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Honey May Be Effective Alternative Medicine For Infection

April 15, 2011 by  

Honey may be effective alternative medicine for infectionA type of honey from New Zealand has been shown to reduce bacterial infection in wounds and also prevent antibiotic resistance, according to researchers at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff.

Manuka honey is produced by bees that collect nectar from the manuka tree. The sweet stuff is already used in some healing products, and scientists now believe that its antimicrobial properties may even be effective enough to act as alternative or complementary medicine to antibiotics.

"We need innovative and effective ways of controlling wound infections that are unlikely to contribute to increased antimicrobial resistance. We have already demonstrated that manuka honey is not likely to select for honey-resistant bacteria," said lead author Rose Cooper.

The scientists discovered that topical application of the honey helped prevent bacteria from sticking to a wound and also prevented a biofilm that protects the infection from treatment. Additionally, the substance appeared to weaken the superbug bacteria that causes the MSRA infection and is resistant to most antibiotics.

Authors are hopeful that the findings may lead to inexpensive, natural antibiotic therapies.  

Website TrueHealth.org has reported that honey has long been used as a household remedy for wounds, burns and sore throats, as well as a gentle facial cleanser due to its antibacterial properties. 

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  • Howard R Gray

    Honey has been found in Egyptian burials in good order, it clearly is an extraordinary substance.

    Nothing new in that idea but it does get “rediscovered” from time to time only to sink back out of mind and be ignored. Manuka honey has been know about for many years, I heard of it some 20 years ago.

    Does honey work? In my experience it does, my late wife had massive radiation burns after a less than successful radiation treatment. So bad were the burns that black areas of gangrene formed in patches on her wounds this was alarming to say the least. We tried honey on the wounds and it worked in a matter of three or four days. I cannot say say it will work for everyone, there are way too many variables to consider, but there is no doubt it worked on this occasion.

    There are three main points to bear in mind about honey,

    1. It has antibiotic qualities.
    2. It has antifungal qualities.
    3. It has nutritional qualities.

    While Manuka honey has specific attributes that does not mean that other honey varieties do not have healing properties they do.

    Honey has been used in Russian probably for centuries and in other cultures. It is heartening to see that it is gaining a renaissance among the healing professions.

    For those who might like to consider that matter further

    A very old curious book by N Yoirish The Curative Properties of Honey and Bee Venom, 1959 published by the Foreign Languages Publishing House in Moscow now republished by University press of the Pacific 2001.

    By Nathaniel Altman, the Honey Prescription published by Healing Arts Press 2010 this book deals with the New Zealand Manuka honey.

    One note of caution, there appears to be a disease of honey bees going the rounds damaging the bee population called colony collapse disorder CCD. This disease has the potential to seriously disrupt pollination of plants that might in turn severely affect agriculture let alone the honey production business.

    • ValDM

      The operative word when discussing the healing properties of honey, is raw. Only raw honey has the healing powers that are being discussed here. The honey you buy in grocery stores generally isn’t raw; it has been sterilised (cooked). Most raw honey can be obtained thru farmer’s markets or directly from the bee keeper.

    • granny mae

      I have to laugh when I read that scientist have just discovered this. Lord, I have known this for over 50 years! These college scientist are just now getting around to discovering the things that us health food nuts have known all along. It is this type of knowledge that caused them to call us health food nuts and now they are discovering it for themselves ! They really aren’t discovering it they are just now proving we were right over 50 years ago ! Hum, I guess that means they are 50 years behind in their knowledge !

      • granny mae

        and another thing it isn’t confined to just this honey found in New Zeland. All honey posess these properties that is why our grandparents and their parents used it for caugh medicine, sore throats and cuts and scrapes and sores that didn’t heal. They used poltuses of honey. I have even used the store bought honey and it has worked too. It may not be as strong as the all natural but it does work. Honey is a wonder food and I stock it in my food storage ! It stores forever without going bad. It may crystalize over time but all you have to do is heat it in some water for a while and it comes back like new ! This house is never without Honey !

