The Buzz on Superhoney



The next time you hit the dirt and scrape some skin, consider lathering your battle wound with some honey. Particularly, the ‘superhoney’ called Manuka. The buzz is about its potent antibacterial properties, says Peter Molan, PhD, aprofessor of biological sciences at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Manuka contains high levels of methyl glyoxal (MGO), a germ-fighting compound that, unlike cousin compounds in other honeys, doesn’t break down upon contact with blood or saliva. This is why people find manuka, which comes from bees that feed on flowers native to Australia and New Zealand, so effective for treating cuts and scrapes, Molan says. “I would recommend manuka honey, covered with some sort of dressing, as first aid on minor wounds and on any burns where the skin is still intact,” he says. But shop smart: Some “manuka honey” contains just a smidge of manuka mixed with other honey, he says. Look for products with a nonperoxide activity (NPA) level of +10 or an MGO rating of 250 or higher.

Image from Corbis.