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Honey is great for treating the symptoms and effects of colds, sore throats and the flu. But few of us know that there are tons of different types of honey out there and they all differ in how they work and how well they work.

Manuka honey, for instance, is the not the typical honey you might find in grocery stores and has some great medicinal properties. This honey is only cultivated in New Zealand and parts of Australia, where the tea tree plant grows (beware the ‘Manuka’ honey that doesn’t come from this region). It has an active chemical called Methylglyoxal or MGO. MGO can be measured in Manuka honey to determine how medicinal it is. MGO can range anywhere from 100 to 550 parts per million (ppm). But to be antiviral and antibacterial, it has to have 250 ppm or more MGO.

Manuka Honey has the nutritional content and immune boosting abilities up to 4 times that of normal flower honey. It has many immune supporting nutrients including amino acids, B vitamins, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc.

Besides honey’s typical actions of being a cough suppressant and helping with sore throats, Manuka has been shown to be so much more. It can be used for myriad uses including:


How to Use for Wounds, Ulcers, Burns and Abscess

  • Wash the area with clean running water.
    • For Burns
      • Wash the burnt area with water.
        • Avoid using anything too cold such as ice or refrigerated water, as these may cause frost bites on the skin.
          • Lukewarm or tap water will do just fine.
  • Check the bleeding on the wound.
    • If there are only tiny droplets gushing out, then it’s clear to dress it.
    • If the bleeding is moderate or severe,
      • don’t dress it immediately!
      • You could either dab or apply pressure on the wound with a clean cloth until the bleeding stops or lessens.
    • However, if the bleeding is severe and shows no sign of stopping, do not wait another minute!
      • Contact an ambulance immediately, as this could be far more than any simple first aid can handle.
  • It is best to spread the honey on a dressing and apply this to the wound.
  • The amount of honey used depends on the amount of fluid exuding from the wound.
    • Large amounts of exudate require substantial amounts of honey to be applied.
  • The frequency of dressing changes depends on how rapidly the honey is being diluted by the exudate.
    • This should become less frequent as the honey starts to work on healing the wound.
  • Occlusive (air-tight, water-tight) dressings help to prevent honey oozing out from the wound.
  • Abscesses, cavity or deep wounds need more honey to adequately penetrate deep into the wound tissues.


How to Use for Acne/Rosacea:

  • Honey, Yogurt, Oat Mask
    • The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions of Manuka honey make it a great way to improve and eliminate acne spots and scars.
    • Ingredients:
      • 1 tablespoon ground oatmeal
      • 1 tablespoon raw honey
      • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole, sugar-free milk yogurt
    • Instructions:
      • In a small bowl, mix together the oatmeal, honey, and yogurt.  
      • Apply to your face in a thin layer for about 20 minutes and then rinse off.  
    • Because honey is a natural moisturizer, you won’t need to apply moisturizer after use.
      • Repeat this process once or twice a week.
  • Manuka Honey Facial Cleanser
    • Remove makeup.
    • Massage a tablespoon of Manuka honey onto dry face.
    • Allow it to stay on the face for 30 seconds and then wash it off with warm water.
    • Finish wash with a splash of cold!
  • Overnight Treatment of Acne with Manuka Honey
    • Avoid doing this on sensitive skin (or do a skin test first!).
    • Cleanse your face with warm water and a gentle cleanser.
    • Apply a thin layer of Manuka honey all over the face and then massage it gently or dab a small amount onto a “problem” area.
    • Leave it on the skin overnight and wash it off with warm water the next morning.
      • Since honey is messy, you’ll want to use an old pillowcase or a towel to keep it off your pillow.


For Athlete’s Foot/Ringworm:

  • Dissolve in a warm foot bath or apply directly.


For Frizzy, Split Ends:

  • Add a teaspoon of Manuka honey to your regular conditioner.
    • Rinse hair for shine and smoothness.


For Sinus Infections:

  • Add 1 teaspoon of manuka honey to 1 cup of distilled or boiled water.
    • Use to irrigate the nostrils with a neti pot.


For Gingivitis (gum inflammation):

  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of manuka honey in cold or lukewarm water, and use this mouthwash after every meal.


For Stomach Ulcers and H. Pylori:

  • Take 3 spoons full of Active Manuka Honey in divided doses per day,
    • one in the morning, half an hour before breakfast,
    • one in the afternoon and
    • one in the evening, before bedtime,
      • You can take it on a rice cracker.
  • In the beginning you might experience a slight burning like sensation.
    • This should stop in 2-3 days and the natural antibiotic should start taking effect.


For Irritable Bowel Diseases:

  • 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey straight or dissolved in water twice a day on an empty stomach.


For Urinary Tract Infections (along with antibiotics):

  • Take 3 spoons full of Manuka Honey per day 


Want other natural remedies for whatever ails you? Follow my adventures on Facebook @drsarafrawleynd or you can make an appointment today by clicking on the ZocDoc button below or by calling (203)293-7293.