June 23rd, 2024

To Your Health: Plenty of medicinal benefits to good ol’ honey

By Gillian Slade on August 13, 2018.

Watch bees around pretty summer flowers and it does not take long to think of honey, and honey is not only about the sweet taste.

Honey can fight bacteria and hospital super-bugs. In fact a Canadian study showed it can kill up to 91 per cent of bacteria.

The study conducted some years ago by Dr. Talal Alandejani determined Manuka honey from New Zealand outperformed Canadian clover and buckwheat honey. Manuka tea plants and the Australian Jellybush provide nectar that is high in antimicrobial action.

More recently there have been cautions about not all Manuka honey being equal. In Europe, especially, consumers have been warned to buy from a reputable source. You pay a premium for Manuka honey and you want verification that it is the real thing.

On a personal level, that is one of the reasons I favour honey in the comb but you are probably not going to find Manuka honey in the comb here.

The nutrients and enzymes which are so effective in raw honey from the honey comb can be completely destroyed when heated and pasteurized.

In some parts of the world honey has been used for centuries to treat infected wounds and burns. In the Western world we were eager to rely on antibiotics until they didn’t always work.

Honey draws moisture from the bacterial cells inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. It is also very acidic, inhibiting the growth of pathogens.

When honey is applied as a wound dressing, it is diluted with fluids from the damaged tissue and combines with an enzyme added by the bee to form hydrogen peroxide — an excellent hydrogen peroxide.

Trials conducted in a Liverpool hospital in the U.K. using “Medihoney” — a medical honey dressing, indicated the high sugar levels cleansed the wound and inhibited bacteria.

There have been reports of leg ulcers that would not heal finally being cleared up with a medical/honey dressing.

Research is also taking place using honey as a treatment for chronic sinus infections where multiple courses of antibiotics have had little effect. In chronic sinusitis, the mucous membranes in the sinus cavities become inflamed, causing headaches, stuffy nose, and difficulty breathing. Though allergies can lead to sinusitis, it can also be caused by bacteria that colonize in the nose and sinuses.

Many so called old-wives tales are now considered in a new light even by the medical establishment.

To Your Health is a weekly column by Gillian Slade, health reporter for the News, bringing you news on health issues and research from around the world. You can reach her at gslade@medicinehatnews.com or 403-528-8635.

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