Why Manuka

Special plant

## Leptospermum scoparium, commonly called mānuka, manuka, manuka myrtle,[1] New Zealand teatree,[1] broom tea-tree,[2] or just tea tree, is a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family Myrtaceae, native to south-east Australia and New Zealand (including the Chatham Islands).

It is a prolific scrub-type tree and is often one of the first species to regenerate on cleared land. It is typically a shrub growing to 2–5 m (7–16 ft) tall, but can grow into a moderately sized tree, up to 15 m (49 ft) or so in height. It is evergreen, with dense branching and small leaves 7–20 mm (0.28–0.79 in) long and 2–6 mm (0.079–0.24 in) broad, with a short spine tip. The flowers are white, occasionally pink, 8–15 mm (0.31–0.59 in) (rarely up to 25 mm (0.98 in)) in diameter, with five petals. The wood is tough and hard. ##-[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptospermum_scoparium]

The discovery

%% Apiarists used to give it away; its strong taste was rejected by the marketplace. Peter’s discovery turned around manuka’s future. At one time the government paid farmers to clear it from their land. Now New Zealand entrepreneurs are planting manuka forests to feed the unpaid workers – honey-harvesting bees. %% – [https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/72728606/manuka-honey-scientist-peter-molan-dies]

Enter Dr Peter Molan

%% In 1981 a friend, Kerry Simpson, former head of science at Otorohanga College and enthusiastic apiarist, persuaded Peter to investigate antiseptic properties of manuka honey. It set him on a 31-year quest. “I tried to tell medical people about it and they weren’t interested,” he told Waikato Times reporter Libby Wilson. “I realised I’d have to do the research myself to get the scientific explanation of how it worked.” %% – [https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/72728606/manuka-honey-scientist-peter-molan-dies] also see https://www.academia.edu/2187608/Pdf_7_Whats_special_about_Active_Manuka_Honey:

more papers: http://waikato.academia.edu/PeterMolan/Papers

$$ Dr Peter Molan founded the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato. It was set up in 1995, with funding from the New Zealand Honey Industry Trust, in recognition of the expertise in the therapeutic properties of honey that had developed there following the discovery in 1981 by Dr Molan and Kerry Simpson that manuka honey had an unusual type of antibacterial activity. The large body of research work done since then by Dr Molan with collaborators is outlined on http://waikato.academia.edu/PeterMolan/Papers, an independent academic website. The research has been primarily on the antibacterial properties of honey and its use as a dressing to heal wounds.

Dr Molan’s research on the therapeutic usage of honey has involved a large amount of searching and reading the scientific and medical literature published on the subject. He has made his knowledge gained from that also available on http://waikato.academia.edu/PeterMolan/Papers. $$ -[http://www.petermolan.com/honey-research]

https://www.waikato.ac.nz/php/research.php?skin=2016&year=Any&mode=show&author=415

Peter Molan, & the right sort of manuka honey

A demonstration in the laboratory of why the special non-peroxide antibacterial activity that is in only some of the manuka honey on sale is important – and why the type of antibacterial activity in other honey, when on an open wound, is not as good as is made out in its activity rating.

What the science says about Manuka Honey

Components of Manuka Honey

&& Hydrogen peroxide gives most honey its antibiotic quality. But some types, including manuka honey, also have other ingredients with antibacterial qualities. The major antibacterial component in manuka honey is methylglyoxal (MG). MG is a compound found in most types of honey, but usually only in small quantities. In manuka honey, MG comes from the conversion of another compound, dihydroxyacetone, that is found in high concentration in the nectar of manuka flowers. The higher the concentration of MG, the stronger the antibiotic effect. Honey producers have a scale for rating the potency of manuka honey. The rating is called UMF, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor. The UMF rating reflects the concentration of MG. To be considered potent enough to be therapeutic, manuka honey needs a minimum rating of 10 UMF. Honey at or above that level is marketed as “UMF Manuka Honey” or “Active Manuka Honey.” But doctors and researchers aren’t sure if this rating means anything from a medical standpoint.

Several recent studies show manuka honey can be helpful when it’s used on top of wounds and leg ulcers. Studies also show it might fight infection and boost healing. But not all studies show that it helps heal ulcers. And there is concern that manuka honey may delay healing in people who have ulcers related to diabetes.

The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database lists honey as being “possibly effective” to treat burns and wounds. The Cochrane Review notes that honey may shorten healing times in mild burns and surgical wounds compared with traditional dressings. But they also say more research needs to be done.

Another recent study suggests that manuka honey may help prevent gingivitis and other periodontal disease by reducing the buildup of plaque. In some early studies, manuka honey seemed to help prevent inflammation in the esophagus from radiation and chemotherapy for cancer, but recent studies haven’t shown that it works better than standard treatments.

Another possible benefit of honey is that, unlike antibiotics, it doesn’t appear to lead to resistant bacteria. These so-called “superbugs” develop after repeated exposure to common antibiotics. Special antibiotics are needed to treat them.

