Manuka Honey: A Panacea for Wellness


Manuka Honey is a panacea for anyone’s  Wellness Kit, and I'm enthusiastically writing from my own experience.  It has versatile healing properties for gingivitis, ulcers, digestion, IBS, acne, burns and upper respiratory infections.  However, this article focuses mainly on its power to accelerate wound healing.


I will share my Manuka Honey story, beginning in the south Pacific.  Three years ago, I was working as an Acupuncturist on a cruise ship, crossing the Pacific from Alaska to Singapore.  We stopped in the middle of the Pacific at the exotic Marshall Islands.  (I digress her for a couple paragraphs to describe this unique destination)  These islands sit on submerged volcanoes, consisting of 29 atolls and 5 islands.  They were also the location for a Japanese WW II airfield and later occupied by the U.S.  Unfortunately, the American government also used these islands as a nuclear testing ground from 1946-62.   We spent a day on the largest atoll, surrounding a 655 square mile sparkling turquoise lagoon at the city capital, Majuro.   My intention upon arrival was to wander and just take in the pacific breeze, while exploring this unique paradise with a very shadowy history.


Immediately, I feel uneasiness about getting off the ship for a wander, but continue anyway, as I doubt ever having another chance to come here again.  I walk along the water, observing the beautiful coral reef, sparkling water and to my surprise, rusty World War II relics, like truck and airplane parts, etc. (below photos)  I get enchanted by the intriguing contrast of this islands' breathtaking beauty, along with the shadowy past and rusty relics.   My artsy side appreciates the creative contrast of this scenario, and I get caught up in it by taking photos.



I want to respect the locals privacy here, however, it’s difficult to know what is their homes.   On this island, many live in little  huts, looking to me like a utility shed.   I walk past this tiny metal shed toward the water and notice a pair of feet sticking out from a man sleeping.  (right photo)  I think, hmm, I better turn around and suddenly feel something brushing against my ankle.   I look down to see a midsized, short-haired stocky dog clamping his jaw around my ankle and holding on.  It’s strange because he doesn’t growl or even act hostile.  He just silently keeps his jaw clamped around my ankle.  I didn’t want to get hostile with the dog, as my gut is telling me to ease my way out of this situation.  So, I slowly drag my leg away from him, matching his silence, for about 45 seconds.  Finally, he gently lets go and I limp away, never seeing this dog again.  I’m bleeding profusely and notice a deep hole (about 1 inch x 1/2 inch) on my left calf.   My immediate fear is rabies, but am relieved that I just got my tetanus/lockjaw vaccine.  I walk back to the ship and straight to the medical center.  Even though the doctor seems unconcerned about rabies, I have him call the local authorities, who report that there's never been a case of rabies on the islands.  The doctor is more concerned about giving me antibiotics, which I did take for a week.  However, for a couple days, I worried incessantly about this potentially being the first rabies case on the island.  Whose to say a bat in cargo couldn’t bring rabies to the island?  Anyway, here I am 3 years later, no rabies.


I took my antibiotics and wore the dressings for the wound on my leg to heal.   After 1 month, (back at home in Seattle) I realize my wound is staying the same and not properly healing.  Even though I have a healthcare background, wound care hasn't been my specialty, and unbeknownst to me, I'm about to get a big lesson healing my own wound.  I went to a western medical clinic and was given Medihoney (Brand available online), with the ingredients of New Zealand’s Manuka Honey.  I was familiar with this honey, because I’ve spent a lot of time in New Zealand and heard so many incredible things about it.  Going forward, I kept my wound dry, with a slice of the hardened Medihoney, covering it and bandage holding everything in place..  After a month long standstill in wound healing, within 1 week of using Medihoney, my wound dramatically improves 50%.   I was shocked and an advocate from thereon.  After continuing the Medihoney another 1-2 weeks, the wound was completely healed.   Since then, I’ve told numerous people about my testimonial story, and can’t help but write this blog to spread the good word about this magical honey.


There are many reasons why Manuka Honey is so powerful for accelerating wound healing.  Manuka Honey is produced by bees who pollinate the New Zealand flower Leptospermum scoparium, commonly known as the Manuka Bush (above photo).  Its antibacterial properties are what set it apart from traditional honey, with Methylglyoxal as its active ingredient which is most likely responsible for these effects. The synergistic healing properties of honey are due to the antibacterial activity, maintaining a moist wound, and its high viscosity helping to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection. Its therapeutic properties also may be related to the low pH level of honey and high sugar content (high osmolarity), hindering microbial growth.


Apitherapy is a branch of natural medicine that uses honey bee products, including honey, pollen, propolis and bee venom.  Honey has been used in traditional medicines for thousands of years throughout many ancient cultures.  In the modern world, there is an alarming increase in populations becoming resistant to pathogens from the over/mis use of antibiotics.  This type of bacterial resistance is a very serious public health threat.  Therefore, the time has never been more crucial to research alternative microbial agents that are not only effective, but without harmful side effects that create bacterial resistance.  Research has shown manuka honey to be effective against E.coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Salmonella typhimurium, S. aureus, Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), streptococci and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci.


There are many brands available to utilize the benefits of Manuka Honey.  I always have on hand the branded Medihoney and Manuka antiseptic ointments  (bought in New Zealand) for cuts, bites, burns or wounds.  If you do have a serious wound, first see a doctor, as it can become a very serious infectious health threat.  If the doctor doesn’t mention manuka honey,  inquire about it and try it for yourself.   Just to recap that the therapeutic properties of Manuka honey are antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory, enabling it to treat numerous other health conditions, like gingivitis, ulcers, digestion, IBS, acne, burns and upper respiratory infections. So to keep yourself healthy for versatile concerns, have the panacea, Manuka Honey, in your Wellness Kit.


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