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J R Soc Med. 1994 January; 87(1): 9–12.
PMCID: PMC1294271

Susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to the antibacterial activity of manuka honey.

Abstract

Honey is a traditional remedy for dyspepsia, and is still used for this by some medical practitioners although there is no rational basis for its use. The finding that Helicobacter pylori is probably the causative agent in many cases of dyspepsia has raised the possibility that the therapeutic action of honey may be due to its antibacterial properties. Consequently, the sensitivity of Helicobacter pylori to honey was tested, using isolates from biopsies of gastric ulcers. It was found that all five isolates tested were sensitive to a 20% (v/v) solution of manuka honey in an agar well diffusion assay, but none showed sensitivity to a 40% solution of a honey in which the antibacterial activity was due primarily to its content of hydrogen peroxide. Assessment of the minimum inhibitory concentration by inclusion of manuka honey in the agar showed that all seven isolates tested had visible growth over the incubation period of 72 h prevented completely by the presence of 5% (v/v) honey.

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