What You Need to Know About Honey
Honey — which was a conventional therapy for infection up until the early 20th century when penicillin took center stage — has recently started inching its way back into the medical mainstream, but it’s important to realize that not all honey is created equal.
Some kinds of honey should never be applied to an open sore or wound, and the antibacterial activity in some honeys is 100 times more powerful than in others.
Processed, refined honey that you typically find in grocery stores is NOT appropriate for use in wound care. In fact, your average domestic “Grade A” type honey will likely increase infection.
It also will not offer you the same health benefits as raw honey when consumed.
Manuka honey from New Zealand is a specific type of honey that has actually been approved for use as a medical device, due to its healing properties and superior potency. But you could also use raw honey – it’s just not as potent as Manuka.
Good quality honey offers several topical wound-care benefits that can explain some of its success as a remedy for herpes sores:
- It draws fluid away from your wound
- The high sugar content suppresses microorganism growth
- Worker bees secrete an enzyme (glucose oxidase) into the nectar, which then releases low levels of hydrogen peroxide when the honey makes contact with your wound
Manuka honey, however, offers additional healing benefits not found in other honeys.
Clinical trials have found that Manuka honey, made with pollen gathered from the flowers of the Manuka bush (a medicinal plant), can effectively eradicate more than 250 clinical strains of bacteria, including resistant varieties such as:
- MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
- MSSA (methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus)
- VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci)
- Helicobacter Pylori (which can cause stomach ulcers)
With the increasing threat of antibiotic-resistant infections and drug over-use, the return to honey as a natural, multi-purpose healing therapy is certainly a welcome alternative.