Manuka honey is derived from the nectar of the flowers that grow on the Manuka plant, indigenous to New Zealand. It contains natural antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties. Honey has been used for its medicinal purposes for 4000 years. It even seems mankind has been collecting the golden nectar for 10,000 years. The ancient Egyptians already knew in 1550 BC of the anti-bacterial properties of honey. They believed it to be nectar from the Gods. Honey has also been mentioned in the 21st Century B.C. in Babylonian and Sumerian Cuneiform writings.
In Ancient Rome when Julius Caesar and Marcus Aurelius reigned, honey was used as a substitute for gold to pay taxes. Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) discussed the differences in honeys, referring to pale honey as 'being good as a salve for sore eyes and wounds'. And of course the Bible refers to the Promised Land as "the land of milk and honey". However, it was replaced by antibiotics and other forms of traditional medicine in the 1940s and 1950s. Due to recent studies, there is now an increasing interest in honey as a topical antibacterial agent for the treatment of infected wounds, burns, eczema, ringworm and other bacterial and fungal infections.
Manuka honey’s healing properties have also helped to heal surgery incisions by controlling the bacteria in the wound. In fact, staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria most commonly found in wound and sore infections, is most affected by the honey’s hydrogen peroxide and glucose oxidase properties, good news since this particular strain of bacteria is penicillin-resistant. In mesothelioma, colon cancer, or a strong case of acne, manuka honey can eliminate bacteria and heal infections, as well as reduce inflammation and fight viruses. Radiation therapy, usually an external process, results in sores and open wounds on the skin. According to a BBC health news report, honey can be used to treat the fungating wounds and ulcers caused by cancer treatments and other side effects.
According to BBC health news report, Professor Rose Cooper from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff found a variety of honey from bees foraging on manuka trees in New Zealand proved effective. Professor Cooper's work with two common types of bacteria - streptococci and pseudomonads - revealed that manuka honey can deter the attachment of bacteria to tissue, which is an essential step in the initiation of acute infections. The latest lab work showed that the honey can make MRSA more sensitive to antibiotics such as oxacillin - effectively reversing antibiotic resistance.
Honey is a natural remedy and its benefits are not new for us.