Surprising Healing Qualities of Honey: May Even Fight MRSA!

Eat more honey

Allison Mazzotta  (5 PM Micro) loves her honey, and found this article about the wonderous effects of something that bees spit out.

Raw honey, or honey that has not undergone ultrafiltration and pasteurization has been found to have many healing effects.  Raw honey  should be cloudy and have a white pollen residue on the top of the jar.  The honey could crystallize, so the jar should be submerged in hot water so the solid can become a liquid before you can reap the benefits of the honey.  The color of the honey correlates with the levels of antioxidants, and in this case, the darker the color the better.  Raw honey is high in polyphenols, which has been linked to a decreased risk of developing cancer, lowering blood cholesterol, and lessening heart disease.  The pollen on top of raw honey contains Vitamins B, C, D, and E, along with minerals and 31 other antioxidants.  Propolis, a substance made from the resin that oozes from trees is found in raw honey and is known as “bee penicillin.”  When resin mixes with the saliva of bees, a natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal is formed, which prevents disease from entering the hive.  Lucky for us, traces of this can be found in the honey which makes it a natural antibacterial.  Bees add glucose oxidase to honey which is an enzyme that releases a small amount of antiseptic hydrogen peroxide when it comes in contact with moisture.  This product is able to kill bacteria but will not damage the tissue of the skin.  A study done at The University of Waikato in New Zealand showed that when raw honey was applied to patients with MRSA infected antibiotic-resistant wounds, the wounds became sterile and healed faster than usual, so much so that patients were able to leave the hospital weeks earlier than anticipated. This is pretty good evidence that the best raw honey is able to kill MRSA and is also known to kill E.coli.  The raw honey causes minimal scarring, as an additional benefit, because peeling honey off of the skin does not disturb the tissue as a dry bandage would.  If one suffers from a minor wound or burn, a bandage covered in raw honey should be applied and the wound, along with any signs of infection, should diminish within one week.

Raw honey contains Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, as well as prebiotic and other probiotics.  These benefit the digestive tract because they stimulate growth of healthy bacteria in the stomach, help maintain a healthy digestive system, and help prevent an upset stomach.  A study completed in Sweden at The University of Lund found that eating raw honey each day can prevent stomach ulcers because it fights the bacteria that cause the ulcer, which is known as Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

Lastly, raw honey has been known to treat chronic skin conditions.  The anti-inflammatory properties of raw honey helps treat a variety of skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema.  The effects can be enjoyed  by melting half of a jar of raw honey into a warm bath and soaking.  Raw honey mixed with olive oil can help those who suffer from dandruff if it is mixed with olive oil and applied to the scalp.  Although raw honey is probably not the kind of honey we are used to seeing or eating, it can be found in most grocery stores so all of us can enjoy the many benefits of raw honey.

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About ycpmicro

My name is David Singleton, and I am an Associate Professor of Microbiology at York College of Pennsylvania. My main course is BIO230, a course taken by allied-health students at YCP. Views on this site are my own.

Posted on November 29, 2011, in Guest Post, You are what you eat. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Surprising Healing Qualities of Honey: May Even Fight MRSA!.

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