Manuka Honey and Oil provide enormous health benefits. Knowing about them may save your life or prevent amputation.
by Heidi Stevenson
Manuka Honey and Oil are scientifically shown to kill and protect against drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly called MRSA. A number of anecdotal incidents attest to that fact. At this point, their ability appears to be through an entirely different mechanism than antibiotic drugs, so they may not result in drug-resistant diseases—the scourage of modern medicine, which is demonstrating the inherent flaw in the medical paradigm.
At a time when it’s becoming apparent that all antiobiotic drugs result in drug-resistant diseases, it’s becoming ever more important to know what natural methods of healing exist, along with how to develop genuinely good health to prevent disease.
Sadly, it’s also a time when alternative approaches are being systematically suppressed. However, when it’s now being acknowledged that a huge percentage of the meat supply is contaminated with MRSA, it’s never been more important to learn how to protect yourself. Manuka Honey and Oil could mean the difference between life and death or life as an amputee.
My friend’s husband—we’ll call him Jeffrey—had contracted a case of MRSA. All the medical establishment’s treatments were for naught. The point had arisen that he was told his leg had to be amputated to save his life, but ending his career as a rehabilitation swimming coach.
My friend refused to accept that sentence. She insisted on trying Manuka Oil. She applied it directly to Jeffrey’s wound. Within a day, it became apparent that it was healing. The result was complete healing—and Jeffrey has been back at work for the last year.
Sure, it’s an anecdote. However, it’s the sort of anecdote that begs the question: If the Manuka Oil didn’t heal the wound, what did? The placebo effect certainly can’t explain it. Otherwise, why didn’t any of the drugs do the job? Jeffrey believed in those at least as much as he did the Manuka oil, and he certainly wanted his leg to heal when taking the antibiotic drugs.
Manuka Honey is simply honey made by bees that collect nectar from Manuka tree flowers. Because it’s made by bees, it’s considered an animal product. At the end of April 2001, it became illegal as a health product in the EU. Products with medicinal claims must now be registered, an expensive and difficult process—and one that may not be possible for Manuka, because it likely doesn’t have a long enough history of use in European herbal lore. There is no category under which Manuka Honey can be registered for its health producing qualities, because it is not classified as either a supplement or as a plant-based product. However, it’s still available as a food, so as long as no health claims are made by a distributor, it will likely continue on the market.
Manuka Oil is an extract from the Manuka tree, Leptospermum scoparium, which is native to New Zealand. It’s a member of the Myrtaceae family. Because it’s sometimes called tea tree, a different product, Tea Tree Oil, is often confused with Manuka Oil. However, Tea Tree Oil comes from Melaleuca plants. Melaleuca and Leptospermum come from the same Myrtaceae family and have similar, but not identical, health properties. Most information indicates that Manuka Oil is more potent, but that may not definitive, since different plants grown under different conditions, along with different methods of producing the final products, can result in differing strengths.
Although still available on shelves in the UK, no brand of Manuka oil has been registered for use as a health product. Therefore, its future in the UK, and the EU as a whole, is clouded.
The topical use of Manuka Honey as a preventive of wound infections has been fairly widely accepted in medicine, with horrendously overpriced preparations from Big Pharma making their way into the market.
The generally accepted explanation for its effectiveness is that the sugars act like osmosis to attract all water from the wound, thus depriving bacteria of sustenance. This, though, has been nothing more than a guess. New research has demonstrated that there is an active anti-bacterial effect in play. Researcher Dr. Rowena Jenkins, of the University of Wales Institute, has been studying Manuka Honey with her colleagues. They grew MRSA in a lab, then experimented by treating it with Manuka honey and with plain sugar syrup.
The results showed that the Manuka Honey-treated bacteria were missing proteins. One in particular, FabI, was completely missing. FabI is required to synthesize fatty acids. Without it, the bacteria cannot survive because it’s necessary for several cellular functions.
It should be noted that honey, in general, is noted for its antiseptic function. Whether this is related to the concept of sugar attracting water is generally not known at this time. However, the experimentation by Dr. Jenkins would tend to indicate there’s more than that going on.
According to Drugs.com, Manuka Oil has been documented to be effective against yeast and other fungi, though other plants within the same family may have greater effect. (Of course, my friend’s experience might be worth considering.)
The effects of Manuka oil against the Gram-positive class of bacteria—which includes Staphylococcus aureus and its devilish offspring, MRSA—is clear. There is, though, some indication that Gram-negative bacteria are also affected.
Manuka Oil has an anti-spasmodic action. This might be worth the consideration of those who suffer from spasticity. It hasn’t been well studied for this effect, but there seems to be little risk in trying it on oneself. This particular characteristic of Manuka Oil has been the focus of medicine primarily as a reason to tell pregnant women not to use it—though there have been no studies to examine whether it actually does pose a risk, nor have there been any incidents to suggest it does. Apparently, warning people away from herbal products doesn’t require the same evidence base that is required before someone is warned away from pharmaceutical drugs.
Manuka Oil may have an anti-anxiety effect. It is known to interact with GABA-A receptors, the same ones that benzodiazepines, such as Valium (diazepam), do. No experiments have been done on this aspect, and it appears that medicine considers it to be an adverse reaction—though, of course, it’s considered the beneficial effect of Valium!
Aside from its antibiotic, antispasmodic, and antianxiety effects, Manuka Oil has been found, anecdotally, to be beneficial in many other ways:
The thrust of experimentation with herbs in modern medicine is consistently the same—to find ways to extract a presumed “active ingredient” from a natural substance, purify it, and turn it into a drug, preferably one made directly from chemicals so that the inconvenience of dealing with the natural plant can be avoided. This approach, of course, neglects the symbiotic aspect of plants; the active ingredient does not act alone.
As a result, the drugs derived through the Big Pharma process usually have certain characteristics. They can be less effective and they tend to have severe adverse effects that are rarely present when the natural forms are used. Now, though, something even more dramatic is happening. The plants themselves are being suppressed, leaving people without the traditional herbs and herbal lore, and stuck with only the dangerous drugs.
Allopathic medicine’s focus is on medicalizing the effects, which can diminish the value of the experiment-based knowledge by trying to combine it with traditional drug treatment. Professor Rose Cooper, a microbiologist who supervised Dr. Jenkins’ experiment, stated:
We’ve also been looking at combinations of manuka honey and antibiotics—Dr Rowena Jenkins has shown that if you treat MRSA with Manuka Honey, it then becomes sensitive to some antibiotics.
We only started this project in September so we’ve still got a long way to go but we think putting honey on wounds topically will make bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics.
Rather than considering the value of Manuka honey alone, her attitude is that it must be treated as secondary to antibiotics—the very thing that has created superbugs!
Don’t make that mistake. Don’t assume that natural herbs are inferior to drugs. They aren’t, and in many instances are superior. Both Manuka oil and honey are perfect examples. They can heal even conditions caused by modern medicine, such as MRSA.
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