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Medical Honey, Nature's Miracle Cure

By Wendy RN., BA
October 27th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Honey has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, Greece, China, India and countless other cultures, honey has been seen as a cure for colds, infections and allergies.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Rise Above Health Blog) - Honey is natural and considered harmless for adults. But The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and pediatricians strongly caution against feeding honey to children under 1 year old. This is because of the risk of botulism. The spores of the botulism bacteria live in the dust, soil, air and may be present in honey. Infants under 1 year of age do not have a developed immune system and may become ill with botulism.

The National Honey Board, which the USDA oversees, also agrees that infants should not be given honey. "The concern for babies stems from the fact that infants lack the fully developed gastrointestinal tract of older humans," the Board's web site states.

The use of honey as a household treatment for various illnesses is growing in popularity. And recent studies are starting to lean in the favor of honey over conventional medical treatment for wound care.

In 2007 the FDA approved the use of "Medical Honey" for would healing. Medical honey is purified with ultraviolet light and gamma irradiated to inactivate any possible spores that can cause botulism.

Studies have shown that Medical Honey works differently than antibiotics. Antibiotics attack the cell membrane of the bacteria, or inhibit intracellular pathways. Honey dehydrates the bacteria because it is hygroscopic, which literally means it absorbs moisture.

The average pH of honey is 3.9, but can range from 3.4 to 6.1. Bacteria prefers to grow in environments with a pH of >7.3. It has been demonstrated that when wounds pH is lower or more acidic, the healing process has been faster. [1,2]

I could go on about the oxygen off-loading from hemoglobin and the suppression of protease, but the bottom line is honey is acidic and bacteria does not like to grow in acidic environment.

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In Germany, at the Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Bonn, pediatric oncology department, a 12 year old patient was admitted with Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) in his wound. He was on isolation, waiting to receive chemotherapy once his infection cleared up. He was treated with local antiseptic for almost 2 weeks without improvement. The doctors decided to use a medical honey from Australia, and the patient was free of bacteria within 2 days and was able to receive his much needed chemotherapy. [1]

The type of medical honey that was used was leptospermum honey or manuka honey. This honey is made from the hives of bees that collect nectar from tea tree, manuka and jelly bushes in Australia and New Zealand.
 
We have just begun to explore all of honeys magical qualities. More studies are needed to confirm and to convince the medical establishment of its benefits as an essential adjunct to modern medicine.

The health benefits of honey include:

1.  Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Viral and Anti-Fungal properties helps skin ailments including insect bites, pimples and wounds.

2.  Buckwheat honey is especially effective as a cough suppressant, with a single nighttime dose. [4] This is very important because the FDA has recommended that children younger than six should not be given over the counter cold medication. Once again I caution on giving honey to babies younger than 1 year old.

3.  May prevent acid reflux (GERD) and act as a probiotic.

4.  Minimizes seasonal allergies when local honey is consumed.

5.  Boosts immunity with its antioxidant properties, and can also contribute to heart health as well acts as a cancer inhibitor.

Footnotes:

1.  US National Library of Medicine; Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2009
2.  WebMD
3.  Medical News Today
4.  Penn State College of Medicine
5.  Medscape Medical News

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