Medicinal uses and health effects of honey
For at least 2700 years, honey has been used to treat a variety of ailments through topical application, but only recently have the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey been chemically explained. As an antimicrobial agent honey may have the potential for treating a variety of ailments.
- Topical honey has been used successfully in a comprehensive treatment of diabetic ulcers when the patient cannot use other topical antibiotics. Some studies suggest that the topical use of honey may reduce odors, swelling, and scarring when used to treat wounds.
- Raw honey also contains enzymes that help in digestion, several vitamins and antioxidants.
- Honey may also prevent the dressing from sticking to the healing wounds.
- Honey has been shown to be an effective treatment for conjunctivitis in rats.
- Honey (especially when combined with lemon) is often taken orally by pharyngitis and laryngitis sufferers, in order to soothe them.
- Honey has been a part of many folk cures, it is common and cheap (compared to pharmaceuticals), and cannot be patented.
Other medical applications
Some studies suggest that the topical use of honey may reduce odors, swelling, and scarring when used to treat wounds; it may also prevent the dressing from sticking to the healing wound.
Honey has also been used as a treatment for sore throats and coughs for centuries and according to recent research may in fact be more effective than most common medicines.
Honey has been shown to be an effective treatment for conjunctivitis in rats.
Honey (especially when combined with lemon) is often taken orally by pharyngitis and laryngitis sufferers, in order to soothe them.
Though widely believed to alleviate allergies, local honey has been shown to be no more effective than placebos in controlled studies. This may be because most seasonal allergies are caused by tree and grass pollens, which honeybees do not collect.
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Honey as a cough suppressant for children over 12 months old
Honey has been used as a home remedy for centuries to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with a common cold.
Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine have recently published a study comparing honey to over-the-counter medicines for relief of upper respiratory infection symptoms, such as cough. To read the full story, click here.