MAY 15, 2016 11:14 AM PDT

Honey As A Supercharged Antibacterial Agent

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Honey is one of the most ancient medicinal agents, dating back at least to the Egyptians who used honey to dress wounds. Today, honey is hailed as one of nature's best multi-purpose remedies, as scientists have found many anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in this simple sugary substance.

Applied to wounds, honey's thickness provides a physical barrier to stave off infections. Chemically, honey has enzymatic activities that imbue it antimicrobial power. The high sugar content in honey is also thought to impede the growth of bacteria. In lab settings, researchers found that honey hinders food-borne pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella. In particular, manuka honey which is derived from native bees in New Zealand, has been reported to have antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). As such, many people tout this honey as a promising treatment of wounds or stomach ulcers, though more research is still pending.
About the Author
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 12, 2020
Plants & Animals
Noise Pollution Threatens Norway's Orcas
NOV 12, 2020
Noise Pollution Threatens Norway's Orcas
Orca pods heavily depend on vocal communication for survival. Their unique ability to communicate with other pod members ...
DEC 29, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why is the Sun's Outer Atmosphere Hotter than its Surface?
DEC 29, 2020
Why is the Sun's Outer Atmosphere Hotter than its Surface?
The fact that the Sun's distant atmosphere is significantly hotter than its surface has been a topic of confusion in ...
MAR 18, 2021
Space & Astronomy
There May Be More Water-Rich Planets than Previously Thought
MAR 18, 2021
There May Be More Water-Rich Planets than Previously Thought
Researchers have hypothesized that a certain mechanism may mean there are many more water-rich planets with atmospheres ...
JUL 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Giant Plumes on Saturn's Moon May Hold Signs of Life
JUL 08, 2021
Giant Plumes on Saturn's Moon May Hold Signs of Life
Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, has giant erupting plumes of water that, scientists say, can not be explained by known g ...
JUL 15, 2021
Neuroscience
Like Humans, Rats Help Friends Before Strangers
JUL 15, 2021
Like Humans, Rats Help Friends Before Strangers
Just like humans, rats tend to help members of their own social group before strangers. The findings may help researcher ...
JUL 30, 2021
Plants & Animals
Massive fossil Bonebed Discovered by a Ranger in the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains California
JUL 30, 2021
Massive fossil Bonebed Discovered by a Ranger in the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains California
Paleontologists gain another piece of California's past
Loading Comments...