Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure | Blog

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It’s Manuka, Honey!

Manuka Honey May Be a Great New Superfood for Reflux Sufferers

Manuka honey may be the next great food for reflux sufferers. Manuka is a mono-flower honey that comes primarily from New Zealand. Because the bees feed solely on the uncultivated Manuka bush, Leptospermum scoparium,1 also called the “tea tree,” the honey has a unique taste. Indeed, the popular name, “tea tree,” reportedly came about because Captain Cook used the leaves to make “tea.”1 We find that less than a teaspoon of the honey in a cup of hot water makes an absolutely delicious drink, loaded with exceptional flavor, which tastes rather like sweet tea.

These days, there is a lot of internet buzz about Manuka honey suggesting that it has real medicinal properties, that is, that it can cure many medical conditions and ailments. The benefits of Manuka are just beginning to be understood by modern science. But what is being discovered is good news for refluxers. Many New Zealanders have believed for centuries that Manuka is good for dyspepsia (indigestion from acid reflux) and for other digestive problems as well.

Here are the purported benefits of Manuka honey: It is an effective treatment for skin infections, burns, throat infections, gastrointestinal infections, and acid reflux.1-4 As Professor Peter Molan of University of Waikato’s Honey Research Unit has reported, Manuka honey is superior or equal to conventional treatments in managing burn wounds, skin ulcers, and Fournier’s gangrene.3 In addition, Manuka honey has been shown to eradicate H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for most stomach ulcers.2,4

One website that sells Manuka honey claims that it is good for many disorders of the aero-digestive tract, including, “sore throat, cough, sinus infection, the flu, canker sores, fever blisters, acid reflux, esophagitis, GERD, heartburn, upset stomach, peptic ulcer, gastritis, diverticulitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

What Makes Manuka Honey Special?

All honeys have some antibacterial activity due to the hydrogen peroxide formed by breaking down the enzyme glucose oxidase, but the potency of this antibacterial activity can fluctuate up to 100-fold and varies upon the honey’s floral source.2,4 Researchers at the University of Waikato believe that what makes Manuka honey special is the presence of a stable, non-peroxide type of antibacterial activity.4 Whereas the enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide in all honey is unstable (it is destroyed when the honey is exposed to heat and light), the non-peroxide antibacterial activity of Manuka honey is unaffected by heat, light, and storage.3 What this means is that Manuka honey’s healing qualities can be bottled, preserved, and shipped around the world when other honeys would lose this antibacterial strength.

In addition, University of Waikato’s Honey Research Unit reports that the enzyme in most honeys that produces hydrogen peroxide is inactive in the acidity of the stomach while the non-peroxide antibacterial agent in Manuka Honey remains active.1,3 For this reason, Manuka honey is suspected to be affective at inhibiting the bacteria Helicobacter pylori.1

To ensure product quality, we recommend to purchasing only Certified Organic Active Manuka Honey. There is honey being sold as Manuka honey without a measurable amount of non-peroxide antibacterial activity. This is likely because it is produced from non-Manuka nectar sources.3 We purchase Premium Organic Manuka Honey from The Wild Bee. While at first blush, this looks very expensive ($35/bottle), the bottle contains 500 grams of honey or about 225 servings for honey tea — at a cost of about 16 cents per cup.

Manuka Honey for Acid Reflux

We believe that Manuka may be great for reflux sufferers. It may also potentially help heal Barrett’s esophagus. Some of our patients have reported improved stomach and reflux symptoms after eating the honey or drinking it in hot water as tea. For our patients who can afford it, we presently recommend a — half-teaspoon of Manuka honey — cup of the “honey tea” after the evening meal. In the future, especially for reflux patients with Barrett’s, we may recommend Manuka after each meal. Based upon what is now known, it is possible that this honey as an adjunctive reflux treatment might make a big difference.


1. Leptospermum scoparium. Wikipedia.

2. Al Somai N, Coley K E, Molan P C, Hancock BM.  Susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to the Antibacterial Activity of Manuka Honey. J. Royal Soc. Med. 87: 9-12, 1994.

3. Molan, PC. Manuka Honey as a Medicine. Global Bioactives Summit. Hamilton, New Zealand. July 2001.

4. “What’s Special about Manuka honey?” Waikato Honey Research Unit. Department of Biological Sciences University of Waikato. Published: 9-3-2009. Retrieved: 4-11-11

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  1. I have read different suggestions for when to take this honey so which is best for treating GERD when you are following your diet? Is it before, after or during meals and how much? Thanks so much. I LOVE this honey.

  2. I’d like to buy some Manuka honey.

  3. The RAW MANUKA HONEY I purchased at our local health food store is: Y.S. ECO BEE FARMS (Organic Pioneer) Hi- Active (15+) 12oz (340 g) for $20

  4. My new favorite drink: chamomile tea with manuka honey and ginger. Very soothing and comforting

  5. Question: what is the PH value of Manuka Honey, compared to regular honey (clover/citrus/etc).
    Should honey be used during the induction diet mentioned in the book?


  6. how about other types of honey? Are they also good? I know it may not be as good as this one, but can you guys shed any light on other types of honey please?

