Honey may be described as a naturally manufactured liquid. Nature’s agents responsible for its production are bees and plants (a variety of them). Little wonder why its potency till date has not been fully unravelled.
Bees, which are typical the factory workers/manufacturers, source the major ingredient for the manufacturing process from the nectar of uncountable number/variety of plants. This makes honey to have a very complex chemical composition. The composition also varies based on the type of plants on which the bee feeds. However, it is primarily composed of fructose and glucose but also contains fructo-oligosaccharides1 and many amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes2. Antioxidant capacity of honey is important in many disease conditions and is due to a wide range of compounds including phenolics, peptides, organic acids, enzymes, and Maillard reaction products.
Honey has been reported to have an inhibitory effect to around 60 species of bacteria including aerobes and anaerobes, gram-positives and gram-negatives3. Pathogens that are found to be sensitive to anti-infective properties of honey are manifold4. The antibacterial activity of honey is one of the most important findings that was first recognized in 1892; by van Ketel5.
Wound healing properties
Another area of study on a very effective use of honey is in the healing of6. In World War I, the Russians utilized honey to prevent wound infection and to accelerate wound healing. A combination of cod liver oil and honey was used by the Germans to treat ulcers, burns, fistulas and boils7. Wounds ranging from abrasion, abscess, amputation, bed sores /decubitus ulcers, burns, chill blains, burst abdominal wound, cracked nipples, fistulas, diabetic, malignant, leprosy, traumatic, cervical, varicose and sickle cell ulcers, septic wounds, to others like surgical wound or wounds of abdominal wall and perineum are found to be managed by therapy. When honey is applied as wound dressing, it leads to stimulation of healing process and rapidly clears the infection. Honey has cleansing action on wounds, and has been found to stimulates tissue regeneration and reduce inflammation. Honey laden pads act as non-adhesive tissue dressing7, 8, 9.
In other studies, honey has been reported to show inhibitory effects on fungi. Pure honey inhibits fungal growth and diluted honey has the capability of inhibiting toxin production10. Also, ringworm and athletes foot are found to be responsive to honey. This was found to be partly due to the inhibition of the growth of fungi as well as inhibition of bacterial infection7. Further more, other studies have shown that honey is effective in treating seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff9, 11.
In addition to antibacterial and antifungal effects, it has been reported that natural honey has showed antiviral effect. In an investigation by Al-Waili (2004) on the effect of honey on recurrent attacks of herpes lesions, it was concluded that topical honey application was safe and effective in the management of the signs and symptoms of recurrent lesions from labial and genital herpes in comparison to acyclovir cream12. Honey has also been reported to have inhibitory effects on rubella virus activity10.
Side effects of honey
It can be said that honey is relatively free of side effects. Application of honey on wound, injuries etc. may lead to transient stinging sensation. Otherwise it is described in different forms as soothing, relieving pain, to be non-irritating and a painless dressing change. There have been hardly any reports of Allergy to honey, but there is the possibility of allergic reaction to either pollen or bee proteins in honey. There could also be dehydration tissue resulting from excessive topical application of honey this can however be restored by saline packs. Theoretically, it can be imagined that there could be risk of rise in blood glucose levels when applied to large open wound in diabetics7.
A lot of research are still being carried out on the properties of honey in relation to its medical and nutritional abilities and potency; and also, its side possible side effects. Those stated here are only but a tip of the ice-berg. It is also important to note that these properties are predominantly present in the local raw honey than in the pasteurised honey found in grocery shops. This owing to the fact that the process of pasteurisation actually diminishes many of these properties.
Where can you get pure natural honey? Contact BlackPearl pure natural honey today, for your order.
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