Healing Honey

 

Honey may be one of the oldest forms of natural medicine. Its wound healing and antimicrobial properties can be found mentioned in some of our oldest medical literature. The Bible mentions it in proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine who is turning a few thousand RPMs in his grave, was convinced that honey had a variety of healing properties, and he would use it in many of his treatments. He would treat pain with a combination of honey and vinegar. He also encouraged his patients to drink Mead, one of the oldest alcoholic beverages made by fermenting honey with water grains and other spices, the Greeks would refer to it as the “nectar of the gods”.

Perhaps the earliest pharmacy compound in history was theriaca andromachi.  A mixture of multiple ingredients including opium, cinnamon, and viper flesh was pulverized with honey and gum arabic into a paste. It would go viral as something could back then and we find it mentioned often in historic text. Galen, the famous Greek physician, would author an entire book on the remedy, and it was taken regularly by his most famous patient Marcus Aurelius. Pliny the Elder would note in his encyclopedic book Historia Naturales that the Arabians were producing honey strictly for medicinal purposes including applying it to wool and wrapping wounds.

The healing effects of honey are due to a combination of its antibacterial and antioxidant properties. The high viscosity provides a protective barrier to pathogens while maintaining a moisture-rich environment that promotes healing. All honey is not created equal, and the chemical composition will depend on many factors. The polyphenol content of the honey will determine its antioxidant potential, the darker the honey appears the higher the content of polyphenols. A Polish study examining several types of honey would show a significant variability depending upon what type of nectar the bees are using and the chemical composition of the resulting honey.

Commercially there are now several medical-grade honey products on the market around the world. Medihoney is the one you may be familiar with, but other trade names include Revamil, Mebo, Melladerm, and L-Mesitran. Studies have shown their effectiveness in breaking up biofilms of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, one of our most notorious and commonly drug-resistant infections. There have also been promising results in treating recurrent vaginal yeast infections and cold sores. Using honey or other bee products for therapeutic purposes or apitherapy has become an alternative therapy of sorts. It can be marketed in many ways from the benign consumption of honey all the way to the extreme of getting stung by bees on purpose. Of course, no alternative therapy would be complete without the possibility of Covid prevention so here is an article on that topic.

While the domestication of the honeybee certainly goes as far back as hungry humans do, modern beekeeping has not changed much over the past hundred and fifty years. The Reverend Lorenzo Langstroth’s book “On the Hive and the Honeybee” first published in 1853 is still considered to be the foundation of modern beekeeping. The Langstroth beehive still bears his name and is what comes to mind when most people picture one. The book is also a great read albeit a bit preachy, but the man was a Reverend so finding God in his honeybees should not be a surprise.

Jacob Hyatt Pharm D.
Father of three, Husband, Pharmacist, Realtor, Landlord, Independent Health, and Medicine Reporter
https://substack.com/discover/pharmacoconuts

hyattjn@gmail.com

Bitcoin GtjoZgxE7WpTkWRE6JiEiXfUpqbWKxH4g

Litecoin ML1N31UVz6sRfo2m2oLaorXgPexUtv3Q3t

www.jeffersongroverva.com

Further reading and references
https://www.buzzaboutbees.net/Honey-And-Ancient-Medicine.html
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23569748/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30126199/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21530807/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33291554/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34436203/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31505796/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34959664/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35047540/

Published in Healthcare
Tags:
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 11 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    JacobHyatt: ead, one of the oldest alcoholic beverages made by fermenting honey with water grains and other spices

    What are Water Grains?

    • #1
  2. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    @caroljoy recently mentioned using honey in making replacement baby milk/formula.

    • #2
  3. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    I had some very old honey in my cabinet that had turned a dark color.  I was sick last week and my mom’s tried and true therapy was always to take a spoonful of vinegar and honey to sooth the throat.  I looked online as to whether the honey was still good and most sites claimed it was.  Honey doesn’t spoil, they said,  though storing it in plastic can make it go dark.  Anyway I took it and am still here.  I used manuka honey as a poultice for a wound on my horses leg at the advice of my veterinarian.

    • #3
  4. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    I know Makuna honey has a reputation for being beneficial.  And simply swallowing a spoonful of honey can be an effective cough suppressant.

    • #4
  5. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    @kedavis

    I explained the simple two step recipe I used for baby formula, which is how I fed my son from age 14 weeks to 15 months or so

    Part One was milk. Part Two was honey. (Info was also provided  for those whose baby needs soy rather than milk.)

    Full discussion was on Front Seat Cat’s article on Baby Formula:

    https://ricochet.com/1256353/bringing-up-baby-the-formula-shortage/

    My recipe was reply # 21.

    This is not a solution  for infants with some physiological difficulty who need specialized formulas. For example, some babies cannot absorb fats and their lives depend on their having the special formula.

    • #5
  6. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    In the Outlander series, Claire Fraser uses honey often to treat her 18th Century patients. 

    • #6
  7. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    Quick “honey healing” anecdote.  A woman I know (late 60s? in age) burned her foot terribly in an accident.  She is skeptical of conventional medicine, so she refused to go to a doctor for conventional treatment.  She researched the interwebs and found a remedy involving honey and banana peels.  I’m not sure exactly how she did it, but she used the honey and peels as ointment and a wrap of sorts.  A few weeks in, she had a doctor examine the progress, and he said to keep it up.  The burn was healing as well/better than any treatment he could have prescribed.  Don’t know that I would have taken the chance, but her foot has healed excellently.

    • #7
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I have the same response to ingesting honey that I do peanut products — I feel like I’m having a torsion. I suspect the botulinum organism in both. Honey isn’t medicine for me. It’d put me in the hospital. It took me a while to figure it out, but I avoid honey and peanuts as best I can.

    Have you ever heard of someone having this response before?

    • #8
  9. Trink Coolidge
    Trink
    @Trink

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I have the same response to ingesting honey that I do peanut products — I feel like I’m having a torsion. I suspect the botulinum organism in both. Honey isn’t medicine for me. It’d put me in the hospital. It took me a while to figure it out, but I avoid honey and peanuts as best I can.

    Have you ever heard of someone having this response before?

    Wow Sis!  I didn’t know this ^       What about shrimp and cats?  Strawberries I thought.

    • #9
  10. Michael Brehm Coolidge
    Michael Brehm
    @MichaelBrehm

    I heard it said that when Alexander the Great died in the east, they preserved his body in honey to be transported back to Macedonia for burial.

    • #10
  11. JacobHyatt Coolidge
    JacobHyatt
    @JacobHyatt

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I have the same response to ingesting honey that I do peanut products — I feel like I’m having a torsion. I suspect the botulinum organism in both. Honey isn’t medicine for me. It’d put me in the hospital. It took me a while to figure it out, but I avoid honey and peanuts as best I can.

    Have you ever heard of someone having this response before?

     

    Yeah I have had patients with unusual allergies and sometimes honey is mentioned.  Tree nuts as well.

    • #11
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.