Manuka Honey Research

The last few decades a lot of research on the benefits of Manuka honey has been done. Pioneers and front runner is the Waikato University Honey Research Unit. This unit was established in 1995 but the research already started in the 1980's.

The world renowned professor Molan leads the Honey Research Unit and is accountable for many extremely useful discoveries. Did you for example know that some batches of Manuka honey are that potent that this honey can cure antibiotic resistant bacteria and even the so called superbug MRSA.

The focus of the lot of the studies has been (and is) on wounds, ulcers and infections. To be more precise on strains fungal species which for example cause athletes foot or ringworm, of streptococci that cause sore throats, and microbial and bacterial species that cause infections and other ailments.

But there's more, research on several ailments in cattle and farm animals and more has been done and still continues. Visit the Honey Research Unit for more info.

Honey for Burns | Proven Efficient Burn Treatment

Several different types of burns exist. Typical classifications are 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree wounds, epidermal, superficial dermal, and deep dermal burns to name just a few. Treatment obviously depends on the type of burn and is the task of the medical expert.

A few generalizations can be noted about burn dressings. They should be comfortable, non toxic, non adherent, non irritant, allow gaseous exchange and high humidity at the wound.

A clinical trial by Subrahmanyam (1991) in which the efficacy of silver sulfadiazine burn dressings were compared with honey dressings showed some clear benefits regarding honey. One of the conclusions:

"With silver sulfadiazine, the most widely used agent to prevent or clear infection in burns, 7% of the patients had infection in the burns controlled within 7 days, whereas with honey 91% of the wounds were sterile within 7 days

Honey was observed to remove dead tissue and offensive smell from the burns. Healthy granulation tissue was observed to appear nearly twice as fast with honey, and new skin cover developed faster also. There was better relief of pain, less exudation of lymph, and less irritation with honey. Honey also gave a lower incidence of raised scars and contractures." (Source )

This seminar article titled: "The Evidence Supporting the Use of Honey as a Wound Dressing" provides an extensive list of reports showing clinical evidence for the use of honey as a wound

Of course it's redundant to say that severe burns should always be examined by a medical practitioner. But in case of a minor burn, medical grade honey wound paste or dressings might be a useful addition to the home medicine cabinet.

Honey and Scars

According to an article on the Ostomy Wound Management website:

"The anti-inflammatory action of honey provides the most likely explanation for the reduction in hypertrophic scarring observed in wounds that were dressed with honey.

The reactive oxygen species formed during inflammation stimulate the activity of the fibroblasts that produce the collagen fibers of scar tissue. In situations of prolonged inflammation, their over-stimulation can lead to hypergranulation and fibrosis."

Read the whole article titled: Re-introducing Honey in the Management of Wounds and Ulcers - Theory and Practice here.

For more general scar treatment information visit this site.

Manuka Honey and Wrinkles

The awareness of active Manuka honey being a respectable medicine is increasing. Wounds heal faster, less scarring occurs, infections get cured, stomach relief is offered, and heartburn can be treated. Just to name a few benefits. But how about cosmetic uses? Does Manuka honey help diminish wrinkles and fine lines?

Even in historical times mankind knew about honey being a great skin product. Being a humectant, it attracts and retains moisture thus soothing and nourishing the skin. Regular use of honey was thought to keep the skin juvenile, radiant and diminish wrinkle formation

Ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra also was aware of this skin care benefits of honey. Laborants now know that the milk and honey baths she took really could have rejuvenated her skin because of honey's ability to retain and absorb moisture helping the skin stay hydrated and fresh. It is also thought honey supports the skin's ability to refresh depleted skin making it the ideal anti aging agent.

What we do know for sure is that exposure of the skin to sun radiation is one of the major causes of wrinkles. The presence of vitamins and antioxidants in honey and its antimicrobial properties are said to help protect the skin from the ultraviolet sun rays.

Manuka Honey is thought to improve the skin's elasticity, repair damaged skin and regenerate new skin growth that is rich in collagen fibers and elastin. (Studies on experimental wounds in animals have demonstrated that topically applied honey stimulates collagen synthesis and improves collagen strength. Source)

Although there isn't much research done on the cosmetic benefits of honey it might be one of the best natural anti wrinkle products. At least for Cleopatra it was.

