For thousands of years, civilisations have used honey as a traditional medicine. The ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Chinese, Greeks and Romans used honey for treating wounds and diseases of the gut. Now modern medical and scientific research is catching up, providing scientific support for, and insights into, how honey does what it does.
Honey takes on many of its properties from the types of flowering plants the bees feed on to collect nectar. Research in the 1980s at Waikato University in New Zealand found the honey from bees that eat the nectar of the flowering manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) tree found widely across New Zealand, had higher antibacterial properties than those of honey collected from areas where bees fed on other flowers.
This led to further research, which uncovered Manuka honey’s unique antibacterial property, now referred to as its UMF®: Unique Manuka Factor, a graduated scale that measures the degree to which Manuka honey is higher in antibacterial properties than other honey. This sets Manuka honey apart as one of nature’s true wonder foods. The higher the UMF® rating, the greater the antibacterial property of the honey.
Manuka honey is proven to kill bacteria with links to stomach cancer.
Recent research from the University of Auckland has discovered BEE+ Manuka honey can inhibit the growth of H. pylori, a type of bacteria that infects the stomach. As many as half of the world’s population may have the infection and is a known risk factor for stomach cancer.1
The H. pylori infection can weaken the stomach lining, allowing stomach acid to cause irritation, inflammation or painful symptoms. This has further consequences, for example, approximately one in 10 people with H. pylori go on to develop a peptic (stomach or duodenal) ulcer, and about four out of five of all such ulcers are due to H. pylori. More concerning is that H. pylori is a known risk factor for developing some types of stomach cancer.
The science behind Manuka honey as a treatment for H pylori.
University of Auckland senior researcher Dr Fiona Radcliff undertook two laboratory studies using BEE+ Manuka Honey to investigate its effects on the growth of H. pylori. “The results were clear, the higher the UMF the more likely it was to inhibit growth and kill the bacteria in liquid cultures. The honey rated UMF® 25+ had four times the ability to inhibit H. pylori growth and kill the bacteria as the honey rated UMF® 5+” said Dr Radcliff. “There was also a significant difference between UMF®-rated manuka honey than supermarket brands.”2
How can I tell the UMF rating of Manuka honey?
First of all, if you’re keen to try Manuka honey, make sure you’re getting the real deal. Many products branded Manuka honey give an exaggerated UMF or may not be Manuka honey at all. Some try to confuse consumers by quoting other factors which are not recognised or approved. With Bee+ you can be certain of the authenticity of their products and the grade you are buying. The UMF in all of their Manuka honeys is independently tested and certified by Analytica Laboratories, one of New Zealand’s leading Honey testing specialists approved by the Ministry of Primary Industry.
Get to know BEE+ Manuka honey.
King Honey, which produces BEE+, was established in New Zealand in 2011. Today, the company utilises over 50,000 acres for hive placements and the hive numbers have grown from 4000 to 20,000 throughout the pristine landscape of New Zealand. Their Manuka Honey comes from remote pockets of bush often so isolated the hives can only be reached by helicopter. These areas are chosen for their pure, untouched locations and, in most instances, they enjoy warm dry summers and mild winters. Manuka flourishes in this habitat. As a result, BEE+ produces more high-UMF Manuka Honey than any other brand.
Discover the healing power of nature with Bee+. For more information and to shop online visit https://www.beeplus.co.nz/en/
- *To illustrate the effect of the UMF® rating, a 2 per cent solution of UMF® 25+ honey inhibited the growth of H. pylori (MIC = 2 per cent), whereas an 8 per cent solution of UMF® 5+ honey (ie, four times as much) was required to have the same effect (MIC = 8 per cent). The same was seen when looking at the ability to kill H. pylori – the MBC was 2 per cent for the UMF® 25+ honey and 8 per cent for the UMF® 5+ honey