Whether you add it to your tea or spread it on a piece of bread, you might be one of many folks who enjoy honey as a sweet treat for your taste buds.
But ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and others knew something else: This sticky bee product can be a valuable medicine, too!
India’s 4000-year-old Ayurveda tradition identifies honey as a valuable medicine for ALL body imbalances. Fast forward to the 21st century and you’ll find quite a few champions of honey as a healer in our own times, too. Let’s take a look at a recent discovery that might have special value for cancer patients…
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The discovery originates with New Zealand biochemist Peter Molan, who works at the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato. He focuses on the remarkable healing properties of a specific type of honey.
Dr. Molan believes the flowers of the native New Zealand manuka bush produce honey with antibacterial properties head and shoulders above other products.
Let me explain what it is about manuka honey that makes it such a promising treatment—even for cancer patients with wounds to heal.
Manuka honey’s got that ‘special something…’
European honey bees produce this outstanding health elixir by extracting nectar from the manuka or tea tree. This flowering plant in the myrtle family is native to New Zealand and southeast Australia.
An enzyme that bees add to the nectar produces hydrogen peroxide in all honeys. Dr. Molan said that manuka honey—and its close relative which is made from the Australia jellybush—contains a little extra something…
But after more than two decades of research, Molan still couldn’t say just what that special something is. He decided to call it the unique manuka factor (UMF).
Another researcher, Professor Thomas Henle form the Institute of Food Chemistry at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany, determined that the extra ‘kick’ in manuka honey comes from methylglyoxal (MG).
Small amounts of MG are in most types of honey. In manuka honey, MG comes from the conversion of dihydroxyacetone—which is found in higher concentration in the nectar of manuka flowers.
So maybe it’s that extra MG that makes manuka honey such a strong antibacterial.
According to Dr. Molan, when he compares the bacteria fighting ability of the UMF in manuka honey to other carbolic or phenol antiseptics, the results are nothing short of amazing.
Manuka honey makes
the toughest bacteria run for cover!
Medical professionals are finding that even the toughest new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria don’t stand a chance when they’re treated with manuka honey.
Superbugs such as the dreaded Staphylococcus aureas and its evil cousin MRSA are no match for this amazing natural antibiotic.
A group of Canadian researchers published findings in the journal Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, which concluded that manuka honey has “bactericidal properties superior to those of most commonly used antimicrobials.”
Similarly, a 2002 review found that despite the small number of clinical studies on living patients (in vivo), the antibacterial properties of manuka and other honeys had been demonstrated in studies of lab cultures (in vitro).
These reviewers concluded that there was a potential for its use in “the management of a large number of wound types.”
Dr. Molan is quoted in a BBC News interview as saying, “We know it has a very broad spectrum of action… we haven’t found anything it doesn’t work on among infectious organisms.”
So what did the Egyptians know
that we’re just finding out?
Ancient writings show that honey was commonly used as a type of healing ointment for open wounds and sores.
Its natural antibiotic properties helped keep the wounds from becoming infected—which could also lead to other health problems. For many years I’ve heard authorities in natural medicine recommend honey as a wound dressing to prevent infection. It appears that manuka may be quite a bit more powerful than the average honey.
Manuka honey is being touted as a marvelous all-purpose medicine that can help:
- Heal surgical wounds, particularly for diabetic patients.
- Improve superficial burns
- Stop uncomfortable inflammation in its tracks
- Treat leg ulcers, pressure sores and wounds from cancers that break through skin
- And much more!
Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agrees that honey could be a simple and effective treatment to help injured persons.
Believe it or not, the FDA approved manuka honey as a wound management treatment in 2007.
And you better believe that watchful entrepreneurs got their wagons rolling not long after this decision…
For example, the New Jersey company Derma Sciences Inc., a maker of advanced wound care products, started selling the first honey-based dressings in the U.S.
Their product is called Medihoney. It’s made from a highly absorbent seaweed-based material saturated with manuka honey.
Dr. Molan also developed wound dressings that are marketed by the New Zealand company Comvita.
These dressings could be especially helpful to cancer patients who experience wounds or ulcers as a result of radiation therapy.
But if you’re not in the market for wound dressings — don’t despair! There are other manuka honey products available from reputable companies. For example, you’ll find manuka honey oil, throat spray, lozenges and other products marketed by Manuka Health-New Zealand (http://www.manukahoneyus.com/ ).
See what kind of protection and sweet relief you experience by discovering the power of this ancient health remedy!
Lee Euler, Publisher