Science backs old fashioned belief in the healing powers of honey

Research by Canadian scientists lends support to the old fashioned belief in the healing powers of honey.

The researchers from the University of Ottawa have found that honey is very effective in killing bacteria in all its forms, especially the drug-resistant biofilms that cause chronic sinusitis.

Chronic rhinosinusitis affects millions of people each year across the globe and it is often a difficult condition to treat because antibiotics commonly used against the bacteria are often ineffective.

Rhinosinusitis is an inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which may be a result of infection, from bacterial, fungal, viral, allergic or autoimmune issues.

Symptoms include nasal congestion, facial pain, headache, fever, general malaise, thick green or yellow discharge, vertigo or lightheadedness, blurred vision, feeling of facial 'fullness' or 'tightness' which worsens on bending over, aching teeth, and halitosis.

In rare cases chronic sinusitis can lead to a loss of the sense of smell.

The Canadian study discovered that in eleven isolates of three separate biofilms, honey was significantly more effective against two forms of the bacteria than antibiotics.

Honey has been used for centuries as a cure and treatment for a number of ills because of it's antiseptic and antibacterial properties and scientists today have found that honey is useful and effective in treating persistent wounds and in the fight against drug resistant strains of the bacteria Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Honey's antibacterial properties are due to it's low water activity causing osmosis, hydrogen peroxide effect and high acidity and as an antimicrobial agent honey may have the potential for treating a variety of ailments.


  1. Allen Allen United States says:

    You should change the article because they found that some types of honey were totally ineffective.  Just saying "Honey" in this article is misleading... they only found two types to be effective.   The two that they tested that worked were: Sidr honey from Yemen and Manuka honey from New Zealand.  They are named after the flower or plant that the bees made the honey from.  Other honey they tested, Buckwheat honey for example, was found to be totally ineffective.  

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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