Manuka honey face moisturizing creams are available at Amazon

Medical Grade Honey for Wounds

Decades of research have shown to this honey to possess unique qualities that make it ideal for the management of chronic and acute wounds and burns. All kinds of ulcers such as diabetic foot ulcers but also stomach ulcers, insect and spider bites, minor cuts and burns, and infected wounds can be treated effectively. Several observational trials have pointed out this treatment to be more effective than any other treatment.

The crucial element for customers purchasing these Manuka honey based wound care products is to make sure it contains the right Manuka honey. This because not all Manuka honeys have these unique qualities.

Medihoney (from the Dermasciences company) brings medical grade (sterilized) Manuka honey products on the market. Medihoney wound dressings and gels were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2007. Because this company's products are developed in close collaboration with the experts in New Zealand these are the safe choice for customers.

Medihoney's wound dressings and gels work by promoting an optimal, moist and occlusive healing environment. The dressings easy to remove without disrupting the wound bed.

The effective wound paste can be purchased on Amazon

How Does Manuka Honey Work?

Many different studies have shown evidence for Manuka honey's curative power. As all honey's do, Manuka honey inhibits bacterial growth. Major difference is that (some batches of) Manuka are far more potent than other honeys.

Research has also shown the powerful anti microbial, anti bacterial and antibiotic properties of these batches of honey. Scientists suggest this stems from its high acidity, the osmotic effect (absorbing harmful fluids out of tissue), while at the same time creating a moist environment when applied to wounds.

The potent New Zealand honey has proven to be effective against the antibiotic resistant staph infection called MRSA. Research has also shown this natural product, or at least medical variants of it, to be able to cure wounds where other treatments failed. More precise, infections are prevented and or fought off and the healing process (granulation) is stimulated.

Furthermore, studies have shown it to cure gastroenteritis (stomach flu) and offer relief for acid reflux and stomach ulcers.

Patients should ask surgeons about using honey to heal wounds

"Surgeons are being advised to consider the supermarket as well as the drugs cupboard when it comes to effective wound healing, ...

.....And patients who’ve undergone surgery should ask their doctors whether they should apply honey to their wounds to speed up healing and reduce infection.

“Honey is one of the oldest foods in existence and was an ancient remedy for wound healing” explains lead author Dr Fasal Rauf Khan from North West Wales NHS Trust in Bangor. “It was found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun and was still edible as it never spoils.”

Honey is enjoying a revival as more reports of its effectiveness are published, he adds.

Read the rest of this article here

Natural Heartburn Cure

Manuka honey is also used as a natural heartburn cure. Occasional heartburn can really be annoying but structural severe heartburn is really painful and a burden. When you're suffering from heartburn or acid reflux as the symptoms are called you are probably willing to try various remedies.

With most natural remedies it is important to keep in mind that some work for some people but just as many just don't work. There are several reports though that active Manuka honey does relief heartburn complaints. Manuka honey is thought to actually stimulate the digestion process.

I am not aware of any clinical trials or other unbiased evidence Manuka honey really is an effective home remedy for heartburn but it might make a difference for some people. It is proven this honey not only aids in wound healing but also helps digestion. But nevertheless this is not a miracle potion. It's just honey with potent antibiotic properties. So don't get your hopes up too high when you want to give it a try.

Attempt to Solve Problems in Manuka Honey Industry

Radio New Zealand reports about an attempt to solve the problems in the Manuka honey industry. The problems with labeling, testing and rating genuine active Manuka honey have increased since the business has grown. Because big profits are being made by manufacturers and distributors, some of them are conducting shady practices which are not in the consumer's interest.

The attempt to resolve this "increasingly bitter conflict over labelling and testing standards" f starts in Wellington on Tuesday afternoon. Read the whole article on the Radio New Zealand website.

Visit the following link for more consumer information for those who want to buy Manuka honey.

