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Multi-Use Food: Manuka Honey?
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Clint Hewitt
(WalkSoftly33) - F

Locale: New England
Multi-Use Food: Manuka Honey? on 11/15/2011 12:08:20 MST Print View

I was pondering if carrying Manuka Honey while hiking would be worthwhile. I have no experience with it first hand. Would it be worth carrying on longer hikes?

Background: It purports to have anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties.

Multi Use:
1. Human Consumption
2. Better Oral Health
3. Prevent infections/Promote healing on cuts
4. Chapped Lips
5. Burns
6. Purported Safe
7. Acne help
8. Sore Throat

1. Human Consumption.
- Honey is tasty and delicious and can provide a great boost
- Different taste of sugar then standard simple carb trail consumption
- useable on many things: Oatmeal, granola bars, fruit, breads
- rarely need it for medicinal use, eating the majority of your stock would not be to big a risk.
- But you will most likely not eat all of it, always some stuck to the sides for those times that you do need a medicinal ointment.

* Since it has antimicrobial properties, does consumption produces it the long term, balance or imbalance in the Gut floral of the digestion system?
* Does consuming this keep you any healthier during a thru, when you are demanding alot of you body and nutrition is not optimal? (i.e. fresh fruit and veggies can only be had in town or just out)

2. Oral Health:

3. Cuts:
*Would the application be to messy?

4. Lip Balm:
* Would this work? maybe

5. Burns:
- Minor fire burns
* Sunburns?

6. Safe:
- Supposedly this stuff has bean used effectively and safely

7. Acne
- Used on acne of the face
- Could help with Thru hiker legs (fliculitous) down to short line it hot weather

8. Sore Throat
- coats it
- cools it
- anti-bacterial

Note: I tried bring a small 2oz plastic flask filled with honey on an AT thru hike: I remember the small opening was difficult to get honey out of. Eventually it crystallized and was almost impossible to get out. No I know you can heat honey to re-liquify, but I never did it. Probably could have placed it in warmed water in my pot. After a month or so I gave up on it an sent it home. I have some raw unfiltered honey I sourced up here in ME locally and it has sat in my cabinet for 6months and has not crystallized.

Final Questions:
1. Does any one have any experience with Manuka Honey?

2. Does any one have any experience packing and utilizing honey on the trail in any capacity, Manuka or not?

3. Do only certain types of honey crystallize or is it a condition based event?

4. What effect does Manuka Honey have on bacteria in the digestive tract over the long term? (While hiking 20 miles a day, already experiencing some digestive difference from the mean population)

5. Any other uses that any one has heard about or used?

Edited by WalkSoftly33 on 11/15/2011 12:25:06 MST.

Clint Hewitt
(WalkSoftly33) - F

Locale: New England
Weight Savings/ Difference on 11/15/2011 12:23:59 MST Print View

It would, in theory replace:

Portion of your food supply
Lip Balm
Antibacterial Ointment
Throat Candies (presuming you had a sore throat but continued to hike as one might while thru hiking)

Also could it help at all with any baddies in your stomach that you might consume in your water supply?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Multi-Use Food: Manuka Honey? on 11/15/2011 13:11:05 MST Print View

As long as honey is actually honey (and not some nasty import that isn't) any honey works. Local honey is best for allergies, preferably raw.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
sugar concentration on 11/15/2011 16:05:39 MST Print View

I don't have a lot of knowledge on the subject, but my understanding is antibacterial properties/ storage life of honey is due to the high concentration of sugar. When it comes in contact with nasties it sucks the water out of there bodies. That's why they are reporting antibacterial properties and suggest using it on cuts and burns. In that regard once you eat, it gets diluted and no longer has those properties. Indeed it becomes a nice food source for bacteria.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: sugar concentration on 11/15/2011 18:48:29 MST Print View

I spent some time during lunch reading up on the manuka honay, which I hadn't heard about before. It seems that the antibacterial properties of it are due to phytochemicals from the manuka plant.

Sugar can be used, and indeed works through osmotic pressure. Honey can remain effective even when diluted past the point where osmolarity would matter. This is largely due to an enzyme in honey that produces hydrogen peroxide. The manuka honey is interesting because is also contains non-peroxide based antibacterial components.

