Manuka honey has been recommended by an extended family member with Diagnosed M.E. as I have been bought two jars and a skin cream its probably worth me trying it out. I will be taking about 5ml of 12+TA “ManukaPharm” Manuka Honey a day while not changing medication within my review period. For information my other medication is Amitryptilyne 50mg/day, Duloxetine 60mg/day, Vitamin D 25mcg, Testosterone (gel) 50mg/day, Oramorph average 75mg/day, Buprenorphine 10mcg/hr & Topical Dovobet when required for Psorasis.

My family member has cited a reduction in pain and fatigue after taking Manuka honey so I’m going to see if there is any noticeable difference in my condition. My attitude towards it is sceptical with a small dose of hope, obviously this is hardly a scientific test but it will be interesting to see. My family member is going on a cruise soon that he believes he would have never attempted without the benefits the honey has brought to him. Most people with M.E./CFS/Fibromyalgia will say they would try anything to get some relief and I am no different. After doing some research this is what I have found:

About the honey itself

Manuka honey is mainly produced in New Zealand where Bee’s only collect pollen from the indigenous Manuka bush (Leptospermum Scoparium) in controlled environments. Since it has become popular Manuka is now being grown in other countries including the UK. The honey being sold as medically beneficial is referred to as being “active” in that it contains active enzymes that continue to react chemically within the Honey. This is measured in laboratory tests and is called the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) or TA (Total Activity).i was surprised to learn that the honey is licensed by the NHS in the UK for the treatment of MRSA for cancer patients since 2004. In 2010, the scientific steering committee of the US National Cancer Institute approved a proposal for the use of manuka honey for the reduction of inflammation of the oesophagus associated with chemotherapy.

Obviously they honey is cited as beneficial in a number of other areas by alternative health practitioners, these areas include treatment of bacterial infection, treatment of inflammation, would healing, high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, a variety of ENT (Ear Nose & Throat) problems, eczema, acne, gastrointestinal problems and even reduction of plaque in the mouth. Research on these areas is not as detailed but some evidence is out there. Components of the honey include Hydrogen Peroxide which has an antibiotic quality, Methylglyoxal (MG) which is antibacterial and comes from the conversion of another compound – dihydroxyacetone – that is found in high concentration in the nectar of manuka flowers. Researchers into the effects of honey on bacteria have observed changes in the lengths of bacterial cells, cells bursting open, and changes in the appearance of the DNA inside the cells which could of course bring benefits to the patient. Honey can also benefit the skin because its effect of Osmosis which can alter hydration in cells themselves bringing particular benefit to skin when changes in moisture levels of skin cells can be so important.

A word of warning however, through my research I have come across various scams in relation to Manuka Honey. In some cases cheap honey is being sold as Manuka Honey when it isn’t. In others Manuka Honey has been cooked or heated to produce a high UMF rating so watch out for high ratings too.

I will report back my findings after taking Manuka Honey over a period of time to see if it has any noticeable effect. I will also be testing a Manuka Honey Skin Cream on Psoriasis that I will discuss in a separate article. Has anyone tried Manuka Honey hoping for health benefits? What were your experiences? I would really like to hear your comments that can be left under any article or page, just remember to check for the confirmation email or your comments will not be authorised.

Further Reading

“‘Bug busting’ properties of honey assessed” on the NHS choices website published March 18 2013
The Effect of New Zealand Kanuka, Manuka and Clover Honeys on Bacterial Growth Dynamics and Cellular Morphology Varies According to the Species” on PLoS ONE Published online February 13 2013
Manuka honey is the bees knees” on the independent.co.uk published online May 26 2009
Manuka Honey on the webmd.com website
Stung by fraudsters: How cheap honey is being sold as ‘liquid gold’ manuka variety at £45 a jar” on the Daily Mail website published August 25th 2013
Manuka Honey Ratings Explained” on the greenbayharvest.co.uk website
Harnessing honey’s healing power” on the BBC News website published online June 8th 2004