Honey is an essential healing tool to get over the cold and flu and soothe a sore throat, but it can do so much more than that.
Recent studies have even determined that one specific type of honey can kill deadly bacteria more effectively than pharmaceutical antibiotics.
What Is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush.
The nectar of the manuka flowers contains dihydroxyacetone, which is converted into methylglyoxal, the healing compound in Manuka honey (1). Other honeys contain this compound too, just in much smaller quantities.
Manuka honey can relieve pain, fight infection and speed the healing process. It was traditionally used topically to heal burns and infected wounds (1).
How Manuka Honey Effectively Kills Bacteria
Manuka honey is equally effective against antibiotic-resistant and antibiotic susceptible bacteria (2).
“The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance,” says Susan M. Meschwitz, Ph.D.
“That is, it uses a combination of weapons, including hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high sugar concentration and polyphenols — all of which actively kill bacterial cells, she explains. The osmotic effect, which is the result of the high sugar concentration in honey, draws water from the bacterial cells, dehydrating and killing them.” (3).