Manuka Honey

-Lois Senger

Honey produced by bees that use the nectar of the flower from the Manuka tea tree (Leptospermum scoparium) of New Zealand has been shown to have superior healing properties over other types of honey.  Most honey has some antibacterial activity, due to an enzyme (glucose oxidase) action which releases low levels of hydrogen peroxide when in contact with body tissue. Manuka honey, however, contains a second antibacterial component known as the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF), which makes it naturally antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic. It is the only honey that is tested for its antibacterial activity, and has been shown to be highly effective against resistant forms of bacteria like MRSA and H. pylori.

Manuka honey can be used internally for cold and flu symptoms, stomach ulcers, sore throats, strep throat, heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome. Applied topically to the skin, it has been effective for treating infected wounds, burns, eczema, psoriasis, fungal infections, acne, staph infections, and skin ulcers. It has also been used to treat gum disease, sinus infections, urinary tract infections, and ear infections. A therapeutic dose, for internal use, is one teaspoon of honey on a small piece of bread before each meal and at bedtime. For external use it is usually applied directly to the affected area, 1-2 times daily, or applied to a bandage and then placed over the affected area. It is also still effective when diluted more than 100-fold and used as a spray.

Manuka honey is rated by its UMF content on a scale of 0-30. A UMF rating of 10 to 16 is considered to be active/medical-grade honey and used for therapeutic applications. Lower ratings are food grade only, and higher ratings can be contraindicated for therapeutic uses. Corners carries Manuka honey 15+ UMF activity, from New Zealand.

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