“After a record-breaking Summer, one glance at the forecast tells us that Winter is now well on the way.
“While grey skies and colder temperatures can make us feel less bright in ourselves, the Winter also offers us reasons to get cosy, enjoy the company of friends and family, catch up on those box-sets or good book you’ve not started yet.
“Winter is also a great time to start adding some healthier meals to your weekly shop. Root veg is very easy to pick up at this time, meaning roasts, stews and soups are all back on the menu.
“Or why not use the extra hours indoors to prepare a rewarding meal that uses up some of those fresh items in the bottom drawer of your fridge?
“At this time of year many people consider adding a jar of Manuka honey to their store cupboard too. Taken either straight off the spoon or added to drinks or Hot Toddies.
“There’s a lot of information on the topic of Manuka in the public domain, but here are three studies you may find interesting about this New Zealand product as part of your research.
- Honey is recommended by Public Health England for coughs
“Doctors and Healthcare Professionals have been urged to not over prescribe antibiotics for the more common Winter ailments, partly because evidence shows over-the-counter or natural products can be just as good to manage symptoms.
“When it comes to coughs, the current advice is to try honey or over-the-counter medicines first before anti-biotics. See:
- Honey has potential in clinical settings, say researchers
“Recent research from the University of Manchester concluded that honey can also offer an alternative for healthcare professionals in hospital settings.
“Their review of more than 250 articles over 85 years - with oldest article from 1937- was published in the journal Pharmaceutics.
“In clinical settings, honey has been mainly used as a topical application on wounds for its antibacterial properties. However more work is needed, say the researchers, to identify and quantify the exact compounds that give honey its antimicrobial and wound healing properties to make it more reliable and standardised.
- Manuka could help certain patient groups
“Another recent study from Aston University Birmingham investigated whether Manuka honey could help treat patients with potentially serious lung infections.
“Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic condition affecting around 10,800 people and one in every 2,500 babies born in the UK, while bronchiectasis is a long-term condition where airways become widened, leading to a build-up of excess mucus.
“In the study, the researchers used samples of the bacteria Mycobacterium abscessus taken from 16 infected CF patients. They then tested the antibiotic amikacin, combined with Manuka honey, to discover what dosage was required to kill the bacteria.
“The results showed that using Manuka honey within treatment resulted in an eight-fold reduction in the dosage of antibiotic, according to the journal Microbiology.
I hope this helps explain some of the headlines you may read about honey and Manuka honey. Until next time, stay healthy.”
Dr Hilary Jones