[pchealth] Fwd: [permaculture] Bacteria from bees possible alternative to antibiotics - Lund University | Links to more information
lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Fri Sep 12 19:47:40 EDT 2014
Historically, honey has been used by humans both orally and topically to
treat various ailments including gastric disturbances, ulcers, wounds, and
Honey was used medicinally by ancient Greeks and Egyptians and has been
traditionally used in Ayurveda <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayurveda> in
India and in Traditional Chinese Medicine
The Quran <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quran> mentions honey as medicine.[
Juice of Parrot tree and honey an Ayurvedic curative
Medieval Islamic and Christian scholars described the use of honey in
medicine of that period.
Per traditional yoga practice, daily consumption of honey mixed with warm
water is said to strengthen the circulatory system, and is therefore
recommended. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey#cite_note-79> A honey
and warm water mixture is also recommended by yoga practitioners for
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Disputed_statement> – discuss
Health hazards Botulism
Infants can contract botulism <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulism> from
Infantile botulism shows geographical variation. In the UK, only six cases
have been reported between 1976 and 2006,
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey#cite_note-FSA_botulism-97> yet the U.S.
has much higher rates: 1.9 per 100,000 live births, 47.2% of which are in
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey#cite_note-CdcBotulism-98> While the
risk honey poses to infant health is small, it is recommended not to take
the risk. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey#cite_note-ENY128-99>
Main article: Bees and toxic chemicals § Toxic honey
Honey produced from flowers of oleanders
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhododendron>, mountain laurels
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalmia_latifolia>, sheep laurel
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheep_laurel>, and azaleas
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea> may cause honey intoxication
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grayanotoxin>. Symptoms include dizziness,
weakness, excessive perspiration, nausea, and vomiting. Less commonly, low
blood pressure, shock, heart rhythm irregularities, and convulsions may
occur, with rare cases resulting in death. Honey intoxication is more
likely when using "natural" unprocessed honey and honey from farmers who
may have a small number of hives. Commercial processing, with pooling of
honey from numerous sources, is thought to dilute any toxins.
Toxic honey may also result when bees are proximate to tutu
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tutu_%28plant%29> bushes (*Coriaria arborea*)
and the vine hopper insect (*Scolypopa australis
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scolypopa_australis>*). Both are found
throughout New Zealand. Bees gather honeydew produced by the vine hopper
insects feeding on the tutu plant. This introduces the poison tutin
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tutin_%28toxin%29> into honey.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey#cite_note-NBA-101> Only a few areas in
New Zealand (Coromandel Peninsula, Eastern Bay of Plenty and the
Marlborough Sound) frequently produce toxic honey. Symptoms of tutin
poisoning include vomiting, delirium, giddiness, increased excitability,
stupor, coma, and violent convulsions. To reduce the risk of tutin
poisoning, humans should not eat honey taken from feral hives in the risk
areas of New Zealand. Since December 2001, New Zealand beekeepers have been
required to reduce the risk of producing toxic honey by closely monitoring
tutu, vine hopper, and foraging conditions within 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) of
[A LONG article]
Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. Apr 2011; 1(2): 154–160.
Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity
Manisha Deb Mandal
Indeed, medicinal importance of honey has been documented in the world's
oldest medical literatures, and since the ancient times, it has been known
to possess antimicrobial property as well as wound-healing activity. The
healing property of honey is due to the fact that it offers antibacterial
activity, maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps
to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection. Its immunomodulatory
property is relevant to wound repair too. The antimicrobial activity in
most honeys is due to the enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide.
However, another kind of honey, called non-peroxide honey (*viz.*, manuka
honey), displays significant antibacterial effects even when the hydrogen
peroxide activity is blocked. Its mechanism may be related to the low pH
level of honey and its high sugar content (high osmolarity) that is enough
to hinder the growth of microbes. The medical grade honeys have potent *in
vitro* bactericidal activity against antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing
several life-threatening infections to humans. But, there is a large
variation in the antimicrobial activity of some natural honeys, which is
due to spatial and temporal variation in sources of nectar. Thus,
identification and characterization of the active principle(s) may provide
valuable information on the quality and possible therapeutic potential of
honeys (against several health disorders of humans), and hence we discussed
the medicinal property of honeys with emphasis on their antibacterial
*Keywords: *Honey, Antibacterial activity, Wound healing property, Glucose
oxidase, Non-peroxide effect, Medical-grade honey, Antimicrobial agents,
Medicinal property, Antimicrobial property, Immunomodulatory property
Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 June 2004, 23:15 GMT 00:15 UK
Harnessing honey's healing power
By Angie Knox
*Honey has been known for its healing properties for thousands of years -
the Ancient Greeks used it, and so have many other peoples through the
Even up to the second world war, honey was being used for its antibacterial
properties in treating wounds.
