Any experience with Manuka honey?

kitchendetectiveFebruary 4, 2014

DH wanted to try Manuka honey after reading a bit about it. He used a half a teaspoon this a.m. and says it is delicious, but different from other honeys. This interest started out because we were researching anti-bacterial properties of honey. Do you use it? Know anything about it?

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I've never used it but I know it's often sold as Manuka wound honey and is used on difficult to heal wounds such as those with MRSA or diabetic ulcers.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 6:09AM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Hi kitchendetective: I bought Manuka honey from a health food store (imported from Australia) ... quite expensive. It has a "penicillin" and medicine-like smell to it, so it was hard to finish the jar. I didn't notice any health benefits.

I prefer Buckwheat honey ... better flavor and cheaper. In studies it worked better than cough medicine in quenching sore throat. Dr. Oz had a show where a medical expert advised taking 1 tablespoon of buckwheat honey to fight against cold & flu. We went through jars of buckwheat honey by mixing in with plain Greek yogurt ... it's a meal in itself, very satisfying.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:39AM
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Proper Manuka honey comes from New Zealand, not Australia...perhaps yours was not genuine?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 1:32PM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Hi Colleenoz: I bought mine from "Fruitful Yield Health Food Store", it has a deep color & very thick. but it can be purchased on-line for $34 for 250g, see below link for "Australian Manuka Honey". Here's an excerpt from the link below:

"Australian Manuka honey has well proven anti-bacterial properties which assist in wound healing as well as nutritional and immune system stimulatory properties. Teatree (Leptospermum scoparium) is a shrub which occurs along the south east coast of Australia, in Tasmania and in New Zealand, where it is called Manuka. The naturally-occurring compound methylglyoxal was identified in mid-2006 as the dominant anti-bacterial constituent of Manuka Honey. Before this discovery, the anti-bacterial properties of Manuka Honey were compared with varying concentrations of phenol, a laboratory standard disinfectant. - See more at:

*** From Straw: My college minor was chemistry & I took biochemistry and the smell of Manuka was medicine-like, it was really hard to finish that jar. I ended up throwing the rest of the jar out, the smell became too strong after a few years.

Here is a link that might be useful: Australian Manuka honey

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 5:20PM
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I always thought it was meant to be used topically, not ingested.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 6:36AM
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DH didn't purchase it for wound care. The physicians using it for wound care use an ultra-sterilized version of it not available commercially. Strawberryhill's experience was probably of a more bioactive version than ours. Ours is from New Zealand, although I understand that Tasmania and Australia do have Manuka flowers (and honey from those countries is available). One article said it should be eaten unheated for sore throats, cold prevention, etc. He got it because he liked the flavor--uses about one-half teaspoon in a cup of tea, so probably not deriving any benefit, if that is truly possible.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oh, well, guess it'll just have to be the taste

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 8:17AM
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Greetings all,

The Australian "Manuka" you are describing sounds exactly like Australian Jellybush honey (scientific name Leptospermum polygalyfolium) which is a relative of Manuka (Leptospermum Scoparium).
Jellybush, also has the non-peroxide activity as Manuka, but tastes strong and unpleasant. It is not a great culinary honey. I recommend JB for wound care but not oral consumption. True Manuka (particularly the lower grades) tastes much better than Jellybush.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 3:36PM
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Has been around for rather a long time as a wound therapy. Nothing new. Bacteria can't grow in the presence of sugar. Same goes for honey. Has nothing to do with "special" honey or if it is sterilized. Needs nothing of the sort . Working as an RN in rural AL for 13 years this is a much used therapy.

Honey poultice has the very useful purpose of "drawing" on a wound so if you have a pustule it literally pulls all of the noxious fluids out leaving a clean wound bed. Wonderful to see. c

links :

Here is a link that might be useful: honey heals wounds

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 10:02PM
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Yes, I know that honey has been used historically to treat wounds, even in ancient literature. For a long time, its healing properties with respect to wounds was thought to be because of the osmolality alone, but that other substances with anti bacterial properties have been found in honey more recently. However, two of the sites I reviewed said contaminants have been isolated from honey, including lead and even paint, and there is a botulism worry for infants, who should not be fed honey. Another was from a medical researcher who warned against including honey as a wound treatment, stating that what he was using in the research lab (and on patients) was a carefully sterilized version of the honey. The writer of the link I posted stated that usefulness was inconclusive, based on the studies, but the studies worked with different kinds of wounds and different patient histories.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 8:35AM
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Yes, there is a worldwide recommendation to not feed honey to babies under 1yo.
Lead is in the environment, and in many food products in tiny trace amounts, honey is no exception.
If there is paint in honey, then it is from an incredibly lax honey producer. Buying from a reputable brand should ensure there is nothing like that in your honey. With the number of tests performed due to requirements by different countries, there is no way such honey would be permitted to be exported.
While researchers always want to prove things to the nth degree and can be critical of anything that hasn't been, the number of incredible positive wound and infection healings attributable to honey, particularly Manuka Honey, is really wonderful. I have images of many such results, but can't share since they are proprietary, but a google search will show you plenty. Here's one such study

Here is a link that might be useful: Case series of use of Manuka honey in leg ulceration.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 4:44PM
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