      • Gary Sellars

        “50 years” is only because of your young age! ;-) This was known long before anyone who lives now was around. Thanks to newspaper, radio, movie theaters and TV, parents and grandparents quit educating their children.

        I think like you do every time I hear some idiot claim “they used to believe the world was flat.” Ever since I was a kid, growing up on a beach, I thought, “People weren’t that stupid. ANYONE can see the curve of the earth, either from the beach or any hill or mountain that is higher than the surrounding countryside. Plus, everyone saw the moon and the sun. This flat earth nonsense might have been believed by a few fools, but it’s ludicrous and dishonest to pretend that this was the opinion of the majority of men of history.

        The humanists announced in the 1920s that they were going to take over public education and one of their agendas was to represent that everyone who ever believed in God, everyone before “us” “educated” “free from the superstitions of God” were backwards and ignorant. But they lied through their teeth.

        Discoveries that we RARELY see on TV or read in the newspapers or hear on the radio demonstrate knowledge people had many hundreds of years ago that stymies the “educated” of today, from pigmented paints of Egypt (of which the knowledge to replicate is unknown) to scalpels of such precision sharpness that far exceeds scalpels of today that one medical doctor who reported on one’s discovery and needed an operation, insisted that it be used to operate on him and reported that his incisions healed more quickly because of less damage done to the skin.

        Even the great pyramid is such a marvel of engineering that they have no idea how they has such precision. There are stones with flatness of such precision, they’re still an absolute marvel. The marvels in the world SHOULD be told the kids who think everyone was stupid before the last century.

        There are many other things that show we have LOST knowledge that proves we haven’t “gotten smarter” at all.

        Unfortunately, the evolutionists control most of the media and they don’t want this kind of knowledge shared because it doesn’t support their fantasy of a gradual evolution of intelligence, knowledge and development.

  • Marcia Kirschbaum

    There are two types of Manuka Honey ~ “regular” which may be labeled as “Active” and MANUKA WITH UMF, which stands for “Unique Manuka Factor”. Generally speaking, all honey has a peroxide based antibiotic component, some more stable than others, when exposed to air. With regard to Manuka Honey WITH UMF, which only comes from the Manuka Tree, a type of Tea Tree in New Zealand, there is a second non-peroxide based antibiotic component that is extremely stable after air exposure and has been clinically proven to kill MRSA staph bacteria, by drawing the moisture out of the bacterial cells, making it impossible for them to survive. There are no known side effects even when used on a diabetic and it can be ingested as well as used as a dressing under a bandage.

    One of my kids contracted MRSA in his jaw, after a spider bite, just this past December and was in ICU for 4 of a 9 day hospital stay, literally fighting for his life, while waiting for cultures to grow and the correct IV antibiotic to finally take hold. The hospital would not allow me to use Manuka Honey as a dressing on the wound site. Told me to take him home to die if I wanted to practice my witchcraft! About a month later, the infection came back and this time, since we knew what it was and caught it early, we used Manuka Honey with UMF +18 (UMF 16 to 20 is recommended for fighting an existing infection) and it did overnight with no side effects, what it took 9 days and $30,000.00 to accomplish with Western Medicine

    • libertytrain

      Marcia – excellent story, thanks

    • Kristine

      Marcia, Wow! What an incredible story. So glad that your son was healed without another expensive prolonged hospital stay.

    • EddieW

      When it fcomes to doctors and hospitals…they know it all…and you know nothing!! Even if it costs the life of the patient!! My friends mother was being given a wrong drug, he caught it, and pointed it out to the head nurse…It’s what the Dr. ordered was her terse responce, and injected it…she had been really going downhill for two weeks, he called the Dr. about it, and he said, NO..I did not order such a drug to be given her, it can klill her!! so they got it straigheened out…but luckily he was there when the nurse gave the shot!!

