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Manuka Honey and its Origins
Australia and New Zealand produces Manuka Honey by bees that pollinate the native leptospermum scoparium bush (widely known as a tea tree). Many locals who are familiar with it profess that it is able to treat wound infections and other conditions.
Honey - a Food That Heals
Honey protects the body against damage caused by bacteria. Some honeys also boost production of special cells that can repair tissue damaged by infection. Manuka honey has an anti-inflammatory action that can help ease pain and inflammation. However, not all honey is the same. The antibacterial quality of honey depends on the type of honey as well as when and how it's harvested. Some kinds may be 100 times more potent than others.
Components of Manuka Honey
Most honey gain its antibacterial qualities because they contain hydrogen peroxide. However, some types including Manuka honey, also have unique antibacterial qualities.
Methylglyoxal (MGO) is one of the major antibacterial components. MGO comes from the conversion of another compound in it known as dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a high concentration of which is found in the nectar of Manuka (tea tree) flowers.
The higher the concentration of MGO, the stronger the antibacterial effect.
Honey producers from New Zealand have a scale for rating the potency of Manuka honey. The rating is UMFTM, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor.
The UMFTM rating reflects the concentration of 3 signature compounds found in this genuine honey, MGO, DHA and leptosperin. More comparison between MGO and UMF can be found in another article in this website.
How to Use
Medical professionals use Manuka honey for wound and burn healing. Research shows it is effective in treating other conditions, including:
- Skin care including eczema and dermatitis
- Soothing a cough or sore throat
- Digestive Health
What the Science Says About Manuka Honey
Several recent studies show Manuka honey can be helpful to treat wounds and leg ulcers. They also suggest that it can fight infection and boost healing.
The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database lists honey as "possibly effective" to treat burns and wounds.
Another study suggests that it may help prevent gingivitis and other periodontal disease by reducing the buildup of plaque. Some other studies suggest that Manuka honey is able to prevent inflammation in the esophagus caused by radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
Another possible benefit of honey is that, unlike antibiotics, it doesn’t appear to lead to resistant bacteria. The resistant bacteria, or so-called "superbugs", develops after repeated exposure to common antibiotics. Doctors would then need to use special antibiotics for these superbugs. In other words, honey has its advantages over antibiotics.
For more information on Manuka Honey, browse our product here.
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