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Of honey’s many powerful medicinal properties, its effectiveness as an antibacterial agent is perhaps the most astounding, as its high viscosity provides a protective barrier to prevent infection of all kinds.

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Back in 2009, scientists revealed that honey works better than all antibiotics available. Published in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, the study focused on manuka honey, which is created by bees foraging on the nectar of the New Zealand Manuka bush, and is native solely to Australia and New Zealand.

The study’s researchers discovered that the honey was able to kill every bacteria or pathogen they tested it on, and concluded that it could be applied topically to humans to help fight infections like cuts and insect bites. They also noted it could be taken internally.

“Our research is the first to clearly show that these honey-based products could in many cases replace antibiotic creams on wounds and equipment such as catheters. Using honey as an intermediate treatment could also prolong the life of antibiotics.” – Dr. Dee Carter (source)

Among the most powerful properties discovered by the researchers of the manuka honey was its effectiveness even after multiple treatments. None of the superbugs killed by the honey were capable of achieving immunity, which is the greatest concern among current antibiotics.

“New antibiotics tend to have short shelf lives, as the bacteria they attack quickly become resistant,” Dr. Dee Carter of the University of Sydney’s School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences noted. “Many large pharmaceutical companies have abandoned antibiotic production because of the difficulty of recovering costs. Developing effective alternatives could therefore save many lives.”

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According to Carter, manuka’s incredibly healing properties are the result of a compound called methyglyoxal, which is thought to result in a “multi-system failure” that kills off bacteria.

The 2009 study led to an uprise in sales, causing reported shortages. Ultimately, fake products popped up, causing New Zealand manuka producers to opt for trademark protection. Now, when you look for manuka honey, you can rest assured that the real deal says “UMF certified.” ‘UMF’ is short for Unique Manuka Factor, and refers to the phytochemical property of the manuka bushes that’s responsible for its powerful health properties. UMF certified honey can be purchased online at various health food stores, and online.

The brand Comvita manuka honey, which is UMF certified, is available on Amazon, for instance. A customer reviewing this particular brand described how it helped their body fight off MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is a bacterium that leads to various hard-to-heal infections in humans.

The reviewer said:

I had done a fair amount of research when a friend of ours got MRSA, and then, unfortunately, I got it too. Thankfully, I had already done the research so I knew exactly what to do. As soon as I saw the red bump (thinking the first day that it was a mosquito bite) I scratched it, but the second day I realized that it had to be something else. My husband immediately knew what it was since we had been dealing with our friend’s case of MRSA. I got my hands on this Manuka honey and put on the area of skin that was affected and then it is very important that you cover it with a bandaid. Within hours I felt relief and within a few days it was completely gone.

Another reviewer of this particular brand offered a similarly glowing review, this time in relation to ulcers:

I’ve been using this Manuka Honey for my ulcers and have noticed such an improvement. I take some in the morning and usually once more in the afternoon. I’ve also used it on canker sores, and it practically stopped it instantly. It was gone in a day or two. It has a thicker consistency than regular honey, but is still very sweet. I would recommend this honey for anyone with gastric problems or canker sores.

Manuka honey is thought to help reduce high cholesterol, reduce systemic inflammation, treat diabetes, treat eye, ear, and sinus infections, and address gastrointestinal issues. It’s also touted as a useful treatment for skin wounds and leg ulcers. One study even concluded that manuka honey can prevent gingivitis by way of lessening the build-up of plaque. The honey has also been approved by the National Cancer Institute to decrease levels of inflammation residing in the esophagus caused by chemotherapy.

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