Warm toast and honey, honey-garlic chicken, honey-roasted almonds…there are numerous food combinations that contain natures sweet nectar, but now people aren’t just eating honey, they are also turning to it to fight bacteria.
There is evidence that shows honey can fight bacteria and be used as a preventative measure when it comes to certain illnesses. Researchers at the University of Ottawa have found benefits in using honey for health. They say sinusitis for example; can damage the membranes in the sinus cavities by making them inflamed, causing a stuffy nose, sinus pain and headaches. The positive news… tests with honey proved to kill the bacteria causing the sinusitis.
During the study, the Ottawa researchers tested two honeys; Manuka made from tea tree bushes in New Zealand and Sidr from the Sidr tree in Yemen. They singled out two types of bacteria and discovered that honey not only was effective in killing the bacteria, it worked better than antibiotics. Their data showed that Sidr honey was 91 per cent effective in killing one type of bacteria.
This isn’t the only study that has come up with positive results. Researchers in the United Kingdom discovered that Manuka honey was effective in fighting 3 kinds of bacteria that tend to infect wounds. They see this as a preventative breakthrough in the spread of infection. The scientists involved in this study believe the honey’s preventative ability comes from the fact that it will not allow microbial growth. They are going as far as to say that it may even be able to reverse resistance to some antibiotics. More research is underway looking at both curative and preventative possibilities.
Scientists have been studying how honey works on the human body; how damage to the human body can be repaired by this sticky substance that we normally eat. So far what they’ve discovered is that Manuka honey keeps some bacteria from being able to attach themselves to tissue. It also prevents bacteria from forming biofilms, which germs commonly use as protection against antibiotics.
Nutritionists confirm that honey contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes that can nourish the body and boost the immune system. We seem to hear more now about people having immune system problems. This can be attributed to not getting enough of the right vitamins and minerals, so it comes as no surprise to researchers that people who consume honey on a regular basis have reported an improvement in their immune system. When your immune system is not functioning properly it can lead to all kinds of health problems. Many issues related to the immune system are difficult for doctors to treat.
The common flu is also a sign of a weak immune system. Even though the cold and flu is a virus, studies show honey can help attack respiratory infections caused by bacteria. When some people are suffering from cold and flu they put honey in their tea in an attempt to boost their immune system, and as a preventive measure. Flu sufferers have also been known to drizzle honey on food items such as fresh fruit. For centuries the Egyptian and Asian cultures have believed that honey can fight flu and colds.
The influence of ancient civilizations is obvious. A trip to your local market or pharmacy is proof of that. You will find preventative health products made with honey, products that focus on the immune system and items that are sold to fight the common cold and flu. A few examples are listed below:
- Honey throat lozenges
- Hot honey liquid drinks
- Honey throat sprays
- Honey lemon liquid
Cold & Flu
Doctors warn parents that infants under the age of one shouldn’t be given honey because it has the potential be become toxic in their underdeveloped intestinal tract and can cause serious damage or death.
Researchers and nutritionists are also sending out a warning: Don’t treat wounds with commercially sold honey. Unlike medical-grade honey, store-bought honey could have spores or microbes in it that could make the infection worse; causing more damage to your body.
Taking preventative measures can keep you from getting sick, but in some cases, especially for those who are already ill, avoiding exposure to superbugs can be hard. Hospital patients who have a weak immune system are already susceptible to superbugs. The damage that superbugs cause can be devastating. Superbugs start with a skin infection and flu symptoms and can turn into pneumonia or a deeper infection that spreads into the bones, lungs or bloodstream. Although hospitals have put preventative policies in place, this type of flu has been known to spread rapidly. Doctors have learned that honey can make superbugs more susceptible to antibiotics. Much more investigation is needed, but right now the thinking is that a combination of antibiotics and honey could be helpful in fighting these superbugs.
Bacterial infections can be serious so they need to be treated carefully. When you have flu like symptoms it is important to seek professional advice. Taking matters into your own hands could cause permanent damage or worse…cause the infection to spread to vital organs. As researchers with the Mayo Clinic have pointed out, honey as a preventative measure along with exercise, proper diet and other professionally approved remedies is okay. They insist a lot more investigation is required to suggest honey can cure serious bacteria related infections.
Teams of scientists around the world seem fascinated with the potential honey presents. They are not only looking at ways honey can repair damage from bacterial infections, but they are examining the use of honey in attacking well-known germs that can cause serious illness such as streptococcus, salmonella, and e-coli.
While honey can’t be considered a cure-all today; with more research, scientists will be able to guide doctors and patients on how to treat the damage done by bacteria, and lead us to more preventative measures that can boost our immune system as a preventative against the flu, and the damage it causes.