      • Richard Pawley

        Well over 120,000 people a year are KILLED in hospitals by using the drugs prescribed for them in proper amounts, not overdoses, not the wrong drug as in this case, but properly prescribed drugs in the proper amount. As I pointed out in one of my books, my grandmother died from a doctor’s mistake, my mother was hospitalized twice by a doctor’s mistake, one of my friends, died from a doctor’s mistake. This is the state of medicine today in the United States, a country that has slipped from 5th in the world when I was a youngster to close to 50th in longevity AND WE SPEND TWICE AS MUCH AS ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD. Having the hobby of staying well can pay dividends in the long run and in the short run but it takes time and effort. You cannot eat and drink what most Americans eat and drink and not get the diseases that most Americans get. I’ve never written a book on nutrition but I try to slip in a little about health and nutrition in all I write.

    • Camille

      Marcia, that is an awesome story of how natural makes chemical look really bad.
      As a nurse for 25 years, I have heard many tales of using honey for wound management. Even remember a nurse telling me when she worked as a wound nurse that they used some concoction of honey that worked everytime and much quicker than the things we do today. Also, my brother-in-law had a Roman Candle blow up in his hand when he was small and we used honey to control the burn reaction. So for what it is worth, that was well over 25 years ago.

      • granny mae

        Marcia,

        You did the right thing. We all need to become acquainted with more of the natural medicines in nature. I used vitamin E to heal my baby sons burned leg after a doctor used his medicine and it didn’t work and he told me the burn wasn’t healing and the baby would need a skin graft ! I took that baby home made sure his crib was clean at all times and took the bandges off his leg to let the air form a scab over it and started applying vitamin E from a vitamin capsule three and four times a day. Withing four days it was covered over and healing. The doctor told me that he would still need to have surgery on it because the scar would draw the skin up and hinder his leg function. Wrong again! The burn healed in a couple weeks and never left a scar. There was a red mark for about 6 months but even that went away and there is no sign of the burn ever being there at all.

      • granny mae

        Camile,
        Boy this looks like a super honey ! I am going to try it! Thanks for the info and the web sites. God Bless

    • Gary Sellars

      It’s too bad this country is so brainwashed to idolize the medical system, which is responsible for the deaths of scores of thousands EVERY YEAR in America alone (as was already stated) that you would have had such a hard time suing those criminals for malpractice and endangerment to a child, which they completely deserved, not for their ignorance, but for their ARROGANT presumption to forbid you to care for your son.

      Asking for medical help doesn’t mean abandoning parental rights to do what one thinks is best for one’s child.

      On another note, the medical profession is also denying the fact that stun guns (only 15,000 volts btw) will completely neutralize ANY AND EVERY POISONOUS BITE.

      You can verify this on the Internet. There are even a very few doctors who not only have used this in their practice, but have documented it with their patients’ identification and photographs, specifically of Brown Recluse spider bites, for which the medical profession has NO REMEDY.

      In my case, I saw the doctor’s presentation about ten years ago on Dr. Carl Baugh’s TV program “Creation in the 21st Century.” when he had a visiting medical doctor give the presentation of the information.

      Dr. Baugh also shared his own personal experience of his son calling him from 200 miles away and mentioning that he had been bitten by a Brown Recluse spider and Dr. Baugh told him to get a stun gun and apply it and his son dismissed it and refused. Dr. Baugh got his personal stun gun, got in his car and drove the 200 miles and handed the stun gun to his son and said, “Do it.” He did and within seconds was slapping the bite on his arm, saying, “That doesn’t hurt! It doesn’t hurt!”

      But which medical school passes information to their students that enables people to get healed without paying a doctor? NONE OF THEM. It’s not your health they care about; it’s that $30,000 they get “treating” you.

  • Sharon

    I would love to know if we can purchase this in the United States anywhere as yet though. I am talking about the Honey with MANUKA WITH UMF, which stands for “Unique Manuka Factor”. Or what is an address from where one could order it perhaps? Thank You!

