A 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.