From Mrs. Cog's Corner

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Honey has amazing healing powers and has been used for thousands of years as a tool in prevention and cures.  It is important to distinguish between raw honey, processed honey and highly refined. Much controversy and many conflicting sources of information can be found on the internet and while I continue to research and learn more all the time, I have chosen to stick more closely to proven clinical studies on this topic. If indeed the debate is not whether or not honey has amazing healing capabilities but rather in what state, the results of tests meeting more stringent standards would seem to be the most reliable default in this case.

The USDA requires honey from small bee-keepers be minimally processed before being sold and often that is what we have found in small farmer's markets and local produce vendors near us. Raw honey is available from various sellers on the internet.

76% of grocery store “honey” had no pollen in it! When buying from drug stores like Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS, the failure rate went as high as 100%! The good news is that every sample bought from farmers’ markets, co-ops, and natural food stores was loaded with pollen. So, as with olive oil, the real stuff is out there. You just have to make sure it was sourced from a single farm or small co-op of farms. http://www.foodrenegade.com/your-honey-isnt-honey/

Research article: Antibacterial Efficacy of Raw and Processed Honey http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3042689/pdf/BTRI2011-917505.pdf  (Please note that in this case, processed means minimally, not "ultra refined" as many mass commercial honey products are.)

Sweet news for those looking for new antibiotics: A new research published in the July 2010 print edition of the FASEB Journal explains for the first time how honey kills bacteria. Specifically, the research shows that bees make a protein that they add to the honey, called defensin-1, which could one day be used to treat burns and skin infections and to develop new drugs that could combat antibiotic-resistant infections. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630111037.htm

"Manuka and other honeys have been known to have wound healing and anti-bacterial properties for some time. But the way in which they act is still not known. If we can discover exactly how manuka honey inhibits MRSA it could be used more frequently as a first-line treatment for infections with bacteria that are resistant to many currently available antibiotics". http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264667.php

The identification of the main components responsible for the antibacterial activity of honey and the mechanism of action underlying this effect bring new knowledge to the field that will greatly contribute to understand the mechanisms by which honey compounds lead to bacterial growth inhibition and bacterial death. http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fmicb.2012.00398/full

Published results of more than 450 clinical studies pertaining to antibacterial properties of honey: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=honey+antibacterial

The results show that the pollen frequently has been filtered out of products labeled “honey.” The removal of the flower pollen would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world’s food safety agencies. It’s not considered honey without pollen in it. Furthermore, this is often done so that one can not tell where it came from, even what region. Furthermore it’s heavily cut and diluted with cheap corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. Buy organic real honey from farms or sellers you know. Here’s some tips to figure out if it’s real or not. http://www.survivalmagazine.org/homesteading/real-or-fake-honey-how-to-tell-the-difference/

Honey is effective because it is filled with healthful polyphenols, or antioxidants, she said. These include the phenolic acids, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid and ellagic acid, as well as many flavonoids. “Several studies have demonstrated a correlation between the non-peroxide antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of honey and the presence of honey phenolics,” she added. A large number of laboratory and limited clinical studies have confirmed the broad-spectrum antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties of honey, according to Meschwitz. http://preventdisease.com/news/14/031814_Honey-Perfect-Antibiotic-Solving-Problem-of-Antibiotic-Resistance.shtml

Lead author Susan M. Meschwitz, Ph.D., presented the findings at the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. She reports, "The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance." Meschwitz said that honey uses a combination of weapons including polyphenols, hydrogen peroxide and an osmotic effect. Honey is practically an ambidextrous fighter, using multiple modalities to kill bacteria. http://www.naturalnews.com/044685_honey_natural_antibiotic_bacterial_resistance.html

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