Largely summarized from:

Reginald Donaldson
(worth) - MLife

Locale: Wind River Range
Whipped Honey on 11/16/2011 22:19:00 MST Print View

I have purchased some manuka honey and it is expensive! It has a slightly different taste and is thicker than regular honey. I historically use whipped honey and will continue to do so. It is more like a spread and less messier. Cool temperatures will cause it to become quite stiff and difficult to smear. I believe it is crystalized honey that has been beaten/blended to incorporate air into it to make it creamy.

Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
manuka= money on 11/17/2011 10:28:24 MST Print View

hello~ it's with great success that i've used manuka honey in various frontcountry circumstances, (primarily for facilitating blister healing and the cessation of poison ivy) (*as you well know, honey should ever be applied to large, open wounds). indeed the results were ridiculous-- facsinating even! in 24 hours time, my blister had "sealed" enough for me to continue at full-throttle. in the case of poison ivy, the honey enzymes supressed the weeping and oozing and extinguished the itch. agreeably, manuka lacks the spreadability of its honey counterparts, and yes, it's price is slightly higher, but in it's defense, considering it's potency, one can be entirely judicious in it's use and yield entirely successful results with less doseage and far fewer applications.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Multi-Use Food: Manuka Honey on 11/17/2011 10:51:33 MST Print View

All honey has antibacterial properties, not just expensive, boutique honey.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Multi-Use Food: Manuka Honey on 11/17/2011 12:29:04 MST Print View

Manuka is also known as the tea tree. Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial, anti-microbal, etc. That is why manuka honey is so special. Taste like soapy feet to me though. I prefer wildflower honey.

"Kakariki parakeets (Cyanoramphus) use the leaves and bark of mānuka and kānuka to rid themselves of parasites. Apart from ingesting the material, they also chew it, mix it with preen gland oil and apply it to their feathers." - wiki

Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
raw honey on 10/19/2012 01:56:01 MDT Print View

I happen to be a lover of raw honey, and i was thinking of posting it as a multi-use item. Raw honey is a GREAT beauty item too because it is chemical free! The skin is our largest organ on our body, therefore, nothing should be placed on it that you wouldn't eat.

Some additional uses for raw honey:

Medical- I was watching an sea mammal rescue show the other day, and they were packing a large wound on an animal with raw honey to heal it. It worked! So having some extra honey on hand to pack a wound would be good.

Cleansing and moisturizing - I use raw honey in the shower everyday to wash my face. It's a little intimidating the first time you do it ... because you assume it will be sticky. But the raw honey with the wax mixed is easy to work with and slightly exfoliating. When rinsed off, the sticky residue is gone and it leave your face so soft! I actually let the honey sit on my face for a few minutes before rinsing. I use about a nickel sized dollop for each face wash. But, I'm laughing thinking about doing this in the wilderness..."Hey bear! am I sexy to you with this honey rubbed all over my body?". But as a multiuse item, you could dump the Dr. Bronners and try to use honey on your face, hands and armpits!

I also agree that manuka honey is an unnecessary additional cost. Regular raw honey is fine. I am, however, very particular about the raw honey I use. I read on a beauty forum somewhere that it's important to buy raw honey in which the bees do not have access to chemically treated fields. So, I don't buy local honey, I buy beautiful Canadian honey in which the bees only have access to beautiful mountain wild flowers.

The brand is called Tropical Traditions and they run sales frequently if you sign up for their listserv:

This particular brand seems to remains solid at a variety of temps and it's freakin' delicious!

Edited by flutingaround on 10/19/2012 02:48:37 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: raw honey on 10/19/2012 08:05:48 MDT Print View

If you know where your local raw honey comes from, for example the honey I buy comes from a farmer couple I do business with. Their farm is surrounded by like minded farms along a valley.

I am VERY hesitant to buy honey from anyone I cannot see in person see their hives. "Honey washing" is way too rampant to say the least. How honey-washing occurs is disturbing to say the least, and Canada is part of the problem (so is Russia as well).

A good raw honey should be thick though - honey that pours like a syrup is always questionable.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: raw honey on 10/19/2012 13:51:48 MDT Print View

This year's honey from my Gf's hive ;) way to tasty to put on my face or to use for anything other than eating.


Edited by JakeDatc on 10/19/2012 13:52:19 MDT.

Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
Sweet! on 10/23/2012 05:54:11 MDT Print View

Congrats on the bees...they are so cool! Is your girlfriend sharing?

Sarah- Could you provide a link about honey washing-- I'm not familiar with this.

Edited by flutingaround on 10/23/2012 05:57:20 MDT.