Eastport, NY (PressExposure) January 11, 2010 -- Since the dawn of time, honey has been used for medical purposes. Honey is an ideal natural medicine, mostly because of its antibacterial properties. In the mid 1940s when antibiotics were invented, doctors assumed they were a better treatment option than honey. Even today, most western doctors are trained to believe in pharmaceuticals, not natural alternatives. However, with the dilemma of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, the medical community is desperate for other solutions.
In addition to antibiotic resistance and an array of negative side effects, antibiotics have another downside. Antibiotics are indiscriminate killers, destroying as much bacteria in the body as they can. This removes the good bacteria along with the bad. The body contains intestinal flora that is necessary for normal functioning. Honey offers a better solution by destroying only the harmful, infectious bacteria and leaving good bacteria.
There are many different types of honey. Before you go digging through your food cabinet, it's important to know that some honeys have more healing properties than others. This is predicated on the floral nectar used by the bees that produced it. Manuka Honey from New Zealand has been found to have a significantly higher level of antibacterial activity than any other type of honey.
Even Manuka Honey should be chosen wisely. Only medical-grade Manuka Honey should be used for medicinal purposes. In the U.S., the nutritional supplements industry is not regulated by the FDA the way pharmaceuticals are. For example, you can go to a health food store to purchase a bottle of vitamins without knowing that they are only 10% potent. The same goes for honey. Unfortunately, the FDA onlhy regards honey as a food item, not a medicinal item. Therefore, there is no regulatory standards to measure the antibacterial potency of honey in the U.S.
However, in New Zealand where Manuka Honey comes from, a rating system exists. Manuka Honey with a UMF rating between 10 and 16 is ideal for medicinal use. Less than UMF 10 is not potent enough and more than UMF 16 is too potent and usually overpriced. A medium range is most desirable. Using Manuka Honey without an active UMF rating is not recommended.
When using an active, medical-grade Manuka Honey, it is possible to effectively treat conditions such as sore throats, strep throat, stomach ulcers, cold and flu symptoms, acid reflux disease, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, etc. Manuka Honey can also be used topically on the skin to treat infected wounds, acne, ringworm, cold sores, pressure sores, skin ulcers, MRSA, etc.