Medical Uses Of Honey
Apart from its characteristic sweet taste, there is a wide array of methods in which one can tap the medical uses of honey. Contrary to popular belief where individuals are wary of the benefits of honey, science has actually gone ahead to show that there are reasons why honey is beneficial to the human body, and that there are effective ways in which it can be used medically. For a long time, honey has been used to provide healing for numerous conditions, with its use going as far back as 350BC. Even with this knowledge, it is not until recently that the medical attributes of honey have been put in a medical context. The next section of this article looks at the medical benefits of honey as well as some of the conditions that can be treated with this naturally occurring substance.
i) Antibacterial property of honey
Due to its antibacterial properties, one of the most important medical uses of honey is found in the treatment of various conditions which include, but are not limited to burns ulcers as well as infections. With the latter, there is growing importance to harness these properties especially because the use of antibiotics has continually faced resistance over the years. Some of the physical traits that make honey an excellent anti bacterial include:
– Low ph ranging between 3.4 and 6.0 that causes honey to create an acidic environment that makes it hostile to microbes. Many of the microbes in the environment require a friendly surrounding to thrive, and that does not include acidity.
– Honey has the natural capability to produce hydrogen peroxide, a compound that is used in the medical field for cleaning wounds, thus adding to the list of medical uses of honey. The production of hydrogen peroxide is made possible by the presence of an enzyme that is known as glucose oxidase. When water is added to the honey, the activity of this enzyme is increased by as much as 500%, thus, making it a very efficient anti microbial. The advantage of using honey in this aspect is that it becomes a slow release medical option such that it does not cause damage to the tissues surrounding the affected region.
– When used appropriately, honey is great remedy for treating infections of the eye.
– Honey is a very viscous substance, and this makes it easy to use in this regard.
– The characteristic of honey to have a high osmolarity accompanied by low availability of free water molecules means that there is hardly any water present for use by microbes, and this contributes to medical uses of honey.
NOTE: since there are different types of honey, each with its own kind of antibacterial capacity, scientists have found it imperative to categorize honey based on its antimicrobial efficiency, leading to the use of what is referred to as inhibine factor.
With the numerous medical uses of honey, it is little wonder why this is slowly becoming a preferred option for many people worldwide.