Honey has been used for centuries to treat wounds, dating back to 1392.
Manuka honey in particular has been touted to have natural antibacterial and healing properties. Bees collect nectar from the Manuka trees located in southern Australia and New Zealand. The honey produced contains many natural chemicals including non-hydrogen peroxide which may provide greater antibacterial power.
There have been studies that showed Manuka honey may help increase white blood cell production, which is needed to fight off infections and heal damaged tissue. It also contains MGO or Methylglyoxal which may fight certain bacteria. One review found honey helped heal partial thickness burns 4 to 5 days sooner.
Currently there is no clear proof that shows you’ll reap health benefits by eating store-bought Manuka honey the traditional way like on toast, or as a sweetener.
If you’d like to try Manuka honey, here are my prescriptions:
1. Buy Manuka honey with the UMF mark. This stands for “Unique Manuka Factor” which shows the honey was produced by beekeepers licensed by the Honey Association.
2. Choose a UMF number of 10+ or higher. This represents the quantity of the natural chemicals it contains like Methylglyoxal.
3. Honey is roughly 80 percent sugar. Please be mindful of how much you eat and it may cause a rise in your blood sugar.
4. Medical grade honey is sterilized and not the same as you’d find in stores. If you have any wounds or infections, please see your doctor for treatment.
With the growing worldwide resistant to antibiotics, can honey help?
There have been studies that showed Manuka honey with its antibacterial properties can fight certain superbugs resistant to antibiotics, like MRSA-15 and pseudomonas aeruginosa. But, a lot more research is needed.