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.

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