The results of clinical studies conducted with Manuka honey and cancer have created quite a stir in the medical fraternity. The healing properties of honey are no secret and over the ages, it has been used in different cultures for treating various health problems. In fact, it was only after the discovery of penicillin and various other antibiotic medicines that doctors stopped using honey as an antibacterial lotion for disinfecting wounds. However, few would have imagined that honey could be used to treat cancer as well, as has been proven after studying the healing effects of Manuka honey dressings in patients suffering from mouth and throat cancer.
The above-mentioned study was conducted by the Christie Hospital in Didsbury which is located in Manchester, UK. The focus of this study was to assess the benefits of using honey coated surgical dressings for throat and mouth cancer patients. According to the results of the study, this special type of honey produced by bees who feed on the nectar of the Manuka bush which grows exclusively in New Zealand reduced the instance as well as severity of inflammation that is common in cancer patients. In addition to that, it also reduced the risk of contracting Staphylococcus aureus – the most common species of wound-infecting bacteria – including the Methicillin-resistant variety.
“Mystery Ingredient” For Treating Cancerous Cells
Laboratory tests in relation to Manuka honey and cancer revealed the presence of a mystery ingredient in addition to a high level of hydrogen peroxide. This has coincided with the findings of medical researcher Peter Molan. He has been studying the composition of this honey for the last 20 years and given its mystery ingredient the name of Unique Manuka Factor or UMF and proven it to possess special antiseptic properties that fight infection from various bacteria, protozoa and fungi. In view of these medical properties of Manuka honey, Dr Glenys Round – a renowned cancer specialist, used this honey for treating the fungating wounds that appeared in places where cancerous cells broke through the skin of the patient.
She conducted further tests with Manuka honey and cancer for determining the effectiveness of this honey it treating ulcers that develop in patients because of the radiation therapy and found great success in the same. The cancer patients who volunteered for these tests were quite satisfied with the results as well and preferred using a natural remedy for soothing inflammation and preventing as well as treating infection rather than taking strong medications for the same. In order to make these honey dressings less messy, a few medical products companies are already working on developing hi-tech honey dressings that look and feel like rubber sheets.
To sum up, this honey has been proven to have strong antibacterial and healing property that can help treat cancer related ailments such as oral mucositis or formation of ulcers in the mouth. However, according to a recently published report on Manuka honey and cancer, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York expressed uncertainty about the anti-cancer property of this honey. Manuka honey provides many substantiated health benefits and is a natural substance which does not have any side effects.