Fact or Myth: Are Natural Antibiotics More Effective Than Traditional Antibiotics?

This is a Fact!

Before the development of penicillin in the early 20th century, honey was mainstream medicine’s choice treatment for wound care and persistent skin infections as natural antibiotics. Fast-acting antibiotics replaced this natural antibiotics. As our antibiotic use increased, so too did the antibiotic-resistance of many strains of bacteria.

With the rise of growing antibiotic resistance, scientists are returning to good ol’ honey as a “new” solution to wound care. Research thus far has shown that honey, particularly Manuka honey, is more effective at healing skin infections and treating wounds than popular antibiotics are.

A recent study conducted by researchers at Cardiff Metropolitan University and published in the journal Microbiology, found that Manuka honey eradicated 85% of a fully formed, extremely resistant strain of bacteria known as Streptococcus pyogenus. The study also indicated that Manuka honey helps prevent infection from occurring in the first place.natural antibiotics

Affirming the health benefits of honey as an antibacterial ointment, Scientific American recently reported: “In lab tests, just a bit of the honey killed off the majority of bacterial cells — and cut down dramatically on the stubborn bio-films they formed.”

When wounds cluster together they form bio-films, which stimulate infection and form a barrier against antibacterial drugs. Numerous research studies attest to Manuka honey’s ability to destroy infectious bio-films.

A 2009 study of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) sufferers found that honey was considerably more effective than traditional antibiotics in eliminating both planktonic and bio-film-grown forms of pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) and staphylococcus aureus (SA), two important bacterial strains that cause CRS.

However, it wouldn’t be advisable to apply the highly processed “Grade A” honey you find in most supermarkets to your wounds. Processed honey should never be used on a wound, as it will only make the infection worse. Look for raw honey, or better yet Manuka honey, which has superior natural antibiotics properties.

Manuka honey is made from pollen gathered from the medicinal Manuka bush, which is native to New Zealand and Australia. Clinical trials have shown that Manuka honey kills more than 250 strains of bacteria, including the particularly resistant strains such as:

Both raw and Manuka honey contain powerful antiseptic properties. When applied, honey slowly releases hydrogen, which drains fluid away from the wound and inhibits the growth of microorganisms.

What sets Manuka honey apart is a unique, yet-to-be-discovered ingredient called Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). No scientist has been able to determine the exact component that enhances the antibacterial activity of Manuka honey, but research does confirm its existence to natural antibiotics.

Medical Manuka honey helps treat wounds — from ulcers to burns — by…

  • Decreasing infection
  • Increasing blood circulation to the wound
  • Reducing inflammation and swelling
  • Relieving pain
  • Fighting free radical damage
  • Accelerating wound healing
  • Reducing wound odor
  • Cleansing the wound
  • Exfoliating dead tissues and scabs
  • Moisturizing to aid healing

UMF levels fluctuate between batches: The higher the UMF concentration, the darker, thicker and more expensive the honey. If using Manuka honey for medicinal purposes, look for a UMF rating of 10 or higher.

Derma Sciences uses high-quality Manuka honey for its Medihoney wound and burn dressings, the first honey-based product to be approved by the FDA. You can purchase Medihoney products online, or at medical supply stores.

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