Cave paintings show that early man used this valuable resource. In fact, it’s one of the OLDEST known medicinal remedies still in use today.
The ancient Egyptians and Greeks were known to have used it, and mentions of its medicinal use can be traced all the way back to the Bible and the Koran!
Your grandmother may even have included it in her own bag of healing tricks for soothing sore throats or keeping skinned knees from getting infected. I’ll bet there’s even a bottle of it on your own pantry shelf.
I’m talking, of course, about the sweet results of the labors of the bee… honey.
And now, finally, after thousands of years of medicinal use of honey by humans, science is backing up its healing properties with an ever-growing stack of research.
It’s a specific type of honey…Manuka honey from New Zealand…that a group of scientists from the University of Wales Institute at Cardiff have been investigating. According to the group’s research, the honey may be an effective treatment for chronically infected wounds. (I can’t resist the urge to say “Duh” here.)
Honey could be the key to beating superbugs
But more exciting than their confirming what many of us already suspected, the Cardiff researchers report that the honey could also help us solve our superbug problem by actually reversing bacterial resistance to antibiotics!
The team is looking at how the application of Manuka honey affects three common types of bacteria that infect wounds…
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa,
- Group A Streptococci, and
- Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (our old enemy MRSA)
Much to everyone’s surprise, the researchers found that the honey could literally stunt the growth of the bacteria.
Looking at the honey on a molecular level, they found that it appears to affect the bacteria’s ability to latch onto tissue, and if the bugs can’t gain a foothold they obviously can’t lead to out-of-control raging infections.
Manuka honey makes MRSA more sensitive to antibiotics!
But it’s what the researchers found when they looked at how the honey affected the MRSA bug that was truly exciting. When they introduced the honey to the MRSA bacteria, it made the resistant bugs more sensitive to antibiotics again!
The scientists speculate that combining the use of antibiotics with Manuka honey could make the drugs more effective at squashing superbug infections.
And when you consider the fact that the use of the last-line-of-defense antibiotics has skyrocketed in the past couple of years—and that the release of new effective antibiotics is likely still years away—it’s easy to see how this finding could be a major breakthrough in the growing antibiotic-resistance epidemic.
Treating a wound with honey at home is as 1… 2…3
If you want to try honey at home for healing minor wounds you will find the Manuka variety in some specialty grocery stores and health-food stores, as well as online.
Depending on the size of the wound simply apply…
- a tablespoon or two to a sterile bandage,
- place bandage over the wound,
- cover with another bandage if needed to keep the honey from soiling clothing or bed sheets.
You can avoid any sticky mess by using a Manuka-honey-based cream instead. Remember, though, that for anything more than a minor wound, it’s best to check with your doctor first before trying a honey treatment.
“Inhibition of MRSA by British honeys,” Stefan Klimach , L eighton Jenkins, Rose Cooper University of Wales Institute Cardiff, Cardiff – Presentation at the Society for General Microbiology’s Spring Conference, Spring Meeting 11–14 April 2011, Harrogate
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