Manuka Christchurch Flowers
Medical grade honey is now being considered the most
powerful weapon against infection because of the presence
of extremely powerful antibacterial properties.
Even though honey has been used as a wound dressing for thousands of years, recent studies have shown that one particular type of honey seems to be more effective than others. In the beautiful, pollution-free mountains of New Zealand, a plant called the Manuka Tree grows abundantly, spawning white and pink flowers that produce a nectar that bees use to
make a unique type of honey. Manuka Honey is tested for its medicinal qualities that are a result of plant-derived components, making it an extremely valuable resource. Elements such as methylglyoxal and UMF make Manuka Honey far more effective in treating infected wounds and other skin conditions than ordinary honey.
There are several reasons why Manuka Honey is ideal for medical use. Manuka Honey has an osmotic effect which draws moisture out of bacterial cells, making it impossible for the bacteria to survive. The high sugar content in Manuka Honey reduces water molecules, making it difficult for microorganisms to develop and inhibit the growth of bacteria. When moisture is drawn out of bacterial cells by osmosis, the bacteria shrivel up and die, similar to the way slugs do when salt is poured over them.
Manuka Honey is also very acidic. The low pH level in Manuka Honey inhibits the growth of pathogens. In addition, the presence of hydrogen peroxide acts as an effective antibacterial agent. The hydrogen peroxide in Manuka Honey is produced when bees add enzymes to the floral nectar. However, the hydrogen peroxide exists in a slow-release manner that is strong enough to destroy bacteria but low enough to avoid tissue damage.
Manuka Honey also has phytochemical factors which contribute to its healing ability. Some scientists believe that Methylglyoxal is responsible for Manuka Honey's bioactive qualities while others refer to Manuka Honey's antibacterial component as the Unique Manuka Factor or UMF. Nevertheless, Manuka Honey's ability to destroy bacteria and heal infections is unparalleled. Even hard-to-heal wounds and antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria (such as MRSA) have not been able to combat the antibacterial properties of Manuka Honey. In addition to it's antibacterial properties, Manuka Honey also has antimicrobial properties, making it effective in treating fungal infections as well.
Because Manuka Honey has proven to be so effective in killing bacteria, it is now being used as a main ingredient in wound dressings. Honeymark, a manufacturer of Manuka honey-based skin care products has achieved great success utilizing the powerful healing properties of Manuka Honey. "Our products heal wounds infected with MRSA and clear eczema when other products have failed," says Frank Buonanotte, CEO of Honeymark International. "Even fungal infections can be efficiently eradicated and it's all because of the healing powers of Manuka Honey."