Science again confirms the efficacy of ancient medicine: The antibacterial properties of honey found to be effective against resistant MRSA

To many, honey is more than just a natural sweetener: it’s a source of valuable medicine. A revered folk cure, honey has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes throughout the centuries, and now, science has confirmed that this tasty food may be all that stands between us and the scourge of antibiotic-resistant infections like MRSA.

MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a serious bacterial infection known for its resistance against treatment with antibiotics – making the infection more than difficult for conventional medicine to reconcile. As explains, MRSA infections can easily be contracted via cuts or other skin abrasions. Because of how highly contagious MRSA is, it can be spread through contact with an infected person.

Hospital-acquired MRSA is particularly dangerous and is reportedly more likely to come with serious complications like pneumonia or sepsis. Hospital-acquired MRSA is known for its ability to create a life-threatening infection – and for its potential to spread to others.

Antibiotics resistance in general has been regarded as one of the biggest threats to modern society. Recent estimates have suggested that by the year 2050, some 10 million people will face an antibiotic-resistant infection each year. Experts believe antibiotic-resistant superbugs will soon pose a greater threat to human health than cancer.

But a recent study, led by researchers from the University of Mascara in Algeria, has shown that honey may be able to help. The researchers say that honey can be an effective tool against MRSA infections, and perhaps, other infectious diseases as well.

Using different kinds of honey from a number of Algerian territories, scientists were able to create polyphenol extracts that were then used against MRSA samples in lab testing. The team found that all four of the polyphenol extracts were effective against MRSA, though with varying degrees of efficacy. The honey extract from Jijel, Algeria was found to have the highest inhibitory effect overall.

The research team declared their conclusion:

The study of the antibacterial effect of honey extracts allowed us to present an alternative way against the infectious diseases.

Their research is not the first to point to the antibacterial effects of honey, even when it comes to MRSA. Back in 2011, Daily Mail also reported on budding research regarding honey’s usefulness in battling the deadly staph infection.

Researchers from New Zealand applied honey to MRSA-infected wounds as a topical treatment — and were shocked by the success. Daily Mail reports that the wounds “became sterile and healed so quickly that patients could leave hospital weeks earlier.”

According to the Daily Mail, honey has multiple properties that give it antimicrobial benefits. Propolis is one such substance. Bees mix their saliva with the resin that oozes from trees to make what we call “propolis.” This substance, also nicknamed “bee penicillin,” creates an antimicrobial barrier to protect beehives.

But propolis isn’t the only protective compound found in honey; bees also add glucose oxidase to their prized honey. This enzyme is also regarded for its ability to kill bacteria without harming other tissues.

Manuka honey in particular has become widely known for its array of health benefits and disease-fighting capabilities. Some research has shown that Manuka honey is more effective at killing bacteria than any antibiotic.

While honey may be considered an “ancient” cure, it’s far from outdated. Science continues to confirm that this natural remedy stands the test of time.

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