Manuka Honey Consumer Info

Education of consumers is very important when it comes to fighting false claims on labels of non genuine Manuka honey products. Since the market for this health product is growing more and more companies will sell so called antibacterial honey. This is why consumers must be extra cautious when buying manuka honey.

A new rating system will have to follow up the old UMF and MGO testing and rating systems. According to the Waikato University this system will be finished any moment. Until that time find out more about what to keep in mind when you want to buy Manuka honey with tested and garantueed antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

New Rating System Manuka Honey

A new rating system designed to provide customers more security is due to appear any moment. The current UMF and MGO rating systems are not reliable enough.

New publication by Dr. Molan about Rating of Activity of Manuka honey

The new rating has to give beekeepers more options for marketing the honey they produce, and at the same time hopefully will encourage reputable packing companies overseas to sell genuine Active Manuka Honey. The university will also make the proprietary assay available to regulatory authorities overseas so that they can easily check if Manuka honey on sale in their countries genuinely does have the activity claimed.

It is a well known fact that there is much variation in the activity of Manuka honey. In: „A survey of the antibacterial activity of some New Zealand honeys‟, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 43, 817–822) it was noted that:
The present survey has shown not all samples said to be manuka honey can be relied upon to provide this antibacterial activity.
It was from this came the term “Active Manuka Honey”. The term was used in a fact sheet put out by the New Zealand Honey Food & Ingredient Advisory Service in 1998, which said:
All of the patients in the trials who were taking the special active manuka honey, as opposed to those patients taking ordinary inactive manuka honey, had a marked improvement in their symptoms.
It also said:
Research at the University of Waikato showed that some New Zealand manuka honey (and it is important to emphasise “some”, not all) New Zealand manuka honey has a unique antibacterial activity. Laboratory trials showed that this active manuka honey is effective in killing Helicobacter pylori.

Because of increasing publicity about active manuka honey though news media reports on the research being done at the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato, the public demand for this special honey increased. But it also brought out people seeking to gain financially by „passing off‟ to the public so-called manuka honey which did not have the unique antibacterial activity. In 1997 I was asked by TRADENZ (the predecessor to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise) to help with the setting up of an Industry Group for the producers of the genuine active manuka honey, and to advise on how best the producers of the genuine active manuka honey, and consumers, could be protected from those selling manuka honey without the unique type of activity yet implying that it was the same thing.

Unfortunately the recommendations I made have not provided the answer to the problem. For instance, in the UK it is said that much of the manuka honey on sale does not have measureable levels of the non-peroxide antibacterial activity that is unique to manuka honey. Similarly there is honey on sale in New Zealand where the rating of activity on it is not a rating of the unique type of activity as measured by the assay described in Allen et al. (1991). There are also people selling manuka honey with the activity claimed to be the unique non-peroxide activity “assayed by the method developed by Dr. Molan” but there are beekeepers saying that different results from different laboratories are obtained for the same honey. There have also been many complaints that poor repeatability in results is seen when the same honey is sent repeatedly to the same laboratory. Consequently there is a need for a method for assaying and certifying the unique non-peroxide antibacterial activity of manuka honey that is accurate, highly reliable, independent of competing companies, open to anyone meeting set standards, and in which consumers can have confidence.

A condition of use of this new proprietary assay will be that the results are not to be used for rating the activity of honey sold in retail packs unless the producer is licensed to have the University of Waikato certification of activity on the packs. This new assay will be a service available only for beekeepers to know the activity of bulk quantities of honey. This is because there will also be offered by the University of Waikato a certification of the correctness of the rating of antibacterial activity of retail packs of honey. This certification will be done only after assay of samples of finished labelled retail packs with labels bearing the batch number, with proof of consistency of activity throughout the batch being required, so as remove any scope for error which could lead to consumers purchasing jars of honey with activity not true to label.
The certification will include a statement of the statistical confidence in the correctness of the rating, for example, “There is 99.9% certainty that the activity is no more than 0.1 units below what is stated.”

Read the rest of the publication at the Waikato University website.

