Manuka Honey and Cancer Treatment

Manuka honey for healing wounds and infections

When it comes to manuka health benefits, most consumers would say that the nectar is good because of its antibacterial and healing properties. Many cancer patients also give credits to manuka honey for its anti-cancer properties and many do benefit from the honey’s ability to relief their painful sore throat caused by chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments. Nevertheless, any person on medications should always consult their medical doctor before using manuka honey as a supplement or as an alternative treatment.

Manuka – nature’s nectar for healing

Pure manuka honey comes from New Zealand. It is honey that bees collect from manuka plants which flourish throughout the land of New Zealand. Due to the country’s geography, the manuka bushes grow and blossom naturally in the wild. Hence, the honey collected is natural and raw, and with little or no contamination from human activity. Most manuka producers would cool-process the honey so as to preserve the active ingredients (enzymes, minerals, flavonoids) that occur naturally in the honey. It is because of these ingredients that researchers have found manuka honey exhibiting anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-cancer properties.

Proven healing properties

In an interview by BBC News, biochemist Professor Peter Molan from the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato conducted laboratory tests and discovered that manuka honey has extraordinary healing qualities. He noted that the honey of manuka plant exhibits significant antibacterial properties as compared to other honeys. He found a mystery ingredient (later known as methylglyoxal or MGO in short, which is an antimicrobial molecule that exists in higher concentrations in manuka than any other honey varieties) that gives manuka its healing power. He coined it the “unique manuka factor” or UMF. According to Professor Molan, by comparing UMF manuka honey with a standard antiseptic (carbolic, or phenol), he was able to measure the antibacterial effects of manuka.

Heal wounds and ulcers

Manuka honey helps counter bacteria, fungi, protozoa. In fact, manuka is effective against Staphylococcus aureus, the most common bacteria that cause wound infections. Without doubt, when patients’ wounds are being treated with manuka, the results are amazing. According to nurse practitioner Julie Betts, she has successfully used the honey to treat leg ulcers and pressure sores, and it helps healing after surgery, particularly for diabetic patients.

Cancer treatment

Additionally, cancer specialist Dr Glenys Round added that she has “been using honey to treat fungating wounds, where the cancer has broken through the skin, and the results in that situation have been excellent.” She has had success in using honey to dress wounds or ulcers of patients resulting from radiation therapy.

Dressing wounds with manuka

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Have you used manuka for dressing wounds?

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  1. So how does one apply it to the affected areas? It’s too thick and gooey to go on straight. Is there a formula or even a product for skin I can buy?

    • For treating skin (blemish, pimples, acne, eczema), there are Manuka creams, gels and oils available: Manuka first aid products

      Honey may be applied directly to skin, though there is no particular formula or method how this is done. As a guide, simply apply a thin layer and put a dressing over it. If it is dripping, it means you are using too much honey.

      Honey is used as a wound dressing to promote healing due to its anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Its herbal medicinal applications dates back to ancient times. Hope this article helps: Evidence for Clinical Use of Honey


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