract infection, or inflammation of the bladder. The condition is caused by bacteria (mainly various strains of E. coli) transported trough the urethra into the bladder where they cause the typical symptoms.

Bladder infections can be painful and are known to reoccur. When not treated properly it may lead to a kidney infection which, on its turn, may cause much more severe permanent kidney damage. So especially when reoccurring, treatment is strongly advised.

Generally, antibiotics are prescribed to cure this infection but this treatment has several downsides. Antibiotics resistance looms as a result of prolonged use. Antibiotics are also detrimental to the intestinal flora.

Therefore it is such a good thing manuka honey exists. For prevention, and as an (additional) treatment (it will make a wonderful addition to antibiotics treatment because it helps restore the balance in the stomach).

Manuka honey is known to be inordinately effective in fighting off bacteria while keeping harmless and useful bacteria unharmed. Moreover, and unlike other honey, it can be diluted while still maintaining its antibacterial activity. This is important because the honey will dilute when eaten or drunken once it makes its journey through from the mouth trough the bladder.

Other, commonly used, natural ways to reduce recurrence are taking in lots of fluids, especially cranberry juice and water with honey and salt, apple cider vinegar, and honey with cinnamon.

High quality, certified manuka honey can be purchased at Amazonor directly in New Zealand. Shop New Zealand and Silverfernz are two online New Zealand stores with similar shipping rates to Amazon.

Manuka Honey Benefits for Acne

Do you use manuka honey for your acne? You might think this probably is the next so called wonderful acne treatment that works miraculously. Well, no. That’s not what I want to say. But there’s something to it. Hear me out. It’s for your own good. Manuka honey, in fact,  has some properties that actually might be very useful in the struggle against acne.

There is a bit of evidence, although minimal, and some trustworthy reviews showing manuka may be effective in treating acne. So in case you were convinced never to cover your face with sticky honey you might want to read on.

The Secret of an Effective Acne Treatment

How certain acne treatments turn out to be effective for some people 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
source: Wikipedia

 

What Has Manuka Honey To Do With It?

Everyone who has heard a little bit about manuka honey probably knows about its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and dermal empowering abilities. 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.

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.

Researchers of the world renowned Waikato (University) Honey Research Unit show interest in this matter because one upcoming study is titled: “Trials of honey to treat acne”.

Did you know manuka honey is the most researched honey known today? It is clinically proven to cure various skin conditions and increasingly referred to as medicinal honey. In fact the special manuka honey based wound dressings manufactured by Medihoney are FDA approved, CE marked medical devices.
Well that’s nice, you might say, but I want to get rid of my acne. Yeah you’re right. Let’s get back to manuka honey’s benefits regarding acne treatment.

 

Let’s Keep It Honest, There’s No Real Research Proving Its Benefits (Yet) But….

In theory there are some substantial benefits to using manuka honey on acne. In practice however these benefits need to be proven before we can objectively determine its benefits.

Key manuka honey properties that might help cure (or relief) acne:

  • Independent research demonstrates manuka honey reduces inflammation
  • manuka honey has a strong hydrating effect on the skin, thus it creates an optimal, moist healing environment
  • doesn’t irritate sensitive skin, which is common among acne sufferers.
  • is an antimicrobial agent which means it may help prevent and treat acne breakouts because it prevents bacteria from growing.

Many acne sufferers have tried lots of products such as Clearasil, Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, and Proactiv. In some cases these products offer relief but in many cases they just don’t work very well.

 

A lot acne products contain chemical compounds such as benzoyl peroxide and salacylic acid. These tend to dry out skin. That’s why the combination of all natural manuka honey’s moisturizing abilities and it’s anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial properties is so promising.

People Who Tried It Are Very Positive..

It works for a lot of those who try it. There’s an increasing amount of testimonials of people using manuka honey masks to cure their acne. For some it doesn’t work but there seem to be more and more people who experience positive results.

Statements like; “my zits dried up”, “the red blotchiness is almost completely gone”, “and my skin tone has improved” are just a few of the positive results mentioned. Some people even report that their scars are fading as well. (some manuka honey researchers have indicated they suspect this honey may improve scar appearance.)

In conclusion
Although no clinical studies on the effects of manuka honey on acne vulgaris have been conducted, the first indications are promising. Both its properties as well as testimonials indicate this may be a valid solution. Whether to wait for clinical evidence or to try it out yourself is up to you.

 

Sore Throat, Strepsils Or Manuka Honey?

What’s more effective in case of a sore throat, Strepsils antibacterial throat lozenges or manuka honey?

I found this document (.pdf) with summaries of completed research conducted by the Waikato Honey Research Unit (New Zealand). One study report demonstrated the potential of honey in treating sore throats caused by the Streptococcus bacterium.

The researchers compared Strepsils, Cepacol, and Dequadin with manuka honey.

Conclusion: Strepsils lozenges are more potent than manuka honey but manuka honey showed to be of similar potency to Dequadin.

Although Strepsils showed to be more effective in killing the sore throat causing bacterium it should be taken into account that the recommended dosage of Strepsils is 1 lozenge each 2-3 hours whereas manuka honey can be taken as much as you want.

It is however, necessary to put this all into perspective. The majority of sore throats is caused by a virus (colds & flu). These sore throats can’t really be treated. Only symptoms can be relieved. The human body will fight off the virus and the sore throat will be cured. So in this case neither Strepsils nor manuka honey will be a cure.

Personally I am not very fond of Strepsils. My manuka honey jar is already there on the kitchen shelf. In case of a sore throat I will gargle with salt water and in addition take some teaspoons of manuka honey now and then. Or, I might suck on the relatively new Manuka Honey Lozenges (Active 15+) by Wedderspoon.