THIS Type of HONEY is Killing Every Kind of Bacteria Scientists Throw At It (Even the Super-Bugs!)
The health benefits of raw, unprocessed honey are well known, but in Australia, scientists recently made a startling discovery – that one particular, obscure type of honey is capable of killing just about everything scientists throw at it, including some of the worst bacteria known to man.
The findings were published in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (June 2009 edition), and could hold special significance at a time when many of the world’s top antibiotics are failing, especially against resistant “superbugs.”
The honey in question is known as manuka honey, which is produced in New Zealand and also goes by the name of jelly bush honey.
The honey has become so popular in the past few years that shortages have been reported and fake products have been sold, leading New Zealand manuka producers to seek trademark protection (similar to French champagne or Scottish whiskey for example). It’s easy to see why now that the secret is out about this honey’s incredible health benefits.
Manuka Honey Kills MRSA, Other Superbugs
Manuka honey is created by bees foraging on the nectar of Leptospermum Scoparium, the New Zealand manuka bush, as well as tea trees native only to Australia and New Zealand.
In the aforementioned studies, Australian researchers found that the honey killed every bacteria or pathogen it was tested on, according to a report by The Australian. The honey can be applied topically to help fight against infections of the skin, cuts and insect bites, or taken internally.
The most exciting difference with the manuka honey that was tested is that none of superbugs killed by the honey were able to build up immunity, a common problem with today’s antibiotics.
“New antibiotics tend to have short shelf lives, as the bacteria they attack quickly become resistant,” said Dr. Dee Carter of the University of Sydney’s School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences. “Many large pharmaceutical companies have abandoned antibiotic production because of the difficulty of recovering costs. Developing effective alternatives could therefore save many lives.”
In 1981, researchers at the New Zealand University of Waikato discovered that Manuka honey has a considerably higher level of enzymes than regular honey. These enzymes create a natural hydrogen peroxide that works as an antibacterial. Some strains of this New Zealand honey are particularly rich in hydrogen peroxide, methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone.
This medicinal trilogy helps make up what is referred to as the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF), a global standard in identifying and measuring the antibacterial strength of Manuka. Essentially, the UMF is a guarantee that the honey being sold is of a medicinal quality.
UMF is not found in the nectar of all Manuka flowers and, comparatively speaking, regular Manuka only contains the hydrogen peroxide antibacterial property that is common to most types of honey.
What separates UMF Manuka from other Manuka varieties is that it has both the natural hydrogen peroxide and its own natural UMF antibacterial property, which greatly enhances it effectiveness. The UMF properties of Manuka is extremely stable and, unlike the hydrogen peroxide common in most honey, is not easily destroyed by heat, light and enzymes in the body.
How to Verify Genuine UMF Manuka Honey
The minimum UMF rating recognized is UMF5, however, it is not considered beneficial unless it carries a UMF 10+ level of antibacterial activity in the honey. Anything ranging from UMF10-UMF15 is a useful level, and anything UMF16 and up is considered a superior quality.
Genuine UMF Manuka Honey will have these four things:
- It will have a UMF trademark clearly labeled on the front of the container.
- It will be from a New Zealand UMF licensed company and labelled in New Zealand.
- It will have the UMF company’s name and license number on the label.
- It will have a UMF rating number of 5-16+. If it is labeled without the UMF or without a number, then it is not the genuine article.
According to the UMF association the UMF rating actually tests the antibacterial performance of a honey and compares it to phenol, a disinfectant. The Active Manuka Honey Association(AMHA) that does the testing states:
“The presence of the special non-peroxide activity can be detected only by an array of scientific testing directly relating to the phenol standard. The rating has a one-to-one relationship to the phenol standard. “
This means that a UMF rating of 20+ is equivalent in strength to a 20% solution of phenol. The ideal UMF rating varies depending on your purpose, but laboratory studies have shown that manuka honey with a non-peroxide activity level of UMF®12 to UMF®15 is effective against a wide range of very resistant bacteria.
Here is an explanation of what manuka honey UMF you should use:
4-9 Maintenance level with general honey health benefits
10-14 Supports natural healing and bacterial balance
15+ Superior levels of phenols that are highly therapeutic but shouldn’t exceed taking 1 tbsp at a time