Can honey beat antibiotics?

In this world of viruses, coughs, colds and flu, are we overlooking a natural alternative …?

Bee sitting on a honey comb
The humble bee

Humans have known about the health benefits of honey for thousands of years…

…in fact, it was such a prized commodity that some societies, such as the ancient Greeks, even worshipped it as a nectar of the Gods, some went further still…

…Cleopatra herself was reputed to have bathed in honey. I’m not sure I fancy a hot sticky soak in a tub of honey but it shows the importance that our ancestors placed on this magical liquid…

Pots of it were also placed in tombs so the dead could take it with them to the afterlife.

Ok, so her bath was actually a mixture of honey and milk, but I’ll not be ditching my bubble bath any time soon.

Can Honey Be More Effective than Antibiotics?

Before the invention of antibiotics, honey was the only effective treatment for many conditions. We know that ancient people used it as part of many remedies.

Oxford academics carried out research and found that honey is better for treating coughs, colds and respiratory conditions than antibiotics…

…Its more effective and less harmful than the usual alternatives and avoids causing harm through anti-microbial resistance, and…

In 2018, Public Health England (PHE) and the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), recommended that honey should be prescribed by GPs and other medical professionals before antibiotics for coughs caused by a cold or flu virus, or bronchitis.

[https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/antibiotics-should-not-be-issued-as-first-line-of-treatment-for-a-cough-says-nice-and-phe]

However, I am not a doctor and for more serious conditions, you should definitely consult a professional as antibiotics may well be necessary, but let’s continue…

Honey has been used in some medical products. In 2016, the FDA approved MediHoney, a honey-based gel used for treatment on burns and wounds.

[https://www.fda.gov/media/100599/download]

So, what are the benefits of taking honey…?

Is Honey Nutritious?

One thing’s for sure, we can all agree that honey tastes great and we’ve been enjoying its flavour for thousands of years. There is a 15000-year-old cave painting in Spain that shows a man climbing a tree just to get some honey from a bee hive.

As well as being:

  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Anti-Microbial
  • Anti-Bacterial
  • Anti-Allergy…

…honey has a variety of other health benefits:

  • Reportedly lowers blood pressure
  • Is rich in anti-oxidants which helps to ward off heart attacks and strokes and even some forms of cancer
  • May improve cholesterol levels
  • It reputedly reduces ulcers and gastro intestinal disorders
  • It can heal wounds and burns
  • It’s even slightly anti-viral and has proved to be effective when applied to cold sores and can impede the growth of e-coli, salmonella and MRSA…

…and it has:

  • B vitamins
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium…

So… Is Honey Magic?

Honey consistently beats off-the-shelf cough medicine and anti-histamines to ease coughs and sniffles. Humans have been using it to treat infections for over 8000 years and bacteria has never been able to evolve to form a resistance to it…

Honey is just as effective against bacteria now that it was 8000 years ago. Also, scientists have been unable to create a bacterium that is resistant to it, and believe me, they have tried…

Honey also has an eternal shelf life if stored in a sealed container.

Is Honey Magic? I’ll let you decide, but I would rather reach for a spoonful of the golden liquid before taking antibiotics or other forms of medication. That, along with the many nutritional benefits you get for consuming it, means that this a fantastic food that deserves the title of Magic…

…but all is not what it seems, because…

Not ALL Honey is CREATED Equal…

It’s important to note that I am referring to RAW honey, not the pasteurised and fine-filtered variety that fills all the shelves in the supermarkets…

It is only raw honey that contains the benefits that I’ve talked about.

During processing, pasteurised honey has had pretty much all its nutrients removed with high temperature and fine-filtering also removes much of the pollen and other small bits naturally found in honey. This leaves the honey with a significant loss of flavour and is now…

…simply colourful sugar…

If you’re looking for a high-quality honey to get the benefits of all these nutrients, then you should check out Manuka honey…

Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is one of the most prized in the world and comes from New Zealand. It is only made by bees who collect nectar from the Manuka bush, a wild shrub which grows across New Zealand but flowers for only a few weeks a year.

The demand for Manuka is far higher than the supply, which pushes the price up but the honey is considered far superior than regular honey…

Whilst all raw honey is anti-bacterial, light and heat diminish this quality over time. Whereas the anti-bacterial quality of Manuka actually increases for a couple of years after it is harvested…

…it is also unaffected by heat and light which means it is great to use therapeutically in hot drinks.

The main substance in Manuka that gives its anti-bacterial qualities is called Methylglyoxal (MGO). The number on the front of the pot represents the mg per kg of MGO and the related strength of anti-microbial activity. The greater the number, the stronger the anti-microbial activity.

By the way, if you’d like to get yourself some Manuka honey that has all these wonderful benefits, check out the link below:

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