New Manuka Honey Rating Test

Waikato University chemists have developed a test that will allow beekeepers to identify which active Manuka honey has the potential to develop the highest levels of anti-bacterial activity. According to Beekeeper Barry Foster the new test is going to remove a lot of uncertainty. Read the Radio New Zealand press release here

Does Manuka Honey Really Work?

To answer this question right away, yes it does! With a booming health industry hyping more and more products and claiming to accomplish miracles many of us are suspicious. A lot of the so called effective natural products are no more then snake oils. But not for Manuka honey. This really is a great product.

It has incredible healing powers and is effective in treating a wide range of medical problems. There are many scientific reports provided by the Waikato Honey Research Unit in New Zealand.

For Manuka honey to be effective in treating infected wounds, sore throats and skin conditions to name just a few it has to be active Manuka honey. The fact that most manufacturers call their product active adds to confusion of the public.

Actually there are two kinds of Manuka honey; UMF active Manuka honey and (active) Manuka honey. The former is tested for its antibacterial properties and the latter is not. Apart from UMF the honey must be of a rating of at least UMF 10 to be suitable for therapeutic use. The higher the UMF rating, the higher the Manuka honey's antibacterial potency.

Manuka Honey is gaining worldwide recognition for its amazing healing abilities. It can be taken orally or used topically on the skin. When it comes in direct contact with the affected area, it will yield immediate results.

Visit the following page for more information on where to buy Manuka honey and how to recognize the real active product.

Manuka honey also effective in Acne Treatment

Active Manuka honey seems to be an effective natural remedy in acne treatment. It is known to fade red marks and improve the skin. Some chemical acne products seem to do more harm than good. They can really damage skin but the natural product known for its healing, moisturizing antibacterial properties does not have these side effects.

The experiences of people suffering from acne are promising. This particular example of someone applying Manuka honey topically on his whole face before going to sleep is such an example.

I am actually quite pleased with the results seen in just one day. My skin has stopped "oozing" and most of the bumps kinda resided overnight! Utterly surprising!

My red marks are noticeably getting better and there are only a few active spots around my forehead and cheeks. The swellings have drastically reduced in size and I think they should be flattened out by the end of this week. So far so good, extremely thrilled about it...
Read more of this guy's experiences on

The only downside is the stickiness of honey. Dedicated acne creams based on Manuka honey might be a better solution. But fact is Manuka honey can help getting rid of acne.

The first UK originated Manuka honey

Britain now produces its own Manuka honey. Until now Manuka honey came from New Zealand and there were no other countries producing this miracle nectar. Australia has its own related honey made from nectar gathered by bees from the Jelly bush. A close relative to the Manuka bush which only grows in New Zealand. Until now.

The Tregothnan estate in Cornwall (United Kindom) has produced its first own Manuka honey. Because of the use of innovative hyves designed to protect the honey bees from a mite that can devastate colonies the Manuka honey is even more expensive than the honey from New Zealand.

"The honey is expensive, but it is Britain's only Manuka honey. It has become a lifestyle product, a luxury. This year is the first time the plants produced nectar which gave us our first jars, around 100."

More information on the

Manuka Honey Rating System - What does UMF + 10 mean?

UMF is a rating system that measures the antibacterial potency of Manuka Honey. UMF is a registered trademark of the New Zealand bases Active Manuka Honey Association. UMF is an acronym for Unique Manuka Factor, the antibacterial properties in active Manuka honey which are responsible for naturally destroying bacteria. All types of honey are known for their hydrogen peroxide activity which is also responsible for antibacterial properties. But the non-peroxide activity found in active Manuka honey is many times more potent. Furthermore is it resistant when exposed to heat and light and has a synergistic antibacterial effect with the hydrogen peroxide activity in Manuka Honey.

Certified active UMF Manuka Honey is tested and rated for its antibacterial potency. The higher the UMF rating, the higher the antibacterial activity. The minimum qualification for using the name UMF® and to be suitable for treating infections is a UMF 10+ rating. It doesn't seem to be that the higher the rating the better the honey.

