Before all the great Honey info, please remember this: I am not a doctor – This is general information, not medical advice, and should not be treated as such. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this page or any website page or article.
There is clear scientific evidence why honey works so well as a treatment for various complaints, and there have been numerous studies showing just how effective it is compared to certain synthetic pharmaceuticals. Despite being used throughout recorded history, only recently has honey’s medicinal effects been studied in this scientific manner.
One of the most important attributes of raw honey is that it possesses inherent antibacterial properties. This makes it particularly useful in treating burns, peptic ulcers, gastroenteritis, and infections. This latter usefulness in treating infections is particularly important given the growing number of drug-resistant bacteria.
The properties that make honey such a potent antibacterial agent are high viscosity, low pH, high osmolarity with low availability of free water, and its natural ability to produce hydrogen peroxide.
Honey inhibits bacterial growth by stopping it at the cellular level.
Honey also generally has a pH value between 3.2- 4.5, making it a very acidic agent. Most bacteria cannot propagate and thrive at this Ph.
Honey also has an enzyme, glucose-oxidase, that produces hydrogen peroxide, particularly during its ripening stages, with the production stopping once the pH drops low enough. Fully ripened honey, therefore, has a pretty low level of hydrogen peroxide. However, should you dilute the honey in water, this enzyme’s activity increases by a factor of up to 50,000, making it a very effective slow release antiseptic. This “slow release” effect is particularly helpful as it does not damage healthy tissue, which a high dose of hydrogen peroxide will do (even able to destroy newly formed skin cells, which is the opposite of helpful). Rather, these slow release, low doses only kills the germs, while leaving the healthy tissue unharmed. In the general case, though, diluting honey and taking advantage of its hydrogen peroxide production will get rid of many of the other antibacterial properties; so usually it’s better to use pure honey, rather than diluted.
Finally, honey also generally has the effect of reducing pain on burns and open wounds due to the fact that it prevents air from reaching the wounded area. Further, it has been shown to reduce scarring due to stimulating skin re-growth. Another great side-benefit to using honey to treat burns and cuts is that a bandage used after honey is fully applied to a wounded area won’t stick to the wound when removed.
*Note: Ensure that your honey is clearly labelled “Raw or Unprocessed”. Generally, supermarket honey is highly processed and as a result loses its effectiveness for medicinal purposes. As such, when using honey as a medicinal agent, you should always use raw, unprocessed honey