Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Success is Sweet for the Honey that Spreads Good Health

By Sarah Freeman, Yorkshire Post, 7/7/2009

It sounds like just another old wives' tale.

But while eating carrots might not help you see in the dark, it seems a spoonful of honey not only helps the medicine go down, but it can ease sore throats, soothe digestive problems and, perhaps most impressively of all, fight off MRSA.

The healing properties of honey were well known to the Ancient Egyptians, the Romans and the Greeks, but over the centuries natural remedies have been replaced by antibiotic drugs and lotions.

However in recent months, manuka honey and the native New Zealand bee which produces it has suddenly found itself back in vogue. Produced for the first time this year in England, a single jar costs £55, but despite the hefty price tag, demand has soared. The first batch from the Tregothnan estate in Cornwall sold out within weeks and as word spread, online orders have gone through the roof.

"It has long been common wisdom in New Zealand that manuka honey is a superior treatment for wounds and infections," says Professor Peter Molan, a biochemist at the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato. "Ten years ago, I decided to see if there was any scientific foundation in the belief and ever since I have been trying to get to the bottom of what makes it so special…

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