Medicinal use of honey

Honey for wound healing

From Advances in Skin & Wound Care: January 2011 - Volume 24 - Issue 1 - pp 40-44 doi: 10.1097/01.ASW.0000392731.34723.06. Use of Honey in Wound Care: An Update, Song, Jason J. MD, PhD; Salcido, Richard MD

"Perhaps the first mention of honey in wound care was in ancient Egypt between 2600 and 2200 BCE.6 Although the exact mechanism for the beneficial aspects of honey in wound healing is still unknown, research has focused on the antibacterial property of honey as a cause. Honey is hygroscopic from its high sugar content, meaning it has a dehydrating effect that is inhibitory for bacterial growth. Studies have demonstrated that the antibacterial properties of honey are more complex than just high sugar content alone. Honey contains glucose oxidase, an enzyme that converts glucose to hydrogen peroxide, which may contribute to some of its antibacterial properties. Furthermore, the antibacterial properties of honey appear to vary depending on the floral source. Honey derived from Leptospermum trees (manuka) or Echium vulgare bush (viper's bugloss) showed antibacterial properties independent of hydrogen peroxide. It is believed that another, yet undiscovered, component of honey is responsible for the antibacterial properties".



"Honey is known, since antiquity, as an effective wound dressing. Emergence of resistant strains and the financial burden of modern dressings, have revived honey as cost-effective dressing particularly in developing countries. Its suitability for all stages of wound healing suggests its clinical effectiveness in diabetic foot wound infections. Thirty infected diabetic foot wounds were randomly selected from patients presenting to Surgery Department, Suez Canal University Hospital, Ismailia, Egypt. Honey dressing was applied to wounds for 3 months till healing, grafting or failure of treatment. Changes in grade and stage of wounds, using University of Texas Diabetic Wound Classification, as well as surface area were recorded weekly. Bacterial load was determined before and after honey dressing. Complete healing was significantly achieved in 43.3% of ulcers. Decrease in size and healthy granulation was significantly observed in another 43.3% of patients. Bacterial load of all ulcers was significantly reduced after the first week of honey dressing. Failure of treatment was observed in 6.7% of ulcers. This study proves that commercial clover honey is a clinical and cost-effective dressing for diabetic wound in developing countries. It is omnipresence and concordance with cultural beliefs makes it a typical environmentally based method for treating these condition".

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2010 Sep;89(3):276-81. Epub 2010 Jun 19."The clinical and cost effectiveness of bee honey dressing in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers."

Moghazy AM, Shams ME, Adly OA, Abbas AH, El-Badawy MA, Elsakka DM, Hassan SA, Abdelmohsen WS, Ali OS, Mohamed BA.Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt. moghazy@yahoo.com


Honey enhances memory   

"This study was undertaken to determine whether replacing sucrose in the diet long-term with honey that has a high antioxidant content could decrease deterioration in brain function during ageing. Forty-five 2-month old Sprague Dawley rats were fed ad libitum for 52 weeks on a powdered diet that was either sugar-free or contained 7.9% sucrose or 10% honey (which is the equivalent amount of sugar). Anxiety levels were assessed using an Elevated Plus Maze, whilst a Y maze and an Object Recognition task were used to assess memory. Locomotor activity was also measured using an Open Field task to ensure that differences in activity levels did not bias results in the other tasks. Anxiety generally decreased overall from 3 to 12 months, but the honey-fed rats showed significantly less anxiety at all stages of ageing compared with those fed sucrose. Honey-fed animals also displayed better spatial memory throughout the 12-month period: at 9 and 12 months a significantly greater proportion of honey-fed rats recognised the novel arm as the unvisited arm of the maze compared to rats on a sugar-free or sucrose-based diet. No significant differences among groups were observed in the Object Recognition task, and there appeared to be no differences in locomotor activity among groups at either 6 or 12 months. In conclusion, it appears that consumption of honey may reduce anxiety and improve spatial memory in middle age."

The effects of long-term honey, sucrose or sugar-free diets on memory and anxiety in rats.Chepulis LM, Starkey NJ, Waas JR, Molan PC:Department of Biological Sciences, Waikato University, Hamilton, New Zealand.Physiol Behav. 2009 Jun 22;97(3-4):359-68. Epub 2009 Mar 16.


Honey vs sucrose in obesity studies in rats.

"Various dietary carbohydrates have been linked to obesity and altered adipose metabolism; however, the influences of honey vs common sweeteners have not been fully explored. We hypothesized that in comparison with sucrose, a honey-based diet would promote lower weight gain, adiposity, and related biomarkers (leptin, insulin, and adiponectin) as well as a better blood lipid profile. Thirty-six male Sprague-Dawley rats (228.1 ± 12.5 g) were equally divided by weight into 2 groups (n = 18) and provided free access to 1 of 2 diets of equal energy densities differing only in a portion of the carbohydrate. Diets contained 20% carbohydrate (by weight of total diet) from either clover honey or sucrose. After 33 days, epididymal fat pads were excised and weighed, and blood was collected for analyses of serum concentrations of lipids, glucose, and markers of adiposity and inflammation. Body weight gain was 14.7% lower (P ≤ .05) for rats fed honey, corresponding to a 13.3% lower (P ≤ .05) consumption of food/energy, whereas food efficiency ratios were nearly identical. Epididymal fat weight was 20.1% lower (P ≤ .05) for rats fed honey. Serum concentrations of triglycerides and leptin were lower (P ≤ .05) by 29.6% and 21.6%, respectively, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was higher (P ≤ .05) by 16.8% for honey-fed rats. No significant differences in serum total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, adiponectin, C-reactive protein, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, glucose, or insulin were detected. These results suggest that in comparison with sucrose, honey may reduce weight gain and adiposity, presumably due to lower food intake, and promote lower serum triglycerides but higher non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations."

Honey promotes lower weight gain, adiposity, and triglycerides than sucrose in rats.Nemoseck TM, Carmody EG, Furchner-Evanson A, Gleason M, Li A, Potter H, Rezende LM, Lane KJ, Kern M.Source: School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-7251, USA. J Food Sci. 2007 Apr;72(3):S224-9.











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