  7. Other types of honey are fine for people with reflux, and raw honey has the most nutritive value.

  8. All forms of honey (unless they are citrus-infused!) are fine during the induction diet.

  9. I have been using Manuka honey for about 2 weeks, 1 tsp. once or twice a day, but I haven’t noticed any difference in my LPR symptoms. My symptoms are heavy mucus, especially post nasal drip, and sinusitis. Is the honey intended to ease these or is it better suited for other conditions?


  10. The research on Manuka honey is promising but preliminary. It’s a great thing to include in your diet, however, it does not replace the benefits of a low-acid diet and medication.

  11. I think that the enzymes in honey are destroyed when heated, does this decrease the effectiveness of the Manuka for refluxers? Is the Manuka helpful for LPR also?

  12. I had bad abcess and after peration got infected.i use manuka for about 2 weeks as dressing.it killed infection.antibiotics wouldn’t.so now you know.

  13. boiling water will kill all goodness,use warm.

  14. The reflux symptom im experiencing is difficulty breathing……quite severe. I also suffer from asthma. What is the one thing that can help me deal with this difficult situation. Ps let me know. I already have a copy of dropping acid.

  15. I read somewhere on the net that Manila honey also has an adverse affect on pepsin. Can anyone clarify further?
    In was diagnosed with Silent Refux just over a month ago and since following this diet have been able to come off medication, that actually didn’t change anything, and control my symptoms with diet alone. Fantastic! Good book. When is the next recipe book coming out?

  16. I’ve read several comments of those with LPR, drinking a warm cup of water having 1 tablespoon of Bragg’s organic raw apple cider vinegar
    ( with the ‘Mother’ ) and a tablespoon of honey for a period of time has eased and/or taken care of their LPR symptoms. As acidic as vinegar is, could this be so?

    Thank you,

  17. Just found your blog and I love it! Thank you so much for the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am in pre-op right now. Really nervous and etexicd. You look great! So proud of you and I hope to be in your shoes soon! )

  18. To Ziway. Try baking soda to raise yr pH level. This will make yr system alkaline and rid you of acid reflux and excess mucus immediately which will help your asthma. PLESE read about the UNBELIEVABLE benefits of raising yr pH level.

  19. NO disease or illness can live in an alkaline environment. Not cancer/HIV/flu/colds/arthritis/etc. Get rid of ALL your illnesses by raising your pH level. 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/3 glass of water twice a day and you ll never need a doctor or harmful meds again because this allows yr immune system to do what its meant to do. Kill ALL harmful foreign germs bacteria and disease.

  20. No MD is gonna tell U raise yr pH level and you all never need me or meds again.

  21. I be changed my view on the baking soda. Use natural apple cider vinegar instead of baking soda. This also is great for reflux. Baking soda does have side effects. Sorry for my bak sod suggestion

  22. I guess finding useful, reliable information on the internet isn’t hopeless after all.

  23. I am looking to buy manuka honey but The WildBee seems to be out of product. Can any recommend where else to buy it? I did a search on Amazon and the prices are all over the map.

    Where are you buying it now?

  24. I’m a vegetarian. Please advise on pH of fake meats that I depend on. I am still on the induction diet and only eat tofu. What about after that? Also, what about soy, rice, and almond cheese? What is the value of manuka honey and do you recommend alkaline water? If so how much?

  25. Marilyn,

    I believe Manuka Honey was a key factor in my getting over the reflux issues. That plus the alkaline water every day. After 9 months I was completely fine. then recently starting slipping back to my old ways and got it back. So I have just started back on the Alkaline water-Manuka Honey treatment.


  26. Is there a special brand of water that you recommend? Also how often and in what quantities do you suggest? Also what should the pH be?Do you mix the water with the honey? Do you suggest cold or hot? Thank you!

  27. I’ve been suffering lpr gerd esophagitis leaky gut for 9 years. I have tried different remedies including acv with honey for 3 mos. but my LPR got worse. I guess my lymphatic has been affected also by chronic acid reflux. And just recently i’ve been diagnosed with tumor just above my vocal cord. My doctor adviced me to remove it by operation but i did’nt agree with him. I told him i would find natural remedies to reduce the tumor without operation procedure. I just bought Manuka Doctor 20+ bioactive honey hope this will help clear my symptoms along with Dr’s Best Pepzin GI, DGL Licorice, Nutribiotic Throat Spray and Aloe Vera juice. Any suggestion is highly appreciated. Thank you!

  28. @Marilyn, I guess eating to much fake meat is not good. Tofu on the other hand especially the (non GMO) is a good source of protien as well as vegetables. Fresh fruits, berries and melons are great option compared to meat. If you have problems with sugar metabolism please watch Dr. Morse Sugar Metabolism on Youtube.There are lots of information about sugar problem you could find there. And regarding the alkaline water you can drink fresh lemon in warm water every morning b4 breakfast. I just opt to baking soda because lemon is too acidic for me. You coul also use Liquid Chlorophyll mix with water to alkalize your system. Anyway just listen to your body if it’s telling you to stop! Then stop and find another natural remedy that will suit you. Hope these helps! :)

  29. Anyone hear of or tried wheatgrass for the induction diet?

  30. I’ve been on the induction diet for 6 days and have been experiencing stomach pain and a very strong acid taste in my throat and mouth. I understand it may be too soon to see results from the induction diet, but should I be concerned over these symptoms?