But most of the studies on manuka honey have been with small numbers of people, and so far, research hasn’t shown that manuka honey helps with high cholesterol or balancing the bacteria in the gut. And no major studies have looked at the effect of manuka honey on cancer, diabetes, or fungal infections. && – [https://www.analytica.co.nz/tests/honey-testing/active-manuka-honey-3-in-1-test]

DHA, MG, and manuka honey activity

!!! For centuries, honey has been known to have broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties, and has been used to treat a variety of ailments. This medicinal value, which is exhibited by many types of honey, is believed to come from features such as honey’s acidity (low pH), high sugar concentration, and the presence of bacteriostatic and bactericidal compounds such as hydrogen peroxide, antioxidants, lysozyme, polyphenols, phenolic acids, flavonoids, and bee peptides. These features are sometimes collectively referred to as honey’s ‘peroxide’ activity. !!! – [https://www.analytica.co.nz/tests/honey-testing/manuka-honey-3-in-1/dha-and-mg-explained]

^^^ In 2008 there was a breakthrough! Two independent laboratories (Mavric et al., 2008; Adams et al. 2008) discovered that NPA/UMF® in manuka honey arose from the presence of methylglyoxal (MG) in the honey. Fast, accurate and high-throughput testing methods using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) can now directly measure the MG in honey. The correlation between MG and NPA/UMF® has been established, so that the NPA/UMF® rating can be calculated from MG. ^^^ – [https://www.analytica.co.nz/Portals/0/Docs/Articles/DHA_MG_and_manuka_honey_activity_for_Analytica_website.pdf]

Methylgloxal concentration vs Non Peroxide Activity – as expressed in UMF units

@@ Dr. Molan published 29 research papers and 19 review papers in international scientific and medical journals on the antibacterial properties and medical usage of honey. @@ – [https://www.mgs.co.nz/research]

Tests to authenticate mānuka honey

*** All honey labelled as mānuka for export must be tested by an MPI-recognised laboratory to make sure it meets the new mānuka honey definition. The mānuka honey definition is made up of a combination of 5 attributes (4 chemicals from nectar and 1 DNA marker from mānuka pollen). This allows industry to: separate mānuka honey from other honey types identify it as either monofloral or multifloral mānuka honey. *** – [https://www.mpi.govt.nz/growing-and-harvesting/honey-and-bees/manuka-honey/]

Tested and Certified for MGO potency, purity and quality – every batch is tested so you can trust that our premium MGO Manuka Honey is exactly what it promises to be. – [https://www.manukahealth.co.nz/en-us/manuka-honey/mgo-manuka-honey/]

Recently tested batches:

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Is MGM manuka honey “raw” honey?

While no government body anywhere in the world (including the US FDA) has ~~~ a specific definition for what “raw” means as it relates to honey, we believe it describes a process that preserves the integrity of honey, including naturally occurring pollen, enzymes, propolis and amino acids. Our honey is processed for a very short period to assist in removing wax and other hive components. This also enables us to achieve a very fine degree of crystallization, resulting in a creamed honey with a smooth texture that retains its natural honey state.

We believe the intent of describing honey as “raw” is to ensure that the honey has not undergone any significant transformation from its original state in the hive, to when placed on the shelf. To ensure that there are no significant changes to the honey from hive to shelf, we routinely test for and avoid changes to diastase, a key enzyme in honey that is heat sensitive and therefore a good measure of heat-induced damage. Bee pollen, propolis, and amino acids naturally present in honey are also stable through the process our honey undergoes. So while we don’t use the word “raw” in describing ourselves, we do fit comfortably inside many people’s definition of it. ~~~ – [https://www.comvita.com/blog-article/manuka-honey-101/W5400009] [also see; https://www.benefits-of-honey.com/raw-honey.html https://empoweredsustenance.com/raw-honey-definition/ https://www.gorawhoney.com/what-is-raw-honey/ ]

How to use Manuka honey

Manuka honey manufacturers label their product with a unique Manuka factor (UMF) rating. This number describes the levels of MGO and a precursor, dihydroxyacetone. The range for UMF scoring is as follows: * 0 to 4: an undetectable amount is present * 5 to 9: low levels are present * 10 to 15: useful levels are present * 16: superior, high-grade levels are present The higher the UMF number, the higher the level of these compounds. To get the most benefit, use a Manuka honey with a high UMF.

Healing wounds

As with other honeys, Manuka honey can help heal wounds. All forms of honey are acidic and have a pH between 3.2 and 4.5. The acidic properties of honey have been shown to promote healing. The acidity also blocks enzymes that break down the proteins and peptides the body needs to repair itself. The high concentration of sugar in honey also helps protect wounds. Honey is low in moisture and draws fluid from a wound. This helps remove waste and speed along the healing process. Honey also draws water out of the cells of invading bacteria. Bacteria need water to grow and survive. Drawing the water out of invading bacteria will kill them off.

Risks and warnings

For most people, Manuka honey is safe to consume. There’s usually no limit on how much Manuka honey you can ingest. But if you have diabetes, talk to your doctor before adding Manuka honey to your regimen.

Manuka honey, as with other honeys, has a high sugar content. This may cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. Some researchers are also questioning whether Manuka honey slows the healing of chronic wounds in people with diabetes. This is because when used alone MGO is toxic to living cells. There are numerous reports of successful chronic wound treatment with Manuka honey, however. But more research is needed. If you’re allergic to other types of honey, consult your doctor. You likely will not be able to use Manuka honey without experiencing an allergic reaction.

References

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