Honey has a special place all over the world. The ancient Ayurveda texts describe the golden liquid as Madhu. In the Sanskrit language, it is synonymous to perfect sweetness age. Honey is invaluable due to its unique properties that enable it to be useful as both food and medicine.
If you are looking for superfood in your medicine, look no further than honey. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, fatty acids, amino acids and of course the sugars.
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There are many kinds of sugars in honey. The sugar in honey is far more concentrated than white sugar. However, unlike white sugar, the sugars in honey are pre-digested by bees. That makes honey a warm component of the medicine. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, and small amounts of dextrin are the sugars found in honey. Glucose is the simplest sugar, which restores the oxygen and gives rapid energy. Sucrose is a combination of glucose and fructose. Dextrin is found only in small amounts, and it is a gummy substance. It makes honey digestible.
Honey is the best sweet food. It is not only easily digested and assimilated, but it also does not cause flatulence. According to Ayurveda, honey may be added to meals in a prescribed manner. Honey is a medicine for anemia, lung, skin diseases, irritating coughs, insomnia, oral disease, and problems related to eyes. These are all known and safe documented uses of honey.
New Zealand and Australia add a new chapter about the honey. First discovered in New Zealand, Manuka honey produced by bees that feed on Leptospermum produced the medical-grade honey. Scientists now confirm that honey produced by bees in Australia also have similar properties and action profile as the Manuka honey.
Australia is home to 83 of 87 Leptospermum shrub species. The honey produced by bees using pollen and nectar has exceptional property. It has highly stable antibacterial activity. Manuka honey has been active against golden staph and other superbugs that are resistant to currently available antibiotic treatments. The dihydroxyacetone, which produces a phytochemical with antibacterial properties called methylglyoxal (MGO) is present in high levels in Manuka honey.
This finding is exciting for many reasons. First, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics over the last few decades has resulted in ineffective medicine. The bacteria can withstand the effects of antibiotics. Some bacteria carry resistance genes for several antibiotics. These bacteria are called superbug or multiresistant bacteria. Antibiotic resistance is currently high all around the world. Antibiotics cannot kill several strains of bacteria found around the world. More than 20,000 people die from antibiotic resistance each year. A treatable disease becomes untreatable due to antibiotic resistance.
Second, the properties of Manuka honey shows us that we need not unnecessarily use antibiotics for many treatable diseases or conditions. Many superbugs could be slowed down by Manuka honey. It is possible that few bugs may be treated with the honey. More research is underway to determine the exact range of antibacterial activity of the superbugs.
Honey has been highly useful for treating wounds, cuts, ulcers, and burns that are slow to heal. The unique structure of honey where the high sugar content absorbs the moisture from the injuries, and methylglyoxal in the presence of hydrogen peroxide turns highly antibacterial helps in healing. Thus, one way to reduce the superbugs is to prescribe honey for wound care, which slows the superbugs immensely.
When the medicine is sweet, who will resist?
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