Manuka honey with a rating of 10+ already is a highly active honey. According to Elaine Kleiner from Manuka Honey USA having a 12, 14 or 16+ honey doesn't make that much of a difference. Because some people have experienced sensitivity like burning or stinging sensations to Manuka honey with a high UMF rating of 20-30 the optimal rating for therapeutic use is between 10 and 18. Others say the best results for medicinal use are gained with a UMF factor of 16+ to 18+.

UMF ratings vary every year. This year's rating of UMF 19.8 is the highest rating ever in 10 years!

Many manufacturers of so called Manuka honey products put the term 'Active' on their labels. But this is no guarantee. Emblematic for the confusion that has been created the last years is the fact that the best selling Manuka honeys on Amazon are not UMF certified. If you buy Manuka honey be sure it says UMF on the label and the product has a rating of UMF® 10 or more to be assured of the quality standards it is required.

Manuka Honey for Wound Care

People from all over the world have reported amazing results from the continual use of active Manuka honey with many calling it a wonder treatment that restores health and combats various medical disorders. Manuka honey is basically used for 2 main reasons: gastro intestinal such as acid reflux, heartburn as well as for external wound care for burns, wounds, ulcers, sores and surgical scars.

Wounds treated with active Manuka honey heal where other treatments fail
This unique natural product is now being offered as a viable alternative to over-prescribed antibiotics and other conventional forms of medicine. It's catching on very rapidly in conventional medicine. Medical practitioners are using it widely because it's working where antibiotics are no longer working and it's making wounds heal that aren't healing even when you clear the infection off and the wound isn't healing. About 50% of the bacteria are becoming so widely resistant against antibiotics but with Manuka honey there is no resistance at all.

The world renowned Dr. Molan from the Waikato University Honey Research Unit New Zealand:

"We haven't found any species of micro organism that isn't killed by Manuka honey"

"Because of its very broad range of activity you don't need to identify what species of bacterium is causing the infection because Manuka honey will always work."

"I think hospitals ought to be using Manuka honey to prevent infections like MRSA. So if anybody has surgery they should have Manuka honey wound dressings put on the wound and then they won't get infected in the first place with those bacteria."

Because honey is a natural product (and can contain e.g. remains of botulism) it is strongly recommended to use medical grade honey which is sterilized by gamma irradiation on serious wounds. The Comvita company, owner of the Medihoney brand, offers FDA approved sterile honey products for wound care.

Medihoney Used to Prevent Amputation of Patient's Leg

Another example of Manuka honey saving lifes
A patient with a non-healing wound with an extremely rare fungal infection who appeared to be heading towards a lower extremity amputation (LEA) was saved by the interference of Medihoney products.

Medihoney wound care products are produced by global leader in medical honey products Comvita.

Mary Brennan, clinical nurse specialist for wounds said : "Medihoney helped to turn this wound around for him and allowed us back on track for healing. We had used other therapies, but this was the product that made the difference in a very short time."

Medihoney wound dressings and other products contain active Manuka honey from New Zealand and Australia. Manuka honey has shown to possess unique qualities, ideal for acute and chronic wound and burn management.

Visit the Reuters website for a full press release article.

Where to Buy Active Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is active when it has an UMF rating of at least 10+. (or MGO of minimal 100) In fact it's a little more complicated but if you want to buy active Manuka honey with the non peroxide traits that has health benefits this is roughly where you should look at.

UMF® is the registered trademark of the Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA). The UMF rating is the number on the label. The higher the number, the greater the UMF test result and corresponding antimicrobial, therapeutic and healing qualities.

Manuka Honey Health Benefits

Do you know about the extraordinary health benefits of Manuka honey? My gut feeling says many people don't know about this very special product.

Manuka honey taken out of the assortment
A few weeks ago me and a friend were in a shop which has multiple stores all over our country (the Netherlands) when we saw UMF 10+ Manuka honey from the Medibee brand on the shelves. The shop owner told us that the two jars we bought were the last ones because the firm has taken them out of the assortment! There was not enough demand for this product was the answer of the lady of the store to our astounded reaction.

That's why I think the big public has yet to discover this great natural product with very effective medicinal properties.

