You probably already know that honey is a great health food. And you may know that it has powerful antibacterial properties. In fact, Hippocrates and the ancient Egyptians used it to heal infections. But until recently doctors didn’t take this application seriously.
As more infections became resistant to antibiotics, some doctors began to explore other options. They found that Hippocrates and the other ancient doctors had, indeed, discovered a valuable medicine. Honey has antibacterial properties. And, more importantly, it doesn’t become resistant to drugs.
But Peter Molan takes it a step further. He’s the director of the Honey Research Unit at a New Zealand University. He says laboratory tests have failed to induce a bacterial resistance to any honey. This is likely because honey contains around 600 different compounds. One of these is an enzyme that makes bacteria-killing hydrogen peroxide. But there are many other active ingredients researchers have not yet identified.
All honey has antibacterial properties, but some are more potent than others. If you’ve heard about the healing qualities of honey you may think that Manuka honey is strongest. You’d be half right. Honey made from Leptospermum flowers from the Manuka shrub grown in New Zealand and Australia outperforms almost all others. But there is one that’s stronger.
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Honey from a different variety works best. Molan says the Australian native myrtle (Leptospurmum polygalifolium) is even more effective.
Medical professionals have successfully dressed advanced wounds using this honey. These include wounds like leg ulcers as well as skin grafts and burns. So if you have any chronic wounds, burns, or slow-healing sores, you need to give honey a try. You can buy commercial medical honey on the Internet or in stores throughout the country.
You also can find gauze pads impregnated with honey that are perfect for medical use. They may be handy for doctors, but you can purchase gauze pads and slather them with Manuka or myrtle honey. Honey definitely belongs in your medicine cabinet as well as in your pantry. It’s safe, inexpensive, and effective.
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Dr. Janet Zand