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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Can I give Manuka honey to my 4 year old?

(21 Posts)
coffeecake Mon 06-Jun-11 21:17:58

And I am also a bit confused about the different numbers on the jars (10, 15+ etc...).
Any tips?

Daydreaming Mon 06-Jun-11 21:23:40

Yes, you certainly can !!! The numbering refers to the strength of the antibacterial properties of the honey - the higher the number, the better.

Honey (of any sort) should not be given to children under 12 months, but after that it's fine.

I give Manuka honey to my DD for any sniffles, sore throat, etc. Works very well, even if it may partially a placebo effect !!!!!!

TragicallyHip Mon 06-Jun-11 21:24:43

Yes it's fine. Ds had 15+ a few months ago at 18 months

coffeecake Mon 06-Jun-11 21:28:52

Last question: how much of it? A teaspoon a day for example? It's just that he keeps catching colds and coughs at his pre school and I heard that manuka honey had antibacterial properties?

TragicallyHip Mon 06-Jun-11 22:06:03

I think I gave Ds 1 or 2 teaspoons a day when he was sick. You might want to google dose's tho to be sure.

sneezecakesmum Mon 06-Jun-11 22:06:44

I think you're clutching at straws if you think DS will be protected from bugs by honey, or anything else for that matter! Sorry but a good healthy diet, including honey if you like is the best you can do. Bugs at nursery /school is a fact of life. You would be preparing him much better if you could instil a strict handwashing routine. Most of the bugs are transmitted hand to mouth (think flu, worms, d&v etc) as well as airborne infections. Stock up with calpol, brufen and piriton.

I am not knocking honey, my husband keeps bees so we have tons! Honey is supposed to be antibacterial applied to the skin, and is good (apparently) for warding of allergies like pollen if local honey is eaten as its collected from local flowers.

Daydreaming Mon 06-Jun-11 22:19:57

sneezecake - Manuka honey is different to normal honey. It has actually been proven to help with colds, tummy upsets, etc.

CharlieBoo Mon 06-Jun-11 23:35:26

Yes yes Manuka honey is very different from normal honey hence the price difference. I give my two a teaspoon a day when they have a cold/sore throat... Seriously it seems to work.

sneezecakesmum Tue 07-Jun-11 19:29:29

Thanks I will look into this as the Nursery is looming in September and the bugs are forming an orderly queue!

Hand washing also very important thought grin

DBennett Wed 08-Jun-11 10:45:56

Manuka honey has not been proven to help with anything through eating it.

It has some efficacy for burns and wounds but there is no reason to think it has antimicrobial power when ingested.

In fact when tried, it performs no better than placebo.

It's action is through the production of hydrogen peroxide like compounds which require a good deal of oxygen to form, hence needing the open air.

It tastes nice and it's texture may be soothing on a sore throat but that is all I'm afraid.

There is also evidence that honey is no better for allergic symptoms than placebo.

Hand washing is very effective.
But not as tasty.

coffeecake Wed 08-Jun-11 13:50:01

We will see. Thanks for your advice.

coffeecake Wed 08-Jun-11 14:22:57

Actually DBennett, I have looked into it more thoroughly and it is not the Hydrogen peroxide that makes Manuka Honey so effective.

In fact it is a chemical called methylglyoxal which is present in small amounts in other honey and some other forms of food but not in sufficient doses to actually have any antibacterial effect.
In other honey the antibacterial effect is caused by hydrogen peroxide; however it is not as stable or reliable as methylglyoxal and therefore useless for medicinal use.
You must have got confused with ordinary honey.
And anyway, even if it does work as well as a placebo: fantastic!!!
Why always try to have scientific evidence to everything?
If it works it works!!

PfftTheMagicDragon Wed 08-Jun-11 14:28:46

Well - we try to have a scientific value to something when we are claiming to use it to stop colds! I would hope there would be a scientific proof behind that!

