Australian Manuka honey as powerful against superbugs as NZ variety, researchers say.
Manuka honey made by bees foraging on Australian native plants has antibacterial properties at least as powerful as the famous New Zealand variety, according to new research, but New Zealand producers are trying to trademark the name.
New Zealand-made manuka honey has long been considered a superfood for everything from sore throats to gingivitis but as microbiologist Dr Nural Cokcedin explains, scientists now say that the Australian-made version could be the most powerful antibacterial honey of all.
“We’ve got some Australian manuka honeys that are at least as powerful as their more famous New Zealand cousin, and when I say powerful I mean they’ve got this antibacterial activity that can kill superbugs like golden staph,” she said.
The rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs is a huge concern around the world, but Dr Cokcedin said bacteria did not develop resistance to manuka honey, meaning it could be appearing a lot more in clinics as a topical treatment for skin infections and wounds.
“The antibacterial activity was tested seven years ago when we first collected [the honey samples] and we retested them just recently this year and we found that that activity has not changed, which was actually very surprising,” she said.
The honey is made by bees foraging on the manuka, or tea tree plant as it is more commonly known in Australia.
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