Welcome to the H&H Bee Blog!
Our bee blog will focus on more than just honey and dive into the interesting and dynamic unknown world of bees. The bees do so much for us and have walked with man since the earliest times. As as early as 2000bc there are records of ancient people robbing the bees golden treasure. Read below to learn about the bees!
4 ways honey kills pathogens
With bees applying to the endangered species like this month. It is important to be reminded how amazing honey is! Here’s an example did you know the first known plastic surgeries took place in India before 600 BC. It’s true! They were able to reconstruct noses and ears all the way back then. What do plastic surgeons of today and there ancient predecessors have in common?
That’s right… Raw Honey
There is a new trend in the medical field that is actually not new.
Raw honey has been used for thousands of year as a way to heal. It’s only now that we are discovering why raw honey was so widely used. So the story goes that around 600 bc in rural india it was often a punishment to cut off someone's nose off. So with these harsh punishments being meted out. Many people where forced to walk around with this mark of shame. Tough stuff.
So their developed a market for plastic surgery to try and reconstruct noses as best they could. The obvious problem in this and any age is bacterial infection! How do you perform major plastic surgery when modern medicine like antibiotics do not exist?
They used Honey of course! Honey was coated around the wound to provide a moist antibacterial environment for the wound to heal. Honey sealed the wound and prevented infection. in some ways honey is better at destroying bacteria than some modern day antibiotics.
This miracle wound treatment has been used for thousands of years. The medicine-men of many ancient cultures used honey to heal. Only recently with modern science do we now know why it is so effective. Not only that in hospitals today Honey is being used more and more.
It wasn’t just in India there are extensive records of the Egyptian and Roman use. I fact there are references to honey in almost every ancient culture. Now that modern medical has advance so much why are Dr. taking a new look at raw honey? Before medicine was more about trial and error and whatever was passed down to you. Today will our microscopes and advanced imaging machines we can dive deeper.
Here are the 4 ways honey kills pathogens:
Osmotic Action: All this means is Raw Honey wants to absorb water. Bacteria is full of water, when they come in contact the honey sucks the water out of the bacteria dehydrating it and it dies. This process will even kill antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Acidity of Raw Honey: If you have canned Jam or Fruit you know bacteria cannot grow in an acidic solution. Since raw honey is slightly acidic bacteria will not grow on it. This is one of the reason it lasts so long.
Glucose Oxidase enzyme: This is something the bees add to the nectar. The enzyme breaks down glucose and turns is into Hydrogen Peroxide. I know it is strange to think there is Hydrogen Peroxide in your honey. Think of it like timed delayed continues dispersion. They enzymes do not release a lot but they will release it continuously. This only happens in Raw honey that has not been heated. Most store purchased honey is heated for ease of processing and loses this enzyme.
We don’t know: It’s true there have been tests where honey was diluted and striped of its enzyme and it still kills bacteria. Some studies point to protein called bee defensin-1 that the bee immune system makes. Some studies point to the antibiotic properties of the plants the bees get nectar from. What we do know is it works.
Honey used for wound treatment is becoming more widely used you can even purchase honey band aids now. In a world of antibiotic resistant bacteria Raw Honey may just be one of the answers. Knowing this is it any wonder that honey lemon tea, Honey cough drops, and even just eating a spoon full of honey makes your through feel better. We are just now understanding how Raw Honey works.