But with the advent of penicillin and other antibiotic drugs in the
twentieth century, honey's medicinal qualities have taken a back seat.
But that might be about to change - thanks to one New Zealand based
Working in his Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato, in the
central North Island, biochemist Professor Peter Molan has identified one
particular type of honey with extraordinary healing qualities.
Professor Molan has shown that honey made from the flowers of the manuka
bush, a native of New Zealand, has antibacterial properties over and above
those of other honeys.
He said: "In all honeys, there is - to different levels - hydrogen peroxide
produced from an enzyme that bees add to the nectar.
"In manuka honey, and its close relative which grows in Australia called
jellybush, there's something else besides the hydrogen peroxide.
"And there's nothing like that ever been found anywhere else in the world."
That "something else" has proved very hard to pin down. Even now, after
more than twenty years of research, Peter Molan admits he still has no idea
exactly what it is.
But he has given it a name: unique manuka factor, or UMF.
And he has found a way to measure its antibacterial efficacy, by comparing
UMF manuka honey with a standard antiseptic (carbolic, or phenol) in its
ability to fight bacteria. The results are astonishing.
He said: "We know it has a very broad spectrum of action.
"It works on bacteria, fungi, protozoa. We haven't found anything it
doesn't work on among infectious organisms."
A satisfied user
"I got bitten by an Alsatian. It grabbed my hand and gave me a five-stitch
bite. So I went off to the doctors, and they solely used manuka honey,
nothing else, no other treatment. I've got barely a scar now, and that's
only three weeks ago. Now in the medical kit I carry in the truck, I have
manuka honey and bandages, and that's all."
In fact, he says UMF manuka honey can even tackle antibiotic resistant
strains of bacteria - a growing problem for hospitals around the world.
"Staphylococcus aureas is the most common wound-infecting species of
bacteria, and that's the most sensitive to honey that we've found.
"And that includes the antibiotic resistant strains - the MRSA - which is
just as sensitive to honey as any other staphylococcus aureas."
Clinical trials at the Waikato Hospital have shown that even out of the
lab, UMF manuka honey has amazing healing properties.
Nurse practitioner Julie Betts has successfully used honey to treat leg
ulcers and pressure sores. And she says it helps healing after surgery -
particularly for diabetic patients.
"It has an anti-inflammatory effect as well, so if I want to do several
things apart from actually controlling the bacteria in that wound, then
that's when I'll use honey."
Cancer specialist Dr Glenys Round has also found honey to be an effective
The honey is exported widely
"We've been using honey to treat fungating wounds, where the cancer has
broken through the skin," she said.
"The results in that situation have been excellent."
Most recently, she has had success in using honey dressings on patients
with wounds or ulcers resulting from radiation therapy.
"Most of these patients in the past had tried various other conventional
treatments without good success, and that is the reason why at least
initially honey was tried."
Most patients seem happy to try the honey treatment.
"They don't have a problem with it at all," said Julie Betts.
"Humans in general have a fondness I think for natural remedies, so they're
quite happy to use them."
"I think the problem we encounter is when people don't understand how it
"They think that sourcing any honey will achieve the same outcome, and
that's not always true."
That's a view shared by beekeeper Bill Bennett a few kilometres up the road
from the hospital.
He and his wife Margaret run the Summerglow Apiaries, one of just a handful
of registered suppliers of UMF manuka honey in New Zealand.
They produce between eight and twelve metric tonnes of manuka honey every
year, and sell it across the world.
The honey is rigorously tested three times during production for that
elusive unique manuka factor; only then can it carry the label "UMF manuka
"It just seems that manuka from a few areas within New Zealand produces a
nectar that has this special property," said Bill Bennett.
"There is a lot of manuka honey out there that doesn't have this special
property. That's why it's so important to look for the name UMF."
Now, a New Zealand natural health products company Comvita is taking UMF
manuka honey one step further.
Comvita has set up a new medical products division to take hi-tech honey
dressings developed by Peter Molan to the international market.
The new dressings have been designed to take the mess out of honey.
"It's like a sheet of rubber, you can touch it without it being sticky at
all," he said.
Comvita has high hopes for the new product.
"Previously untreatable wounds of many types are now found to be treatable
by honey," said Comvita's Ray Lewis.
"The global market for wound care is in the range of two to six billion US
dollars. So if we can capture just a small percentage of that, we will
obviously be doing very well."
Lawrence F. London
lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Lawrence F. London
lfljvenaura at gmail.com
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