Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

A spoonful of honey IS the medicine

Sweet news - honey kills bacteria concluded a new study published in the July edition of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal.

Dutch researchers in Amsterdam have figured out why a spoonfull of medical-grade honey is good for you by testing it on " Bacillus subtilis, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, extended-spectrum ?-lactamase producing Escherichia coli, ciprofloxacin-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium."

"All of the bacteria were killed by 10-20% (v/v) honey," noted the researchers.

In addition to antibacterial properties in honey, the study also showed honey has antimicrobial elements in their discovery of "bee defensin-1," described as a portion of bees' immune system that is added to the honey. 

Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of the  FASEB Journal, added, "We've known for millennia that honey can be good for what ails us, but we haven't known how it works.

"Now that we've extracted a potent antibacterial ingredient from honey, we can make it still more effective and take the sting out of bacterial infections."

Medical-grade honey (MDG) is different from table honey and is sterile.

In the past two years it has been incorporated into various medical devices (Medihoney Calcium Alginate Dressing with MDG, a box of 10 $184.99/€147) and can also be purchased in its pure form (Life Mel Honey 120g jar £42/€49.95); Activon 25g tube of Medical Grade Manuka Honey, $11.15/€8.85)

Also there are a number of antibacterial soaps (Cussons Carex Nature Protect Manuka Honey & Oatmilk Antibacterial Hand Wash, 250ml £1.89/€2.25; Honeymark Manuka Honey Soap Bar, $3.75/€3) that tout honey as a key ingredient.

Full study, "How honey kills bacteria": http://bit.ly/diDUVJ