The Science Behind the Honey that Heals

By Mikhail Blacer

Since ancient times, honey has been consumed by humans as food – our ancestors obviously had to endure dozens, perhaps hundreds of stings every time they collected this sweet, golden liquid from a beehive. Although there are hundreds of types of honey out there, let’s focus on manuka honey, a type which is exclusively made in south east Australia and New Zealand.

Manuka honey is the most notable type of honey made in New Zealand, and it is known worldwide: it’s an easy sell in the United States and United Kingdom. This is due to its numerous health benefits, which are all backed up by scientific research particularly by Professor Peter Molan at Waikato University in New Zealand. Let’s take a look at what numerous studies have to say about this type of honey.

As A Way To Treat Wounds

If you’ve been treated with MediHoney before, then you’ve already experienced the healing power of manuka honey. This FDA-approved naturally-based drug effectively promotes healing, and is effective in closing out wounds and skin ulcers. According to a study, this can be attributed to its ability to promote a moist environment which promotes healing, while its high viscosity envelops the wound and prevents microbes from infecting it.

Its Antimicrobial Properties

In ancient times, honey has been used as an ointment to treat wounds and quell infections. Even the brilliant Greek Philosopher, Aristotle described it as good way to treat sore eyes and wounds. Like all types of honey, the manuka variety is capable of killing off microbes, partly due to several factors:

Hydrogen peroxide content – one of honey’s major components is hydrogen peroxide, the same compound which is used to disinfect minor wounds. Remember the liquid which boils and stings when you put a few drops on your wound? Yes, honey is made of that.

Methylglyoxal – this is the game changer: unlike other types, manuka honey has large concentrations of methylglyoxal or MGO. If you look at a manuka honey store catalog, you’ll see they are labeled as having a UMF of 5+, 10+ or 20+. Basically, UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor, and the numbers depict the concentration of MGO: the higher the number, the more potent it antimicrobial activity.

Sugar content – we can’t deny that regularly consuming honey is a bad idea if you have diabetes, it can still be applied to your wounds. You see, honey is obviously concentrated with sugar, which in turn absorbs moisture. This gives it the ability to inhibit the growth of various microbes.

Keep in mind that there are no known reported cases of microbial resistance to honey, giving it a lot of room for potential which may cause a wave of changes in the pharmaceutical industry. Currently, it is even used as a last resort in treating chronic wounds which contain antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Other Uses

Claims suggesting honey is able to relieve gastric infections and problems need to be studied first. There’s no substance in these claims, although some users have claimed that it has helped them recover from heartburn, and even as far as peptic ulcers and the inflammation caused by inflammatory bowel disease.

Manuka honey may be used to treat the complications caused by acne. Due to its ability to stimulate healing, it can reduce scarring and reduce inflammation. There are even facial creams and soaps based from it. That being said, it is also used to treat fungal skin and yeast infections. The manuka bush (AKA the source of nectar honey bees use to make manuka honey) has been used in traditional medicine as an antiseptic.

Overall, we can safely say that manuka honey is a must-have in your kitchen pantry.

About the author:

Mikhail Blacer is currently the sports editor for, an online magazine website. Other than being addicted to basketball, he is also youth counselor in his locality. You can contact him at [email protected] or through his Twitter account @mikhailblaze

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