You probably know that honey has antimicrobial powers—and that it’s great in a hot drink when you’re feeling sick. But honey also has traditional uses as a medicine, and a new study says it may be able to help fight antibiotic resistance.
How? First, honey fights pathogens several different ways: osmosis (it steals water from them, killing them), hydrogen peroxide (small quantities are made when honey comes into contact with the body—just the right amount to fight bacteria without damaging skin the way large amounts will), acidity, high sugar content (so much it prohibits bacterial growth), and polyphenols (antioxidants).
Second, antibiotics fight bacteria by targeting their growth process, which makes evolving immunity easier. Honey targets bacteria several other ways, which makes developing resistance that much harder.
And finally: honey may help break up biofilms. Bacteria that produce biofilms are especially virulent—biofilms can offer protection for bacteria and serve as a way to deliver toxins. New research is investigating how honey is able to break up and stop biofilms from forming. (Nattokinase, made from fermented soy beans, can also help break up biofilms).
Honey is great for mild wounds, and can even help improve the efficacy (by breaking up biofilms) of colloidal silver (a more powerful antimicrobial—and it can target pathogens in more than just the stomach/on skin).
Do you think of honey as a natural remedy when you’re ill?