News Stories

Honey is Antibiotic

Honey helps treat wounds that refuse to heal because it stops bacteria from growing, and even fights strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. This discovery is especially important because conventional antibiotics no longer work well, since many strains of bacteria are no longer affected by them. People covered wounds in honey in ancient Egypt, and scientists used to think it worked because it kept the air out and its high sugar content slowed bacterial growth. Now we know it?s a real antibiotic.

Real honey kills bacteria three times better than an artificial solution with the same thickness and sugar concentration, according to microbiologist Rose Cooper. Her team tested strains of Staphlyococcus and Enterococcus that can withstand ?last resort? antibiotics, such as methicillin and vancomycin. The microbes were collected from wounds and from hospital surfaces. Some types of honey form hydrogen peroxide when diluted, which kills bacteria, but Cooper doesn?t think that?s the only effective ingredient, because both pasture honey, which generates hydrogen peroxide, and manuka honey, which doesn?t, stop bacteria from growing in the lab.

Honey may be antibiotic because of enzymes that are secreted by bees. It could also be due to its acidity or to chemicals from the original plant nectar. "It's a traditional remedy that has been overlooked," Cooper says. "To reintroduce it, we must have evidence to support its antibacterial and healing properties." But she says, "We're not suggesting that anyone should rush out and buy honey in supermarkets to treat wounds" because the heat-processing of store-bought honey probably destroys its antibacterial properties.

Don?t let people convince you our ancient ancestors were ignorant knuckle-walkers. There?s evidence they traveled around the world in ?How the Sun God Reached America,?click here.

See Nov. 14 news story ?Antibiotics May No Longer Work,? click here.

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