As temperatures fall, honey’s popularity tends to rise. Whether used as an ingredient in autumn recipes and holiday desserts, added to a celebratory cocktail or given to ease a child’s cough, it certainly satisfies a sweet tooth.
Although marketers may tout honey as a healthy alternative to regular sugar because of its antioxidant content, experts warn against adding any extra sugar to your diet, according to the American Heart Association News.
“Added sugars in the diet are definitely something that people should keep low, regardless of the source,” said Maya Vadiveloo, assistant professor of nutrition and health sciences in the College of Health Science at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston. “Holistically speaking, I would not say consuming large amounts of added sugars – whether it be from honey, sugar, maple syrup or corn syrup – is a good thing.”
Honey appears to be a preferable treatment for cough or cold symptoms rather than antibiotics and over-the-counter medicines, according to a new systematic review that’s looked at the results from 14 previous studies – but the conclusions may not be quite so clear-cut as they appear at first.
“Honey is a frequently used lay remedy that is well known to patients,” write the researchers from the University of Oxford in the UK. “It is also cheap, easy to access and has limited harms.”
One particular area of interest is the comparison of honey to antibiotics. With antibiotics often causing side effects and antibiotic resistance on the rise, there are multiple advantages to using honey as an alternative remedy, the authors of the review point out.
Here’s a sweet story from Newcastle University. Layering minute amounts of Manuka honey between layers of surgical mesh acts as a natural antibiotic that could prevent infection following an operation, new research has shown.
Meshes are used to help promote soft tissue healing inside the body following surgery and are common in operations such as hernia repair. However, they carry with them an increased risk of infection as the bacteria are able to get a hold inside the body by forming a biofilm on the surface of the mesh.
Skin and soft tissue infections are the most common bacterial infections, accounting for around 10% of hospital admissions, and a significant proportion of these are secondary infections following surgery. Continue reading →
Honey has been used to treat wounds since ancient times, as detailed in a document dating back to 1392. It was believed to help in the fight against infection, but the practice fell out of favor with the advent of antibiotics.
I have been a fan of honey for over 50 years. It was one of the first ‘health foods’ I got into in one of my earliest forays into eating well. So, I was aware of many of its healthy properties. Nonetheless, this information about Manuka honey from Medical News Todaywas news to me.
As we face the challenge of a growing worldwide resistance to antibiotics, scientists are examining the properties and potential of honey.
Qualities of Manuka honey
The leaves of the Manuka tree, also known as a tea tree, have been known for centuries among the indigenous tribes of New Zealand and southern Australia for their healing powers.
Bees that collect nectar from this tree make Manuka honey, which harbors some of healing properties.
All honey contains antimicrobial properties, but Manuka honey also contains non-hydrogen peroxide, which gives it an even greater antibacterial power.
Some studies have found Manuka honey can also help to boost production of the growth factors white blood cells need to fight infection and to heal tissue.
Manuka honey contains a number of natural chemicals that make it different: Continue reading →
The healing powers of honey are not overstated. The Waikato Honey Research Unit provides details about the world-wide research that is being carried out on the benefits of honey in medicine. Furthermore, BBC reported in July of 2006 that doctors at the Christie Hospital in Didsbury, Manchester are planning to use honey for faster recovery of cancer patients after surgery. Such research will provide scientific evidence for the so-called “beliefs” held by honey lovers all over the world and will help in propagating the benefits of honey to more people.
Honey has been used by countless cultures all around the world over the past 2,500 years. While the numerous health benefits of honey have made it an important element of traditional medicines such as Ayurvedic treatments, scientists are also researching the benefits of honey in relation to modern medicine, particularly in the healing of wounds.
It is known as Honig in German, Miele in Italian, Shahad in Hindi, Miel in French and Spanish, Mel in Portuguese, мед in Russian, Honing in Dutch, and μελι in Greek; there is almost no part in the world where honey is not widely used and celebrated as a part of the cultural diet.
But what makes honey so popular? Most likely, it is the ease with which it can be consumed. One can eat honey directly, put it on bread like a jam, mix it with juice or any drink instead of sugar, or…
Meschwitz, who is with Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., said another advantage of honey is that unlike conventional antibiotics, it doesn’t target the essential growth processes of bacteria. The problem with this type of targeting, which is the basis of conventional antibiotics, is that it results in the bacteria building up resistance to the drugs.
Honey, that delectable condiment for breads and fruits, could be one sweet solution to the serious, ever-growing problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, researchers said here today.
Medical professionals sometimes use honey successfully as a topical dressing, but it could play a larger role in fighting infections, the researchers predicted. Their study was part of the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society.
The meeting, attended by thousands of scientists, features more than 10,000 reports on new advances in science and other topics. It is being held at the Dallas Convention Center and area hotels through Thursday.
“The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance,” said study leader Susan M. Meschwitz, Ph.D. That is, it uses a combination of weapons, including hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high…