I would want a cheaper placebo!

coffeecake Wed 08-Jun-11 19:38:25

If you know of any let me know!!
Anyway I don't think they claim that Manuka honey prevents colds, and that's not why I want my son to try some. I said that he keeps catching colds and coughs, and I thought it might settle the cough, not prevent him from catching anything!!
Funny how things can be so wrongly interpreted.

sneezecakesmum Wed 08-Jun-11 21:28:54

Honey is definitely soothing to a sore throat, cant see it doing much to a cough hmm Cant do any harm thats for sure and it tastes nice.

Wish someone would find a way to stop these endless coughy nights and days, they'd get a nobel prize!

eldictator Tue 19-Jul-11 01:29:05

Actually quite a lot of studies have been done.

Research by the world leading authority in manuka honey Peter Molan at the waikato university has been done for the past 20 years, much of what we know has come from his studies. Amongst the many studies published in journals, one highlighted that manuka honey actually inhibited bacteria better than dequadin, cepacol lozenges and had a similar effect to strepsils.

Studies also show benefits to
Overall oral health which include
bad breath inhibitor
Gingival infection preventor
Anti inflammatory
Effective against h pylori infections
effective against the herpes simplex virus amongst others invitro

DBennett Tue 19-Jul-11 12:36:49

I didn't say that no studies had been done.

I said that the positive studies didn't relate to eating it.

Spreading on skin, yes.
On cells in a lab, yes.

But not eating it.

But if you have some references I'm more than happy to take a look.

I've can't see any positive ingestion studies in the 73 listed on pubmed but I and they are not perfect so show what we've missed.

Oh and I do need to correct myself from earlier, there is some suggestion that manuka honey may have an effect beyond H2O2 production.
Doesn't seem that convincing but I ruled it out in my earlier post which may have been premature.

4madboys Tue 19-Jul-11 12:50:57

well i like manuka honey so my kids eat it.

i have a seperate question re honey, i know its not suitable for the under ones, so if i made a cake with honey in it, does that mean that a child under one cannot eat it?

is it any different as the honey has been 'cooked' and it would only be a small quantity anyway going into a cake or muffins and therefore the amount in the tiny amount that say a 9mth old would eat would be minute?!! i may go and google actually...

4madboys Tue 19-Jul-11 12:57:41

grr mn just ate my post!

i have done a quick google, there is conflicting advice on cooked honey ie in baking, basically the spores responsibly for botulism {sp} are heat sensitive and die with heat, but temp varies etc and yo ucant be sure that all will be killed depending on temp... so on that basis i wouldnt risk it and baby centre says NO.

some others say it is ok tho....

and an interesting study by american paediatric society came up, on treating coughs with honey, it was a particular kind of honey, it got good results!

eldictator Tue 19-Jul-11 16:14:16

Yes, you did say that about ingesting it, but posters mentioned colds (coughs) and sore throats before hand, where there is evidence that manuka honey is as effective as strepsils etc and does provide relief with no side effects or danger of over dose. There is evidence supporting the reduction in oral bacterium responsible for gum disease,bad breath and perio dontal disease. The evidence for ingesting it is as you say in the lab where it is effective against H pylori. I agree clinical trials are lacking but there are ongoing clinical trials and there is strong evidence in vitro

There is data showing that methylglyoxal is the key feature that seperates manuka from other Anti bacterial mono floral honeys and honeys with H2 O2 benefits, hence the UMF tag as stated by coffeecake (molecular nutrition and food research, professor E mavric dresden). Other honeys don't inhibit H pylori (stomach ulcers) E coli, streptococcus faecalis. Modern anti biotics also struggle with these bacterium.Can't seem to find dr molan's paper but here's a vid

DBennett Tue 19-Jul-11 16:41:08

Hi again,

Would you mind linking to the sore throats, oral bacteria stuff.

The only oral mucosa stuff I've seen has manuka honey no better than a sugar syrup.


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