Do not read this letter if you are looking for health ‘facts’

Friday 16th Nov 2012

This might seem like a strange question to ask anyone other than a primary school child...

...or a Brussels bureaucrat, which probably counts as the same thing!

If something is happening, has been doing so for several hundred years and by many thousands of people, you might think that it is a fact.

You could even be mistaken in thinking that it is a PROVEN fact.

Within our aged brains we could be forgiven for assuming that what we see with our eyes we accept as reality.

But, according to the Gollum like creatures within European Law, we couldn’t be more wrong.

And worse than being wrong, we might be endangering ourselves or others.

Let me explain why I’m on the case of those who want to suck the joy out of life once again.

The story of a painful elbow

A few weeks ago we were at my Mum and Dad's for Sunday dinner.

I noticed that Mum was favouring one of her arms and asked what was wrong.

Being of the generation who don’t like to make a fuss, she said there was nothing.

But, being the stubborn inquisitive type that I am, I persevered and discovered that she had a nasty wound on her arm which had been there for nearly a month.

It was caused from an iron burn which seemed to have become infected … but she didn’t like to trouble anyone.

I wasn’t having that!

So Lara and I bathed the wound with clean water and a few drops of Apple Cider Vinegar, dried it thoroughly and dressed it with a Manuka honey patch.

I returned a few days later and repeated the process and once again last Sunday.

Mum used no other agent, drug or dressing other than what I had used.

The result was a clean, healing wound site that was no longer painful.

Now, I don’t claim to be a doctor or scientist … neither would I suggest this was in any way a clinical trial.

BUT it worked.

The problem is, according to the powers that be, I can’t tell you about this.

I am acting against the spirit and detail of several EU laws, and risk the wrath of Advertising Standards and the likes of Dr Ben Goldacre and his ilk just by mentioning this in a letter to you.

However, in my simplified world I am telling you about a fact.

My mum exists, her poorly elbow was real and using the cider vinegar and Manuka honey made her better – where is the subterfuge and slight of hand in any of that?

By virtue of the warning I received last summer from the Trading Standards people, I can’t tell you that the NHS use Manuka honey to improve wound control, even though that is a fact too.

There is no way I could direct your attention to any of the factual scientific papers produced in this year alone which, for example, conclude that ...

“Manuka and selected Omani honeys have clinical potential to inhibit pathogens that commonly colonise wounds.” Al-Maani, R. (May 2012) Honey as an antimicrobial agent against multi-drug resistant Gram negative bacterial rods. University of Wales.

“Our findings have shown that honey-driven wound repair goes through the activation of keratinocyte re-epithelialization.” (Ray's note: this means it improves wound healing!) Ranzanto et al. (August 2012) Epithelial mesenchymal transition traits in honey-driven keratinocyte wound healing: Comparison among different honeys. Journal of Wound Repair & Regeneration.

“Indonesian honey is almost as effective for wound healing as Manuka honey.” Urai et al (April 2012) Effectiveness of Indonesian Honey on the Acceleration of Cutaneous Wound Healing: An Experimental Study in Mice. University of Kanazawa.

By doing any of these things I would be risking placing myself in the dock, to face a humourless man with a penchant for pointlessness.

So please ignore any mention I may have made to them!

But it’s happening here too ...

Not only do the faceless pen jockeys in Europe have a problem with understanding these facts and common sense, but our own health ‘experts’ are at it too.

Just this week a reader alerted me to yet another attack on the obvious.

The Daily Mirror health column written by Dr Miriam Stoppard was tasked with this question:

"I have to go into hospital later in the year for a hysterectomy. I am more worried about the possibility of infection than anything else!

“What is your opinion of the benefits of eating Manuka honey as a boost to the immune system? Is it likely to help ward off any infection?”

The good doctor surprised me by responding that:

“I'm sceptical about the 'magical' properties of various foodstuffs for which people make exorbitant claims, particularly expensive varieties, which are often scientifically unproven.

“I doubt there are any foods that will improve your resistance to infections.”

I do think that the good doctor has both completely missed the point and is plain wrong.

Many foods do promote improved immune response, such as garlic, fish and whole grains and I would hardly call these proven claims to be magical let alone be expensive exotics!

So that’s her off of my Christmas card list, and she isn’t going to get one of the best presents I’m going to give this year – A Honey Gift Set

The final word

Having not told you about any of the fantastic health supporting properties that pure, raw and highly active Manuka homey has to offer, I hope that you don’t feel cheated.

What I can tell you, because this is OK with the nice folk in the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA), is that Manuka honey is soothing for the throat when used as a syrup or in a warm drink or a lozenge.

Now ladies and gentlemen that is a truly accepted, proven and totally legal fact.

It must be because it appears in the snappily titled 2010 EFSA report:

Scientific opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to honey and “respiratory health through presence of antioxidant phytochemicals” (ID 1161), “the unique composition and ratio of effective substances adds energy to the human body” (ID 3188), and “it stimulates the whole metabolism and the immune system,” (ID 3189) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.

That just about sums the whole lot of them up doesn’t it? Well, they can take their Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 and shove it where the bees can’t fly – because despite their good advice my Mum's arm is healed and we are going to get another good Sunday feed this week – Hah!

Honey is a fabulous natural healing product – there I’ve said it now, and I feel so much better for it, healing indeed!

Grab the last few jars of our end of season honey offer – there will be no more until March

 

Yours, as always

 

 

  

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