    • Marcia Kirschbaum

      I did buy a jar at an Orange County, CA health food store called Mother’s Market, although the highest UMF strength available was +10, which is more of a maintenance strength. When he was hospitalized, I mixed a tablespoon with Green Vibrance (a probiotic I use to help re-establish his gut flora)and 2 cups of unfiltered organic apple juice, at least three times a day.

      Knowing there’s a highly likely recurrence with MRSA, I ordered online to get the +18 strength at manukahoneyusa.com. http://www.activemanukahoneyusa.us/UMF-Rating.htm

      If you are actually battling an existing infection, you’ll need to get a UMF of +16 to +20. It’s not advised to go beyond +20 for bandage dressing as the higher strengths may burn the skin. Don’t confuse “Active +16″ to be the same as “UMF +16″

  • Vance

    Derma Science’s Medihoney makes dressings that contain active Leptospermum honey from New Zealand and Australia. Kind of pricey but is available in the U.S.

    How does Active Leptospermum Honey work?
    Not all honeys are created equal. Only Leptospermum honeys (Manuka from New Zealand and Jellybush from Australia) have the unique characteristics that make these honeys ideal for use as dressings on acute and chronic wounds and burns. However, even within this species of honey there is considerable variability. That is why global thought leaders have cautioned that, when using honey, clinicians should:

    Not use honey straight from the supermarket. Honey is known to contain Clostridium botulinum spores. When used as a dressing on wounds and burns, only sterilized honey products should be used.
    Select only those products that have been standardized to a certain specification with regard to the special characteristics that make honey beneficial for wounds and burns. This standardization process is achieved, in part, by observing the honey’s activity level in the presence of catalase. Catalase is an enzyme found in wound fluid that breaks down the active components in most honeys. Only the Leptospermum species has been shown to retain its activity even in the presence of catalase.
    Medical-grade honey
    “Medical grade” honey is standardized, sterilized honey intended for wound care. All MEDIHONEY™ dressings are sterilized by gamma irradiation, which destroys any bacterial spores.

    All Leptospermum honeys are controlled against a rigorous set of systems and standards, including a rating system to quantify level of medical activity in wounds and burns. Some batches show no activity, and are rated at 0. Others show varying rates of activity and are rated from +1 to +12 to +25. Leptospermum honeys with a rating of +12 or higher are recommended for use as wound and burn dressings. MEDIHONEY dressings have an activity rating of +15.

    Dynamic Moisture Balance™*
    MEDIHONEY dressings create a layer of fluid beneath the dressing to produce a moist environment,¹ thus, promoting optimal conditions for wound healing. The high osmotic activity of honey is responsible for this Dynamic Moisture Balance™. An outflow of lymph from the wound provides nutrition for regenerating tissue and also helps to lift dirt and debris from the wound bed. Meanwhile, the osmotic pull of MEDIHONEY draws lymph from deeper tissues through the wound, constantly bathing the wound bed.

    pH activity
    Wounds heal more rapidly in an acidic environment, which helps to explain why MEDIHONEY, with a pH near 3.5, improves the wound healing environment.²

    In a study of 20 chronic, non-healing wounds treated over a 2-week period, wounds with a pH of 7.6 showed a 30% reduction in wound size. As the pH level increased, wounds healed less effectively or worsened. The use of MEDIHONEY resulted in a statistically significant reduction in surface wound pH (p=0.001).2,3

    United States Patent 6956144
    Honey-based wound dressing
    US Patent Issued on October 18, 2005

    The present invention is directed to the use of honey in medical dressings. Preferred embodiments modify honey with a viscosity increasing agent, resulting in a range of possible compositions including ointments and salves, self-adhesive gels such as for use on mouth ulcers and pustules, and pliable or flexible sheets which can be used as a wound covering. Preferred viscosity increasing agents include both particulate and continuous gels, respective examples of each including agars and alginates. Selected honeys preferably, but not necessarily, exhibit properties other than what is merely conferred by osmolarity and sugar concentration effects.

