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  • Manuka Honey



    My mother has been eating a teaspoon of this honey 3x/day (for the last month or so) in an effort to alleviate discomfort from a range of GI issues. She is not particularly primal, but eats reasonably well and is a very healthy 47-year old. I know that many of my primal compatriots will advise her to ditch the grains once and for all if she really wants to overcome the digestive problems, but in the meantime, I want to know whether this manuka honey is safe for her consumption.


    My cursory googling did not yield any particularly valuable insights other than a hint that the active ingredient or source of the honey's presumed healing properties is methylglyoxal, something that could be harmful to humans.


    Though retail sites tout that this honey is a perfectly safe, natural product that has more or less stood the test of time (as it has supposedly been used as a healing agent by ancient Greeks and others), I am concerned about the potential health risks that may accompany regular use of this stuff.


    Have any of you used this product, had success with it, heard anything about it? Thanks.


  • #2
    1

    [quote]

    Though retail sites tout that this honey is a perfectly safe, natural product that has more or less stood the test of time (as it has supposedly been used as a healing agent by ancient Greeks ...
    </blockquote>


    The Ancient Greeks couldn&#39;t have used it: Maunka is native to New Zealand and parts of Australia.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptospermum_scoparium


    If you look on the jar, you&#39;ll probably find the honey comes from New Zealand - all those I&#39;ve seen do.


    Manuka honey is not something I&#39;d worry about myself. The Wikipedia article - not much of a source, I know - asserts that "the M?ori [used] parts of the [Manuka] plant as natural medicine". Doubtless that&#39;s correct. One would be interested to know more, such as what parts of the plant? what did they use it for? how much? and for how long? What one uses as a medicine isn&#39;t necessarily (or even usually) what one takes all the time. However, you&#39;re not talking about an extract or even about a plant. What you&#39;re talking about here is what finds its way into the honey after honeybees have gathered nectar from the plant - and only a teaspoon or so of honey eaten by a person at that. If manufacturers were extracting the active component from the plant and adding it to the honey in large quantities you might have an issue there. As it is, I&#39;d doubt there is one. But I&#39;ve no way of knowing for sure.


    As I say, it would be interesting to know more about the use of plant by the Maoris (and presumably Australian Aborigines), since they&#39;ve lived with it longest.

    Comment


    • #3
      1



      It&#39;s HONEY. NZ bees presumably make the same honey as US bees.


      I can&#39;t imagine how honey helps the G.I., it&#39;s just sugar and the tag along enzymes and such.


      At 1.5 TBL a day, it probably isn&#39;t going to hurt her, despite the fructose content.


      But I wouldn&#39;t do it.

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      • #4
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        1 tablespoon of honey per day shouldn&#39;t hurt anyone. I loved Manuka honey on my toast when I lived in Australia. I don&#39;t eat toast anymore but I do enjoy honey.

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        • #5
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          Well, Dave, 1.5tbl is not 1, to start with. If Mom is dipping her 1/2 tsp spoon into the honey, as compared to squeezing it our of a bottle, she might be getting 2 TBL a day, easily.


          2 TBL, to round things off, is 17 g&#39;s of fructose every day. http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/sweets/5568/2 Would you dip a spoon into a jar of crystallized fructose every day and eat this? If a Coke has 2 tbl of real sugar, (not HFCS), there&#39;s less fructose in a sucrose based Coke.


          Have you seen the "Sugar: A Bitter Truth" video?


          While there are a few implied but unanswered questions in it, it is a condemnation of fructose.

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          • #6
            1



            1 teaspoon of honey * 3 = 1 tablespoon = 60 calories. Even Mark admits to putting a teaspoon of sugar in his morning coffee.


            I haven&#39;t seen the video but I still don&#39;t think that honey, something man has eaten since Grok&#39;s time, in small quantities is going to have an adverse effect on a healthy person.

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            • #7
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              Dang, I hate that math failure of mine! Just started my caffeine, yeah, that&#39;s my excuse. "Thanks."


              Dave, I&#39;m not saying it&#39;s mercury or arsenic. I&#39;m saying it&#39;s an easily avoidable source of fructose.


              Watch the vid if you have time. It will become obvious that fructose is a health enemy "hidden in plain sight." I&#39;m not an easy to convince person, but it convinced me.

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              • #8
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                OTB I&#39;ll try and find time to watch that video today. Thanks for the heads up on it!

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                • #9
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                  But the question seems to be: "Is methylglyoxal - the (one of the?) active ingredient/s in the Manuka plant a danger to people who consume a spoonful or so a day of the honey made from bees who collect nectar from the plant."


                  I couldn&#39;t say for sure, but I&#39;d rather doubt it.


                  I&#39;m somewhat reminded of Mr. Woodhouse in Emma who thought that perhaps a boiled egg wouldn&#39;t do him any harm:


                  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/158/158-h/158-h.htm

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                  • #10
                    1



                    I&#39;m inclined to think this would fall under Mark&#39;s category of "Sensible vices". Dark chocolate and red wine are my sensible vices. :-)

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                    • #11
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                      But they don&#39;t have fructose, hee hee hee.....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DaveFish View Post
                        1 teaspoon of honey * 3 = 1 tablespoon = 60 calories. Even Mark admits to putting a teaspoon of sugar in his morning coffee.


                        I haven't seen the video but I still don't think that honey, something man has eaten since Grok's time, in small quantities is going to have an adverse effect on a healthy person.
                        Well, I don't think that it would cause an adverse effect on a healthy person.

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                        • #13
                          Manuka honey is used in our hospitals as well as the general population because of its high antibacterial properties, among other things.

                          Here is a link with more detail. It's been tested over and over again in RCTs. BUT it's a medicinal grade, not the stuff you get in the grocery store (usually). It'll be labelled as such. I keep it in my medicine cabinet.
                          Started Feb 18 2011

                          Tried basic primal and almost everything else in pursuit of IBS control, mood stability, and weight loss.

                          Journalling here

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jac View Post
                            Manuka honey is used in our hospitals as well as the general population because of its high antibacterial properties, among other things.

                            Here is a link with more detail. It's been tested over and over again in RCTs. BUT it's a medicinal grade, not the stuff you get in the grocery store (usually). It'll be labelled as such. I keep it in my medicine cabinet.
                            It is delicious, nutritious and about as primal you could get in the way of sweet, natural foods. Grok even would have raided bee hives for it.

                            New zealanders have been using it for many years and there is nothing dangerous about it. Tell your mum to eat up..

                            Manuka is just tea tree. The tea tree oil from the plant is quite strong but honey from the nectar is a whole different issue.

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