Raw Honey - "Natural Antibiotic"

Raw Honey

–Natural Antibiotic


Honey is a sweet food made by bees usingnectarcollected from flowers – the type of honey consumed by people is made by honey bees (Apis genus).

Used as a sweetener in foods and drinks – has a distinctive flavor. 1 teaspoon of honey contains 22 calories.

Honey can contain dormant bacterial endospores of Clostridium botulinumwhich can be harmful to infants < 1 year old – since the spores can transform into toxin-producing bacteria in an infant's immature GI tract

Raw honey has antibiotic properties

Honey was a conventional therapy for infection up until the early 20th century –at which time penicillin became the mainstream choice

Antibiotic activity of raw honey is attributed to:

–   Osmolarity of sugar in honey - alone prevents microbial growth

–   Honey has a low water activity of 0.6, which prevents growth of most microorganisms (with water activity of > 0.9)most of the water molecules are associated with the sugars leaving few available for microorganisms, making a poor environment for microbial growth. However, if water is mixed with honey it loses this antimicrobial property

Lansing Prescott, John P. Harley, Donald A. Klein (1999).Microbiology. Boston: WCB/McGraw-Hill.ISBN0-697-35439-3.

–   Acidity of honey - Honey has a relatively acidic pHusually 3.2 - 4.5 which prevents the growth of many bacteria

Honey as an Antimicrobial Agent. Waikato Honey Research Unit. November 16, 2006.

–   In wounds, slow release of hydrogen peroxide - catalyzed by the enzyme glucose oxidase present in honey.

Glucose oxidase is only activated when acidity of honey is diluted by body fluids in the presence of oxygen

Glucose oxidase can be destroyed by the protein-digesting enzymes present in wound fluids and when honey is exposed to heat and light

"Waikato Honey Research Unit:What's special about Active Manuka Honey?". The University of Waikato. Retrieved 05-02-2011.

C6H12O6 + H2O + O2 C6H12O7 + H2O2 (glucose oxidase reaction)

–   In Manuka Honey, the antibacterial activity of methylglyoxal (MGO) plus an unidentified synergistic component called Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) - Most honeys contain very low levels of MGO, but manuka honey contains very high levels. The presence of the synergist in manuka honey more than doubles MGO antibacterial activity

"Waikato Honey Research Unit:What's special about Active Manuka Honey?". The University of Waikato. Retrieved 05-02-2011.

Kwakman PHS, te Velde AA, de Boer L, Vandenbroucke-Grauls CMJE, Zaat SAJ (2011). "Two major medicinal honeys have different mechanisms of bactericidal activity". PLoS ONE 6 (3): e17709. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017709. PMC3048876. PMID21394213

Antibacterial activity in some honey is 100 times more powerful than in others

–   Manuka honey has more potent antibacterial ingredients than other raw honeys

Made by bees from pollen gathered from flowers of the manuka bush in New Zealand;

Has super potency and healing properties compared to other rawhoney –

Manuka has an ingredient called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF), which has antimicrobial qualities. Each batch has varying amounts of UMF, and higher concentrations increasethickness, shade of darkness and price.

Only RAW honey is useful for medicinal purposes –refined /heat-processed, domestic “Grade A”honey may actually increase infection;

Excessive heat-processing destroys natural enzymes and vitamins

Filtering removes phytonutrients such as pollen and propolis


Honey chelates and deactivates free iron, averting radical formation with consequential inflammation - iron is otherwise able to catalyse the formation of oxygen radicals from hydrogen peroxide, leading to inflammation

Antioxidant constituents in honey help remove oxygen radicals


Typicalraw honey contains:



Natural Sugars










Other Sugars


1 tsp.honey contains 4 g fructose since it is advisable to limit overall daily fructose intake to ~ 25g, you should therefore consume honey in moderation

Minerals – E.g. magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, , phosphate and trace minerals copper,iron, chromium, manganese, selenium.

Vitamins - depending on the quality of the nectar and pollen: B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3.

"Health Benefits Of Honey". Bees-Online:An Educational web site about Honey Bees and Beekeping.

Pollen – rich in antioxidants, protein and enzymes

Flavonoid antioxidants – can neutralize oxygen radicals:

Pinocembrin (possibly unique to honey)

Pinostrobin – supports enzyme acitivity

Honey as a topical antibacterial agent for treatment of infected wounds

raw honey AT work

Eating raw honey can help in situations where it is not overly diluted (or it is very potent, such as Manuka honey) to fight:

Diarrhea, gastritis, enteritis (sometimes used in an electrolyte solution)



Ophthalmological infections

Bronchial infections, coughs and sore throats

Honey/Coffee Cure for Persistent post-infective cough

Honey should be used in moderation to prevent its sugar content elevating INSULIN levels –possibly causing:


High blood pressure

High blood cholesterol


Topical application in wound careE.g. For a wound or herpes outbreak to cut infection

Draws fluid away from a wound

High sugar content suppresses microorganism growth via osmolarity –however, high exudate from a wound dilutes the sugar and stops this effect

Worker bees secrete an enzyme (glucose oxidase) into the nectar, which slowly catalyzes the production of low levels of antiseptic hydrogen peroxide when the honey makes contact with wound –occurring as the body fluids dilute the acidity of honey; reaction also requires oxygen and therefore may not occur under dressings or in wound cavities

Manuka honey sports additional healing benefits

–   Clinical trials determined that Manuka honey can eradicate > 250 bacterial strains - including resistant varieties such as:

MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus)

MSSA (methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus)

VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci)

Helicobacter Pylori (a root cause of stomach ulcers)

GreenMedInfo.comlists numerous clinical studies of Manuka honey's effectiveness several diseases / conditions - including:

Wound healing

Bacterial infections, including MRSA and H. Pylori

Leg Ulcer

Dental Caries and Plaque/ Periodontal Infection and Gingivitis

Ulcerative colitis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Attend to Diet, Lifestyle and Emotional State

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