College of DuPage Nursing Student Khadija Shafiuddin shared with Healthy Lombard that even the ancient civilizations knew about this item’s healing properties. It is commonly found on our grocery shelves, used in our cosmetic products, and utilized in the canning and preserving of foods. Fast-forward to today; this product is used in clinical practice for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, phenolic, and flavonoid properties. This product containing natural and powerful ingredients is known as honey.
A distinct characteristic of honey is that it has antimicrobial properties. Honey is currently used in clinical practice to manage wounds. Specifically, manuka honey is used in wound healing by disrupting the biofilm and preventing the formation of pathogens that can become problematic (Shan, 2019). This is possible due to the many factors of honey, one being the production of a cytotoxic antimicrobial peptide, which increases the permeability of cell membranes resulting in cell death (Shan, 2019). Topical application of honey was also utilized to treat methicillin-resistant-staphylococcus aureaus, otherwise known as MRSA, to treat an infected leg ulcer in an immunosuppressed patient (Shan, 2019). According to Shan (2019), the results were surprising as the ulcer was eliminated, and the wound was healed completely.
The phenolic and flavonoid properties of honey have also shown to benefit the gastrointestinal, integumentary, gynecological, neurological, and oral systems in the body. Honey inhibits the production of proinflammatory mediators, therefore acting as an anti-inflammatory agent (Kamaruzzaman et al., 2019). Due to the high number of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and antioxidants (Shan, 2019) found in honey, it has the properties of an anti-inflammatory agent.
Moreover, honey can be used to combat osteoporosis and obesity. In a review of the beneficial effects of honey and exercise for bone health and maintenance, Kamaruzzaman et al. (2019) found a reduction of bone resorption in participants who exercised seven days a week for six weeks while consuming honey in their diet. Similarly, Miguel et al. (2017) address the effects of honey on cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in healthy and non-healthy individuals. Honey consumption resulted in a reduction in total cholesterol, LCL-D, and HDL-C levels without increasing body weight (Miguel, 2017). Consequently, honey serves as an excellent aid in reducing excess fat in an obese or overweight person.
Honey is not only good to eat but has many benefits for the human body in addition to its beneficial use in the medical field. From wound management to improving body function, honey is the liquid gold of medicine. Fortunately, it is available in almost any grocery store and the plethora of benefits from honey consumption are more than enough to convince anyone to add honey to their diet.
Kamaruzzaman, M. A., Chin, K.-Y., & Mohd Ramli, E. S. (2019). A Review of Potential
Beneficial Effects of Honey on Bone Health. Evidence-Based Complementary &
Alternative Medicine (ECAM), 1 10. https://doi-org.cod.idm.oclc.org/10.1155/2019/8543618
Miguel, M. G., Antunes, M. D., & Faleiro, M. L. (2017). Honey as a Complementary Medicine.
Integrative Medicine Insights, 12, 1–16. https://doi-org.cod.idm.oclc.org/10.1177/1178633717702869
Shan, Y. (2019). Medicinal honey in clinical practice: viable alternative or useful adjunct in
wound care management? British Journal of Nursing, 28(12), S23–S30. https://doi-org. cod.idm.oclc.org/10.12968/bjon.2019.28.12.S23