Manuka honey is a honey that’s produced in New Zealand. It's created by bees that pollinate the native Manuka bush and has a much higher quantity of the healing compound methylglyoxal than most other honey types.
This type of honey is known to relieve pain, fight infection and speed up the healing process, according to Daily Health Post. It has even been known to be effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Dr. Susan M. Meschwitz explained that what makes honey unique is “its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance.”
“It uses a combination of weapons,” she said, “including hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high sugar concentration and polyphenols -- all of which actively kill bacterial cells. The osmotic effect, which is the result of the high sugar concentration in honey, draws water from the bacterial cells, dehydrating and killing them.”
Telegraph reports that a recent study by researchers at Southampton University has found that Manuka honey could be especially helpful in battling hospital-acquired infections. When researchers cleaned medical equipment with solutions derived from the honey, the ability of possibly deadly bacteria to accumulate on surfaces was reduced by more than 75 percent.
It was then reported that this discovery could significantly decrease the risk of bacterial infections generally acquired in a hospital, including the urinary tract infections that thousands of patients experience due to catheter use.
The Manuka honey solutions tested consisted of only the honey and distilled water in a range of concentrations. The solutions showed that the honey inhibited the “stickiness” of bacteria, and therefore the development of a biofilm that usually sticks to medical equipment.
Associate professor of health sciences at the University of Southampton, Dr. Bashir Lwaleed said, “We believe that patients might also benefit from honey’s anti-inflammatory properties, which are generally stronger in dark honeys, such as Manuka, and that antibacterial resistance is unlikely to be a factor when honey is used.”
But this won’t work with just any store-bought honey. Make sure you get the real thing. Manuka honey itself is pretty expensive, usually costing around $30-$40 for a 250g jar. If you don’t want to pay that much, try using other dark, natural honeys.