Since before the rise of civilizations, men and women around the world have been using honey to help treat different medical conditions with varying degrees of success. However, it was not until the late 19th century that Western medicine began taking a serious look at honey when it comes to certain treatments of different conditions.
This is because honey in its natural, unprocessed state has strong anti-bacterial qualities that make it well suited to help fight bacterial infections. Honey can also help stimulate the cells responsible for repairing the tissue that has been damaged in an infection. Plus, it also has anti-inflammatory elements that can reduce the inflammation and pain to where it has been applied.
However, not all honey is the same and its medical qualities depend in large part on the plants, flowers, or bushes that the bees which create the honey pollinate. So, some types of honey may be 100 or more times potent than others because of this factor.
Over the past few years, there has been rising interest in one form of honey is being credited with successfully treating different conditions all while being natural and safe to use. Medical manuka honey has caused a wave of interest thanks its remarkable reputation for being safe and effective to use.
Where does Medical Grade Manuka Honey Come From?
Manuka honey comes from New Zealand where the bees who create the product pollinate the manuka bush which is native to the islands. The honey produced is said to be very effective when it comes to treating infections caused by wound and other related conditions. The medical grade manuka honey products that are created by this combination of pollination and bee production are different than most other types of honey found around the world.
What Makes Medical Manuka Honey Different?
Honey is actually a complex combination of natural components that provide it with the taste, consistency, and antibacterial elements that make it effective in treating wounds for infections. Hydrogen peroxide is the main component in honey that destroys bacteria. This particular component works by infusing bacteria with oxygen which creates an environment where they cannot live. However, that is not the only antibacterial component.
Methylglyoxal (MG) is a compound that also has antibacterial properties. In most honey MG is found is relatively small amounts. However, in medical grade manuka honey the MG is found in much higher amounts because the flowers on the manuka bush contain a compound known as dihydrxyacetone. This compound allows for a far higher concentration of
MG antibacterial agent.
What are Medical Grade Manuka Honey Products?
Not all manuka honey is considered medical grade as there are certain factors involved in the calculation. The most important are two scale’s that rank the potency of manuka honeys called Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) and the Methylglyoxal (MG) or MGO rating. The higher the UMF/ MGO rating, the greater the concentration of MG, hydrogen peroxide, and other compounds that provide the honey with its antibacterial factors.
Medical manuka honey suppliers will properly mark their products that have a minimum rating of 10 on the UMF scale. You may see them labeled as “Methylglyoxal Manuka Honey” or perhaps “UMF Manuka Honey”, but in any event for it to be considered medical grade it must reach a minimum of 10 on the UMF rating or 260 + mg per kg of Methylglyoxal (MG) . For those who are interested in obtaining proper medical manuka honey, you will need to find a supplier that offers it at that rating. It is important to remember that manuka honey that is not labeled as medical grade will not be that effective when used to treat infections. Basically, not all Manuka honey is the same, so be aware of the labeling refer to our manuka honey label guide for more info on buying genuine Manuka honey.
Can You Eat Medical Grade Manuka Honey?
The answer is yes, you can consume it just like regular honey. The antibacterial properties are safe to eat in normal amounts. This means that you can use it on bread, biscuits, and other food items when you want honey. However, keep in mind that this product’s primary use is to treat certain medical conditions so you’ll want to keep some on hand for that particular purpose.
Medical Grade Manuka Honey Uses
There are a number of ways that medical grade manuka honey products can be used, particularly when it comes to the treatment of certain types of bacterial infections. Because of the high amounts of MG, hydrogen peroxide and other antibacterial factors, manuka honey is generally best used for treating minor wounds and abrasions that may become infected.
Infections: You will need to follow directions when applying the medical grade manuka honey so that the afflicted area is properly protected. As a topical treatment for scrapes, cuts, abrasions, and ulcers of the leg, the antibacterial qualities not only clean away any bacteria, but they also promote the healing process which means that the afflicted area will recover faster when using the honey.
It must be noted that leg ulcers which are caused by diabetes will need to be examined by a physician to determine the best course of treatment. It is possible because of the diabetes that the medical grade manuka honey will not have the desired effect.
Gingivitis: This common disease of the gums can be effectively treated by using medical manuka honey. In addition, continued use of the honey can actually prevent gingivitis from forming and help keep the gums, teeth, and mouth healthy. Some studies have shown that medical manuka honey actually helps prevent the formation of plaque on the teeth as well. However, the sugar content of the honey needs to be taken into account so that the product does not stay in contact with the teeth for a prolonged period of time. Regular consumption of medical manuka honey and proper dental care will help prevent gingivitis and other infections of the mouth caused by bacteria.
Inflammation: One of the more interesting studies suggests that manuka honey was effective in reducing inflammation caused by chemotherapy in cancer treatments. However, the studies are in their early stages, but it does show the potential anti-inflammatory agents present in the honey which can be quite beneficial in certain applications.
Another positive benefit from medical grade manuka is that it has not created bacterial “superbugs” or resistant bacteria unlike traditional antibacterial treatments. This means that the use of medical manuka honey has yet to create bacteria resistant to its compounds. Currently, there are no studies that have demonstrated whether medical grade manuka is an effective antifungal treatment, lowers LDL cholesterol, or acts as a balancing agent when it comes to bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Potential Side Effects of Manuka Honey
When used as a topical agent in the treatment of bacterial infections or consumed on regular basis, there have been very few side effects reported. This is because the honey is a natural product that has demonstrated relatively few side effects. However, among the small amount reported are the following;
People allergic to bee stings may have an allergic reaction to manuka honey
Possible rise in blood sugar content
Possible negative interaction with chemotherapy treatments
All of the side effects reported have been few and far between when medical manuka honey has been used in the proper amounts. Overall, medical grade manuka honey is safe to use in treating infections on the surface of the skin as well as being consumed in moderate amounts.
For those interested in obtaining medical manuka honey, you will need to find the right suppliers for the product with the appropriate ratings. Look for Methylglyoxal (MG) rating over 500 the higher the better recommended 800+ for the best of the best of Medical honey
To browse thru some genuine Manuka products we have found including some Medical grade Manuka honey view our Online Manuka Honey Recommendations here