    1. Van der Weyden EA. The use of honey for the treatment of two patients with pressure ulcers. Br J Community Nurs. 2003;8(12)(suppl.):S14-S20.
    2. Gethin G. Understanding the significance of surface pH in chronic wounds. Wounds UK. 2007;3(3):52-54.
    3. Lusby PE, Coombes A, Wilkinson JM. Honey: A potent agent for wound healing?
    J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2002;29(6):295-300.
    *Dynamic Moisture Balance™ is a trademark of Derma Sciences, Inc.

  • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

    3)Written records suggest ancient Egyptians may have been the first bee keepers, using honey as a food and healing ointment. Honey was so highly valued by …
    http://www.fitness-nutrition-weightloss.com/pure-sweetness.html
    YouTube – Royal Bee

  • Marcia Kirschbaum

    Derma Sciences, a big Pharma Corp., has done what they do best. Taken from mother nature, screwed it up a little got the stupid FDA give a thumbs up, put a patent on it and “it’s kinda pricey”.

    http://www.ir.dermasciences.com/profiles/investor/fullpage.asp?f=1&BzID=1109&to=cp&Nav=0&LangID=1&s=302&ID=10208

    OR~

    Straight from God
    http://manukahoney.com/resources/research/index.html

    • Richard Pawley

      Ha ha! Sad but true! With the recent permission to sell genetically modified alfalfa (alfalfa being the fourth largest crop in the USA) there is the potential to destroy all organic foods as it can contaminate plants as far as five miles away and Monsanto now requires farmers to sign agreements that they will forever be responsible for any damage done by GMO plants and food (93% of all soy, 86% of cotton and corn, whose oils are used in most packaged foods, and now even beet sugar. Some would not buy farms on which GMO plants have been grown as the amount of chemicals used on them is prodigious. Remember you cannot eat and drink what most Americans eat and drink and NOT GET the diseases that most Americans get!

      • Gary Sellars

        Unfortunately, it appears that they have such an influence in the FDA and ALL relevant govt. bodies that NOTHING can be done to stop them.

        Without a revival (which IS coming, btw) this country is doomed.

        For those that don’t know, thanks to the Internet, anyone can now find out that the CIA, the FBI and LBJ worked in collusion to murder JFK, with the cooperation of the Dallas Police Dept. leadership AND THE NEWS MEDIA.

        Now, almost 50 years later, the news media IS STILL LYING ABOUT IT, AS IS THE GOVERNMENT.

        That OUGHT to tell you how corrupt the government really is.

        I only found this out a little over a year ago. I never was interested because I NAIVELY thought my government was good. It was VERY hard to deal with the truth that America is just as corrupt as any other evil empire. It was almost devastating and I realized that this is why the country doesn’t deal with it–it’s just too painful to recognize that our patriotism has been wasted on evil men who were serving themselves.

        Look at Ron Paul Search the Internet to see how the news media lied, deceived and ignored Ron Paul I remember after Ron Paul won SECOND place in one of the states, that one of the TV stations IGNORED HIS NAME COMPLETELY and didn’t even list him in the results.

        Everyone understand pragmatism and the “winability factor” and the news media, knowing their power, knew all they had to do was treat Ron Paul as a non-entity and he would lose. The Republicans did the same and the ONE man who could have defeated Obama BECAUSE ALL the conservatives AND ALL THE LIBERTARIANS would have voted for him, was dismissed as a nobody.

        NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN are traitorous.

  • ONTIME

    The romans and the greeks both used honey for medicianal purpose and there is mention of it being used by the chinese. I always wonder how many valuble medicines have been averted because they were swept away by the tides of new science, we still need to pay attention to history and those who made contributions, we are better by our tools but in the transition we seem to lose our way.

