Health benefits of honey
Honey is a substance produced by bees from the nectar of plants. It is commonly used as a sweetener in food. It may also be used as a medicine. Honey can become contaminated with germs from plants, bees, and dust during production, collection, and processing. Fortunately, there are characteristics of honey that prevent these germs from remaining alive or reproducing. However some bacteria that reproduce using spores, such as the type that causes botulism, can remain.
This explains why botulism has been reported in infants given honey by mouth. To solve this problem, medical-grade honey (Medihoney, for example) is irradiated to inactivate the bacterial spores. Medical-grade honey is also standardized to have consistent germ-fighting activity. Some experts also suggest that medical-grade honey should be collected from hives that are free from germs and not treated with antibiotics, and that the nectar should be from plants that have not been treated with pesticides. Honey is used for cough, diabetes, high levels of cholesterol, painful periods, asthma, and hay fever. It is also used for diarrhea, ulcers in the mouth caused by cancer treatment, and stomach ulcers caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria. Honey is also used as a source of energy during vigorous exercise or in people who are malnourished. It may also be used orally for wound healing and pain following the removal of tonsils. Some people apply honey directly to
the skin for acne, dry eyes, wound healing, burns, diabetic foot ulcers, gangrene, and many other uses. Honey is used as a nasal spray for hay fever and sinus problems. Honey is applied into the vagina to improve fertility. In foods, honey is used as a sweetening agent. In manufacturing, honey is used as a fragrance and a moisturizer in soaps and cosmetics. Don’t confuse honey with bee pollen, bee venom, and royal jelly. How does it work? Some of the chemicals in honey may kill certain bacteria and fungus. When applied to the skin, honey may serve as a barrier to moisture and keep skin from sticking to dressings. Honey may also provide nutrients and other chemicals that speed wound healing.