Manuka is a mono-flower honey (as is Sourwood Honey for example) that comes primarily from New Zealand. Because the bees feed solely on the uncultivated Manuka bush, Leptospermum scoparium, also called the “tea tree,” this honey has a unique taste. The popular name, “tea tree,” reportedly came about because Captain Cook used Manuka plant leaves to make tea.
I have found that less than a half-teaspoon of Manuka honey in a cup of hot water makes a delicious evening drink, loaded with exceptional flavor, and Manuka tea does NOT stir up reflux. New Zealanders have believed for centuries that Manuka is good for dyspepsia (indigestion from acid reflux) and for other digestive problems.
The benefits of Manuka are just beginning to be understood. These days, there is a lot of buzz about Manuka honey, suggesting that it has many medicinal properties and that it can benefit or cure many medical ailments, including skin infections, throat infections, and gastrointestinal infections. Professor Peter Molan of the University of Waikato’s Honey Research Unit has reported that Manuka honey is superior or equal to conventional treatments in managing burn wounds, skin ulcers, and Fournier’s gangrene. It is apparently also helpful for gingivitis, Non-peer-reviewed reports also suggest that it also may be used to treat sinus infections, the flu, canker sores, fever blisters, gastritis, diverticulitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Manuka Honey for Acid Reflux
Manuka may be great for reflux sufferers, and it may also potentially help heal Barrett’s esophagus. Some of my patients have reported improved stomach and reflux symptoms after eating the honey or drinking it in hot water as tea.
For refluxers, I recommend a half-teaspoon of Manuka honey in hot water as a cup of the “honey tea” after the evening meal. Manuka honey and ginger lozenges are also terrific, again especially after meals. Finally note: Manuka honey comes in different strengths, but any graded 15-32 is good enough for reflux.