How manuka honey is anti-bacterial
When you’ve got a sore throat there’s nothing more soothing that a spoonful honey, and our own Manuka honey has special qualities which can be used to help more than the common cold.
All honey has a slight antibacterial quality because it produces low levels of hydrogen peroxide but manuka’s secret weapon is a high level of methylglyoxal or MGO. Both these antibacterial molecules are made by enzymes inside the honey.
Hydrogen peroxide is the ingredient in bleach which kills germs. It gets into bacterial cells and causes strange chemical reactions, but while it’s great for cleaning the kitchen, it’s not so effective in honey. The enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide can’t survive light or heat and is destroyed by stomach acids.
MGO prevents bacteria from making the proteins it needs to live and isn’t as sensitive as hydrogen peroxide. Importantly, it doesn’t need oxygen to work so it can be added to wound dressings.