The antibiotic powers of honey are well-known, but scientists have recently discovered that New Zealand and Australia native honey can defeat even the so-called super-bugs (medication resistant bacteria). One Australian type of honey is great for killing anything the scientists have thrown at it, including the strongest and worst bacteria known to humanity.

The findings of the study have been published in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in June 2009, and are pretty significant now that most antibiotics can’t keep new super-bugs at bay.

This type of honey is the manuka honey, produced in New Zealand and is better known as jelly bush honey. It has become so popular recently that there is shortage of it and fake versions are being sold constantly. This lead to New Zealand manuka producers to seek trademark protection, and it’s easy to see why.

Manuka honey kills MRSA, other super-bugs

The manuka honey is produced by bees foraging on the nectar of Leptospermum Scoparium, a New Zealand manuka bush and tea trees native to Australia and New Zealand. Studies have found that this type of honey kills every kind of bacteria that attacks it, and can be applied topically to fight infections, cuts and insect bites. The bacteria eliminated by manuka honey were not able to build up immunity, something that often happens when they are being treated with antibiotics.

Dr. Dee Carter from the University of Sydney’s School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences says: “New antibiotics tend to have short shelf lives, as the bacteria they attack quickly become resistant. Many large pharmaceutical companies have abandoned antibiotic production because of the difficulty of recovering costs. Developing effective alternatives could therefore save many lives.”

Dr. Carter says that the manuka honey contains methyglyoxal, a compound that can combine with other compounds and form a “multi-system failure” that eliminates the bacteria.

Where to find manuka honey

Manuka honey can now be easily found online, although supply levels have been known to fluctuate recently. If you’re looking for it, try finding UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) certified manuka honey. This factor is a phytochemical property derived from the manuka bushes that are responsible for the honey’s amazing properties. The term is regulated by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association of New Zealand and only a few manuka certified products can be found online.

Amazon sells the Comvita manuka honey which is UMF certified. Here’s what one customer said about it: “I had done a fair amount of research when a friend of ours got MRSA, and then, unfortunately, I got it too., said user JoshuaOne9 on Amazon. Thankfully, I had already done the research so I knew exactly what to do. As soon as I saw the red bump (thinking the first day that it was a mosquito bite) I scratched it, but the second day I realized that it had to be something else. My husband immediately knew what it was since we had been dealing with our friend’s case of MRSA. I got my hands on this Manuka honey and put on the area of skin that was affected and then it is very important that you cover it with a band aid. Within hours I felt relief and within a few days it was completely gone…”

Further research on the manuka honey is needed, but even without it, this type of honey clearly shows promise in eliminating bacteria. This article is only for informational purposes and should not be mistaken for medical advice. Before adding manuka honey or making any other major change to your lifestyle, consult with a naturopathic doctor first.