  • massie A.

    what’s the difference between active+ and UMF+?
    and does every jar of manuka honey labelled with all infos about active+ and UMF+?
    thanks

    • Richard Pawley

      Good question! I just went and looked at the jar in my emergency medicine supply and it is USDA certified organic 100% raw Wedderspoon Manuka Honey Active 16+. Perhaps the reason it doesn’t say UMF on it is that Dr. Molan no longer supports that rating system (which he initiated or invented) since what the Unique Manuka Factor was has been discovered by a scientist in Germany. Dr. Molan’s new system (MGO) guarantees the rating of the healing ingredient in Medicinal Manuka. I corresponded with him in New Zealand a couple of years ago and he told me that the new system he supports is a more accurate reflection of the healing abilities of various Manuka honeys. Under the MGO system the highest rated Manuka is 550+ and while it costs twice as much as what I have used (the 16+ is more like 400+ under the new system) when it comes to my next order for my emergency medicine supply I want the best and most powerful for something like MRSA and spider bites, although I will admit I have had some success with honey under the old system, the only one I have used thus far. Actually I’m thinking I may purchase both.

      I have used medicinal Manuka for sore throats and once when I had a life long mole, rather flat and the size of a small lima bean on my neck that got infected some how – probably me picking at it, but my collar rubbed against it – I treated it with a homemade bandage of the 16+ Manuka which I changed every day for a week. Eventually I was able to lift off the mole which I had had all my life as far as I can remember. Haven’t quite had the nerve to try this on other ones but there is virtually no trace of where this raised but somewhat shallow mole had been.

      The honey I used was Wedderspoon and a 17.6 ounce jar of it cost just under $29 from http://www.vitacost.com

      One interesting thing that Dr. Molan told me was that he had a jar of Manuka honey sitting on his bookshelf for some 15 years (sounds like something I would do or have done) and that when he had it tested it was still potent as a medicine. I am learning all I can about alternative medicine while it is still possible before our economic system breaks down and costs skyrocket so that quality medical treatment will be as impoverished as it is in all other countries that have socialized or government run medicine. Only the USA, the largest economy in the world could get away with just printing money out of the air (or as they say, they are not printing it, but putting numbers in computers as I predicted they would in THE LAST DAYS OF THE LATE GREAT UNITED STATES and the Great Famine that Followed) and we have been creating – that’s the word – some $70,000 MILLION dollars every month. How the massive government spending the USA has undertaken can avoid leading to massive inflation down the road no one knows. It all previous cases whenever any government in all of history just made up money out of nothing inflation was always the result. While a jar of imported Manuka or anything imported will eventually be much higher so will all the ‘things’ we use (with the exception of housing), at least 3 times present prices before it’s all over, and I’m not sure I even want to find out what it means to say “before it’s all over,” as major nations around the world are having supposedly secret meetings to discuss how they and avoid using dollars in international trade. What every you are thinking about doing, do not put it off to long. May God bless you and all who read this.

  • FIDIA lafaurie

    Any kind of honey will do the trick. My grandmother used it and I learned from her. Every time I have a wound I use honey and it heals in a couple of days. Honey is been used for century. It also works to removed moles, you do not need to spend money going to a doctor to have a mole removed. Try it.

  • Marcia Kirschbaum

    This is the research page on what the difference between “active” and UMF” is and the differences in honey in general.
    http://manukahoney.com/resources/research/index.html
    You’re correct that all honey will help with wound healing along with many other common ailments. Honey heals primarily because of a natural hydrogen peroxide antibacterial property present in varying levels in most honeys, but some will do a better job than others. To the best of my knowledge, only Manuka with UMF has been found effective in killing MRSA type staph infections and the above link is from Dr. Molan’s research page, but Richard could be correct that he’s updated his conclusions, but not his website… I’ve had no correspondence with the Dr., so I really don’t know.

    Thought I’d add a few more sites that may be of interest…
    http://www.anh-europe.org/
    http://www.cancertutor.com/
    http://www.nongmoproject.org/
    http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/

  • http://www.live-better.org Natural Medicine

    This is a really interesting post! I would definitely try it out!

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