Manuka honey has been effective where antibiotics failed and is even known to cure the superbug MRSA! Due to unhealthy side effects, antibiotics can only be used for a short time but active Manuka honey can be used for long term treatment. It can be used safely and without side effects. It sterilizes open wounds, speeds up the healing process creating less scar tissue, has anti-inflammatory effects and an antibacterial level 4 times greater than standard antiseptics.

A summary of Manuka honey's proven health benefits, Manuka is known to treat:

* wounds
* ulcers
* stomach ulcers
* burns
* sore throat
* cracked lips
* rashes
* herpes
* cold and flu symptoms
* eye and throat infections
* ringworm
* relieves eczema and skin irritations
* kills antibiotic resistant infections
* destroys the stomach ulcer bacteria helicobacter pylori

On this page you can read a few amazing Manuka honey testimonials

Manuka Honey | the Healing Honey of the Tea Tree

Captain James Cook (1728 – 1779) discovered and explored New Zealand in the year 1769. It was then he got aware of the Manuka bush. Because of its resemblance to tea bushes he already knew, and because the Maori people brew a medicinal tea from the Manuka tree leaves, Cook referred to it as the tea tree. This name is still used today besides the scientific name which is; Leptospermum scoparium. There are three species of the Manuka bush and a variety of cultivars are often found in gardens.

Captain Cook wrote about this plant in his book: 'A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World'
"the leaves were used by many of us as a tea which has a very agreeable bitter taste and flavour when they are recent but loses some of both when they are dried. When the infusion was made strong it proved emetic (induced vomiting) to some in the same manner as ‘green tea’"

Since earliest times in New Zealand, the Maori people have used the Manuka plant as part of their traditional medicine. Various parts of the plant are used to treat burns, wounds, skin disorders, colds, fevers and digestive ailments.

"This Healing Honey of the Tea Tree" possesses strong antimicrobial properties and powerful antibacterial agents.

What is Manuka Honey?

Active Manuka honey comes from certain parts of New Zealand from bees who feed on the Manuka tree or bush. Leptospermum Scoparium is the Latin name for this bush but the Maori called it Manuka.

This unique natural product is known for its extraordinary and powerful health benefits. Manuka honey has and antimicrobial and antibacterial activities which no other type of food in the world has. The Maori have used the Manuka plant with its delicate white-purple flowers for ages as a medicine.

Normal honey is known for its possession of hydrogen peroxide. Genuine Manuka honey differs from normal honey because of the additional existence of non-peroxide antibacterial activity. This additional activity is called the UMF factor. Meaning the Unique Manuka Factor.

Not only has Manuka honey healing properties that can't be found in other honeys but clinical trials show Manuka honey is more effective than conventional medications and is used effectively for treating all kinds of complaints.

Manuka Honey Terms Explained

Terms related to Manuka honey explained.

Hydrogen peroxide
a natural antibacterial property found in all types of honey.

Glucose oxidase
an enzyme bees add to the nectar after they have gathered the nectar from flowers and have taken it back to their hive.

Peroxide activity
the antibacterial action that realizes the enzyme slowly releases the hydrogen peroxide at sufficient levels to kill bacteria but not damage tissue. Peroxide activity is triggered when honey comes into contact with moisture in the body.
peroxide activity is very easily destroyed by dilution, heat and light.

Unique Manuka Factor. About 20 years ago Dr. Pete Molan discovered that honey harvested from the Manuka tree contains a different antibacterial component which cannot be found in other honeys.
UMF is a rating system measuring the actual antibacterial activity of each batch of honey, tested against Staphylococcus Aureus, the species of bacteria that is the most common cause of wound infections.

Non peroxide activity
This unique non peroxide activity found in Manuka honey is stable and doesn’t lose its potency or effectiveness when exposed to dilution, light or heat.

methylglyoxal. according to prof. Henle this is the compound responsible for the antibacterial properties of Manuka honey. Prof. Molan says the MGO level is not a good indicator of honey’s antibacterial activity

dihydroxyacetone is present in young honeys shortly after bees deposit it in the comb. As the honey ripens, the DHA converts to MGO, the component which gives Manuka honey its antibacterial activity.