Nutritional and healing benefits of honeyHoney has been used by doctors for hundreds of years and has been revered for its healing properties, which include preventing infection, helping soothe ulcers, and treat diarrhea.
Throughout the centuries, honey has held a place in popular culture. Besides the stories of that beloved bear Pooh, always pursuing the ever elusive honey pot, Greek mythology tells of a tale in which the life of Zeus is saved by bees feeding him honey. Though it is technically not much different than table sugar, there seem to be healing properties hidden in its gooey goodness.
Doctors have been using honey in healing for centuries. There are three ingredients in honey that make it ideal as a healing compound. Many types of honey are found to be high in hydrogen peroxide, which you probably use at home to disinfect scrapes and cuts. In addition to this disinfecting power, the high sugar content in honey is great for absorbing moisture inside wounds. This makes it difficult for bacteria to survive. The final blow is propolis, a compound found in the nectar of some honey, which can actually kill bacteria. Dr. Peter Molan has been researching honey at the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand for 15 years. In his research he has discovered that honey effectively kills all seven types of bacteria that can cause wound infection.
Not only has it been found to stop infection outside your body, but certain types of honey have been found to stop infections inside your body as well. A study conducted at the Honey Research Unit discovered that a certain type of honey, indigenous to New Zealand, has been found to kill the bacteria that forms ulcers in the stomach. Ulcer sufferers were given 4 tablespoons of honey a day and 100% of those involved in the experiment found relief from their ulcer symptoms. Traditionally, children suffering from diarrhea have been given a sugar solution to help rehydrate and replace essential minerals. Researchers in South Africa have discovered that honey can be more beneficial than sugar in these instances, because the bacteria-killing compounds in the honey can actually kill the bacteria found in the intestine that can be causing the diarrhea. On the opposite side of the problem, honey can also be used as a cure for constipation. The high amounts of fructose in honey cause it to arrive in the large intestine undigested, which begins a fermentation process. This process allows fluid to be drawn into the bowel which acts as a laxative.
When shopping for honey, however, there are two things you must be aware of. Always buy raw honey. Once honey has gone through the high heat processing procedure, it loses a great deal of its healing power. When choosing raw honey , be sure to choose Manuka honey. This honey is produced in New Zealand, where the bees feed on a particular type of flowering shrub. Manuka honey has the highest anti-bacterial compound composition. It can usually be found in health food stores. Be sure to read the label and look for the words "active Manuka honey" This will be the most effective honey in your fight against bacteria and is especially effective against stomach ulcers.