For centuries, honey is prevalent in medicine for its antimicrobial and wound-healing properties. Herbalists those who prefer natural to pharmaceutical therapies still look to it as one of nature’s best natural antibiotics. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. In 2014, a study presented to the American Chemical Society found that honey cam fight infection on many levels. This makes the development of resistance to it far more difficult.
Honey is high in sugar, but also contains hydrogen peroxide, polyphenols, and is high in acidity and osmotic effect. Enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide is what gives most honey they antimicrobial properties. But, some types of honey are non-peroxide, such as Manuka honey. Studies have found that these non-peroxide honey also display significant antibacterial effects. This is because of honey’s low pH level, and high sugar content, both of which are likely to hinder microbial growth. As per laboratory testing, medical grade honey has potent bactericidal activity against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But, not all honey is equal.
To get the antimicrobial effects of honey, always choose honey that is raw and organic. Manuka is also a good choice. It is particularly beneficial in topical wound treatment where there is S. pyogenes infection. Topically applied, honey also keeps the wound moist and provides a barrier against infection.
To keep your immune system healthy, mix equal quantities of honey and powdered cinnamon, and consume once daily. Other ways of enjoying honey and its health benefits include adding it to tea, juices or smoothies. You should never give honey to babies under one year of age. This is because of the risk of botulism.