Created on: February 01, 2013 Last Updated: February 07, 2013
For many thousands of years honey has been known to have health benefits including medicinal qualities. The ancient Greek and Chinese doctors used it with their patients.
Now Australian researchers have discovered a new type of the substance created by industrious bees that virtually destroys all bacteria.
Death to the 'superbugs'
The scourge of modern medicine are the so-called "superbugs"—bacteria that's developed a super-immunity to most antibiotics. Those superbugs are creating havoc at clinics and hospitals and turning bacterial diseases that once were easy to treat into juggernauts of death killing patients in record numbers.
As the problem has escalated, desperate researchers have searched relentlessly for a silver bullet that would conquer the burgeoning armies of superbugs once and for all.
They may have found an answer in a most unlikely, yet obvious, place: health food stores stocking a special type of honey indigenous to Australia and New Zealand.
Health conscious Aussies know that "jelly bush honey" has remarkable healing properties. New Zealanders are aware of the efficacy of the honey too; there they call it "Manuka honey." But no matter its name, it spells death to all bacteria that come in contact with it.
The super-honey may be the most powerful natural antibiotic ever discovered. Every bacteria exposed to it quickly withers and dies. Applied topically, it goes to work immediately on cuts, insect and animal bites, and skin infections. It may even prove to be the cure for the dread flesh-eating disease that's killed or maimed thousands of people around the world.
A team of Australian researchers made the momentous discovery after determining the health claims made about the honey were absolutely true. And the honey is traced back to particular bees that gather pollen only from a species of tea trees indigenous to the island nations of New Zealand and Australia.
News website theaustralian.com.au reports that "The findings are likely to have a major impact on modern medicine and could lead to a range of honey-based products to replace antibiotic and antiseptic creams."
For years, Professor Dee Carter of the University of Sydney's School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, has used honey to treat skin infections on her two sons. Now she's happy science supports her observations on the efficacy of the substance.
"Honey sounds very homey and unscientific," she told The Australian, "which is why we needed the science to validate the claims made for it. Most bacteria that cause infections in hospitals are resistant to at least one antibiotic, and there is an urgent need for new ways to treat and control surface infections."
Learn more about this author, Terrence Aym.
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