Rights: The University of Waikato Published 1 June 2007 Download

‘Superbugs’ are antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that can cause problems in some hospitals. In this clip, honey researcher Peter Molan and woundcare nurse Julie Betts explain that Mānuka honey is particularly good at killing superbugs. But can superbugs become resistant to Mānuka honey?


Peter Molan (University of Waikato)

When you have antibiotics present, particularly not enough, or not for long enough to completely kill the bacteria, the ones that survive are the ones with the best resistance.

What’s happening around the world is that, when in a hospital they have a patient that’s not responding to antibiotics or other treatment, they have read about honey so they try it.

We’ve tested honey against all of the superbugs that crop up around the world, and they are just as sensitive as the non-antibiotic resistant strains of those same species.

Julie Betts (Health Waikato)

Honey kills every known strain of MRSA in the world.

Peter Molan (University of Waikato

I am often asked whether bacteria will become resistant to honey like they have to all the antibiotics being used, and I can’t say it will never happen, but I think that all the indications are that it won’t.

Now there’s no indication with honey when we have looked at bacteria isolated from a large number of people that they all have the same sensitivity.