Honey - a Natural Antibiotic


Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. It has a distinctive flavour, and is used in a variety of foods and beverages as a sweetener. As well as being a natural edible product, honey is also an incredible antiseptic and antioxidant for our bodies. Certain types of honey have also been called a ‘natural antibiotic’.

The variety produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the most commonly known honey, and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans in its pasteurized form. However, unlike pasteurized honey which loses its healing properties during pasteurization, both ‘raw’ honey and ‘Manuka’ honey are full of rich nutrients, which are commonly used as medicinal remedies, and to support the healing process in wounds.

Although the level of healing and the amount of antibacterial properties found in honey varies according to each particular floral source, raw honey does not refer to honey from a particular flower, but instead to the pure, natural state of honey that is not pasteurized. Manuka honey is derived specifically from flowers that grow on Manuka trees, which are mainly found in New Zealand and some parts of Australia.

The renowned Manuka honey, perhaps the tastiest natural medicine, is commonly cited in many discussions on the health benefits of honey. This honey not only fights infection and aids tissue healing, but also helps reduce inflammation and scarring. In addition, it is often used for treating digestive problems such as diarrhoea, indigestion, stomach ulcers and gastroenteritis.

According to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, authored by Richard D Forrest MD, both ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia relied on a mixture of raw honey and resin to care for wounds, as a dressing. In 1989, Dr Peter Molan, a professor at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, performed extensive research on the healing properties of Manuka honey, and advocated these findings also.

A report from Adam Voiland in a US News and World Report, states that studies have shown that raw honey is able to kill microbes because of its ability to dehydrate the bacteria that are present in a wound. The honey eliminates infection, and also helps the wound to heal faster. The high level of acidity found in the honey aids in the process. The research also states that the potency of raw Manuka honey makes it effective against MRSA and other staph infections that are often resistant to standard treatment.

Disclaimer: The information in the article above is not to be considered medical advice. The information in the article is not meant to be used to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any ailment. Always consult your doctor before you stop, start or change anything that has been previously prescribed. Certain herbs and holistic remedies are unsuitable to take if you are pregnant or nursing, or given to an infant, and must always be cleared by your doctor before use.

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