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Knocking Out Superbugs With Antimicrobial UMF Honey

Saturday, December 29, 2007 by: Lynn Berry
Tags: honey, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Recent articles on NewsTarget by Stephanie Whited and Celina Cook discuss bacteria infections that are resistant to drugs, see (http://www.newstarget.com/022276.html) and (http://www.newstarget.com/022281.html) respectively. Whited points out there are a number of natural foods, including honey, as well as herbs that people may use to overcome such infections. What is really interesting is how the medical profession is dealing with certain drug resistant infections using a certain type of honey.

Dr. Molan reports on the antimicrobial properties of honey, at (http://www.worldwidewounds.com/2001/november...) , which has been rediscovered by the medical profession where conventional drugs are failing. Honey inhibits a range of bacteria and has anti-fungal properties.

Interestingly, not all honey is the same as Aristotle and Dioscorides pointed out thousands of years ago, and as discovered by Brenda Mossel, Bruce D'Arcy, Bob Wallace and Craig Davis of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Queensland. They have been researching the antimicrobial properties of Australian honey against Staphylococcus aureus (which is a bacteria resistant to antibiotics), and found that not all the honeys have this property.

All honeys will stop the growth of bacteria but the effectiveness of doing so is limited to at least 2 tested honeys. Manuka honey from the manuka bush in New Zealand (Leptospermum scoparium) and a honey from Australia, Leptospermum polygalifolium.

These two honeys have been tested for antibacterial activity and have a property found only in honey from the Leptospermum plants. This property is called the "unique manuka factor" (UMF) which produces a more potent antibacterial action.

This property also makes the honey more stable and active in all situations, unlike other honeys whose effectiveness is reduced under certain conditions.

The honey with UMF properties has been used successfully in wound dressings in New Zealand, and in a large hospital in Brisbane, Australia, where honey without UMF failed.

As a dressing, UMF honey reduces inflammation, swelling, and pain quickly; this healing occurs much faster in conditions where standard antibiotic and antiseptic treatment was not working. Another benefit is that while antiseptics cause tissue damage, honey doesn't and additionally, honey promotes healing.

According to information released by the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato, there are many reports of Staphylococcus being completely inhibited by UMF honey.

In addition to antimicrobial properties, honey is also an antioxidant containing flavanoids with anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is now clear that these properties may not exist in all honeys in all conditions, so we need to be choosy about our honey.

Research is needed to discover the properties of a wider variety of honeys and comparative studies, on the healing effectiveness of these honeys, are needed. Dr. Molan reports that from a theoretical point of view, there are good reasons to choose honey with a UMF factor of 10 or higher (a rating based on the level of antibacterial activity).

As well as wounds, UMF honey has been used in treating gastroenteritis, ulcers and colds, and has been promoted for use in digestional health.

For further information about the health benefits of honey, or how honey is used as a wound dressing, see the links given here:



About the author

Lynn Berry is passionate about personal development, natural health care, justice and spirituality. She has a website at www.lynn-berry.com.

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