Components And Health Benefits of Manuka Honey

Manuka honey comes from New Zealand, where it is produced by bees pollinating the native manuka bush. Manuka honey is being appreciated worldwide for its healing ability. Proponents claim it treats wound infections and other conditions. It can be taken orally, as well as topically on the skin. It gives instant results upon contact with the affected area. Its level of antibacterial efficiency in fighting bacteria is what makes it so unique, when compared to a standard antiseptic. It shows better results than antibiotics and traditional forms of medicine. It even fights types of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, which are a growing problem worldwide. Staphylococcus, one the most wound-infecting types of bacteria, is most sensitive to manuka honey.

Manuka honey is a natural ingredient. It has no side effects. Its unparalleled antimicrobial features, such as MRSA and VRE deal with even the most resilient bacteria. Maney studies worldwide deal with Manuka honey`s antimicrobial activity.

Components of Manuka Honey

The component which gives honey its antibiotic properties is hydrogen peroxide. Some types of honey, such as Manuka honey also contain other components with antibacterial properties, the major being methylglyoxal. Methylglyoxal (MG) is usually found in small quantities in most types of honey. Its presence in manuka honey comes from the conversion of dihydroxyacetone. Dihydroxyacetone is a compound found in high concentrations in the nectar of manuka flowers.

The antibacterial power of manuka honey is thought to come from MG - the higher the concentration of MG, the stronger the antibiotic effect. There is a scale for rating the potency of manuka honey developed by honey producers. The scale is known as the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). The UMF rating is related to the MG concentration. Not all honey labeled as manuka honey contains significant levels of MG. To be regarded as having sufficient therapeutic potency, manuka honey has to have a minimum rating of 10 UMF. Honey types having such or higher rating are marketed as “UMF Manuka Honey” or ”Active Manuka Honey”.

Active manuka honey is manuka honey with additional antibacterial properties, and these properties are unique to New Zealand manuka honey. These properties are quite remarkable. There is a growing awareness of these special properties, worldwide, as well as the demand for this honey. Most types of honey have some antibacterial qualities, but the antibacterial activity is almost exclusively provided by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This activity is, therefore called the “Peroxide Activity” (PA). It comes from the activity of the glucose oxidase enzyme in honey. The inactivated glucose oxidase is achieved through its to light and heat, similar to many enzymes. The stronger the light and/or heat, the faster it is inactivated. Further antibacterial properties active manuka honey has been found to possess are attributed to the “Non-peroxide Activity” (NPA). The NPA is more stable and it is not by either light or heat. Not all manuka honey possesses this special quality. Manuka honey possessing these special properties is referred to as UMF. This UMF activity is identified by testing in an independent laboratory. Manuka honey with UMF levels below 10 is recommended for maintaining general health, as well as for good digestion. UMF levels 10-15 are recommended for treating heartburn, indigestion and diarrhea. Mnauka honey with UMF levels 20-25 can be used in treating:

  • Gastroenteritis;
  • Stomach/peptic ulcers;
  • Duodenal ulcers;
  • Esophagus ulcers;
  • Acid reflux heartburn;
  • Irritable bowel syndrome;
  • Ulcerative colitis;
  • H. pylori;
  • Upset stomach.

Any active manuka honey with UMF levels above 10 can be used to treat external conditions. The premium “ManukaX” brand is recommended. It is processed and packed in New Zealand.

The Benefits of Manuka Honey

Manuka honey has a great taste, but it can be also utilized to treat many external and internal medical conditions. Active manuka honey has the highest antimicrobial levels, and it acts against a broad spectrum of bacteria and fungi. Honey was used in the treatment of wounds 2000 years before bacteria were discovered to cause the infection. There are many reports on the effectiveness of manuka honey UMF rapidly clearing infections from wounds, with no adverse effects to slow the healing process. Actually, it is suggested that active manuka honey can promote healing.

Some of the internal conditions that active manuka UMF honey can be used to treat:

  • Acid reflux;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Duodenal ulcer;
  • Esophagus ulcer;
  • Gastritis;
  • H. pylori;
  • Heartburn;
  • Indigestion;
  • Irritable bowel syndrome;
  • Peptic ulcer;
  • Stomach ulcer ;
  • Ulcerative colitis;
  • Upset stomach.

Instructions for treating the above listed conditions:

Take one teaspoon of active manuka honey applied to a small piece of bread, toast, etc, four times a day, 30 minutes before each of your main meals and before going to bed. Do not drink or eat anything else during the 30 minutes.

In the case of morning sickness mix half a teaspoon of ginger juice, one teaspoon of fresh lime juice, one teaspoon of mint juice and one teaspoon of UMF honey. Take this 3-4 times a day.

There are also certain external conditions that active manuka UMF honey can be used to treat:

  • Amputation stump wound (diabetic);
  • Bed sore;
  • Burns (first, second and third degree);
  • Chemical burns
  • Decubitus ulcer;
  • Diabetic wound;
  • Foot/leg Ulcer (including diabetic);
  • Foot sores;
  • Leg sores (including diabetic & open leg sores);
  • Open wound;
  • Scars;
  • Skin ulcer;
  • Wound infection.

The following are the instructions as to how to treat the above mentioned external conditions:

Active manuka honey is to be applied to sterilized gauze, and then the gauze with the UMF honey is applied to the affected area. The dressing should be changed every 12 hours.

When treating the following conditions, the UMF honey should be applied 2-3 times a day:

  • Acne – apply a thin layer of active manuka honey after washing your face, and after approximately 20 minutes wash it off with warm water;
  • Abrasions;
  • Athletes foot;
  • Minor cuts;
  • Scratches;
  • Insect bites and stings.

Active manuka honey is also recommended for use in treating external conditions of pets.