While promoting natural organic skin care products, Herbally Radiant has also been advising its customers to desist from ‘do-it-yourself’ kind of formulations without understanding their scientific basis.
Writing in MNT, Amanda Barrell has explained the unsubstantiated properties of Manuka honey, the market for which has exploded recently under its perceived benefits as a superfood..
The bees that collect nectar from Manuka tree (also known as tea tree) is said to have healing properties. All honey contains antimicrobial properties, but Manuka honey also contains non-hydrogen peroxide, which gives it an even greater antibacterial power. Some studies have found Manuka honey can also help to boost production of the growth factors white blood cells need to fight infection and to heal tissue.
Manuka honey contains a number of natural chemicals that make it different:
Methylglyoxal (MGO): effective against several bacteria, including Proteumirabilis and Enterobacter cloacae.
Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): converts into MGO during the honey production process.
Leptosperin: naturally occurring chemical found in the nectar of Manuka plants and a few close relatives.
Experts believe that because Manuka honey has added antibacterial and healing properties, it may be even more effective. Strong evidence was found that honey heals partial thickness burns around 4 to 5 days more quickly than conventional dressings. There is also evidence indicating that honey is more effective than antiseptic and gauze for healing infected surgical wounds. However, more studies are needed in evidence.
In the lab, Manuka honey has been shown to be able to inhibit around 60 species of bacteria. These include Escherichia coli (E. coli) and salmonella. It can also fight so-called superbugs that have become resistant to antibiotics. These include staphylococcus aureus (MRSA-15) and pseudomonas aeruginosa. However, the line of investigation is still incomplete.
Herbally Radiant would like to highlight the fact that the medical grade honey used to dress wounds is very different from the honey sold in stores. Medical grade honey is sterilized, with all impurities removed, and prepared as a dressing. Wounds and infections should always be seen and treated by a healthcare professional.
Store-bought Manuka honey can be used in the same manner as any other honey: on toast, on porridge, or to sweeten drinks.
There is no clear evidence that people who consume Manuka honey in this way will notice any benefit to their health. It is not clear how the active ingredients that provide Manuka honey with its healing properties survive in the gut.
Honey is usually around 80 percent sugar, mainly supplied by glucose, fructose, and sucrose, so moderate intake is recommended. This is particularly true if one suffers from diabetes.