5 Health Benefits of Honey to the Immune System
Amongst the many health benefits of honey, what is most remarkable to me is that honey can be a powerful immune system booster. The following are some of the ways honey boosts the body’s Immune System:
Anti-Bacterial Properties of Honey
Research has shown that honey’s ability to kill bacteria lies in a protein called defensin-1. Defensins are small cysteine-rich cationic proteins found in plants and animals. They are, and function as, host defense peptides. They are active against bacteria, fungi and many enveloped and nonenveloped viruses.
A published research revealed that a certain type of honey called Manuka honey is effective at treating chronic wound infections and leg ulcer and may even prevent them from developing in the first place.
Manuka honey may even be effective for the treatment of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli and Salmonella sp infection. MRSA infection is caused by a type of staph bacteria that has proved resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections.
Majority of MRSA infections have been seen among people who have been in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. When it occurs in these settings, it is known as Healthcare-Associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). HA-MRSA infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints.
Another type of MRSA infection has occurred in the wider community – among healthy people. This form, Community-Associated MRSA (CA-MRSA), often begins as a painful skin boil. It is transmitted through skin contact. At-risk populations include groups such as high school wrestlers, child care workers and people who live in crowded conditions.
Manuka honey kills bacteria by destroying key bacterial proteins.
Honey has also been shown to be superior to placebo in helping children with nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty due to URI (upper respiratory infection). Natural honey kills bacteria three times more effectively than an artificial honey solution of the same thickness and sugar concentration.
In addition to its antibacterial properties, honey has been proved to possess some anti-fungal properties. This is why it is often used as a natural antiseptic in traditional medicines.
Honey is a Powerful Antioxidant
Honey’s antioxidant properties are inseparable with its antibacterial properties. Honey bees add an enzyme to honey that produces hydrogen peroxide, the same mild acid that many people use to disinfectant their kitchens or treat cuts and abrasions.
Though hydrogen peroxide is also produced by the body naturally to keep cells healthy, it is often boosted by honey. Honey’s antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties can help improve digestive system and help one to stay healthy and fight disease.
An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells. Antioxidants such as thiols or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) halt these chain reactions.
In other words, honey contains nutraceuticals (a food containing health-giving additives and having medical benefits), which are very effective for the removal of free radicals from the body. As a result, our body immunity is improved against many conditions, even potentially fatal ones like cancer or heart disease.
Honey Harbours Beneficial Bacteria
The therapeutic properties of honey, which seem mysterious, may be explained by the fact that some varieties of honey are abundantly rich with friendly bacteria (Probiotic), including up to 6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria.
The vast majority of Lactobacillus species which live in the urinary, digestive and genital tracts of humans are considered harmless. Lactobacillus is possibly effective for the prevention of diarrhea in children and bacterial vaginal infections. However, it may be possibly ineffective for urinary tract infections, lactose intolerance, and yeast infections.
Potentials to Boost Your White Blood Cell Count
According to a recent research honey may be a promising and a cheap remedy to low white blood cell count caused by chemotherapy. In one trial study carried out, 40 percent of cancer patients known to be at risk of very low blood count (neutropenia) had no further episodes of the condition after a daily dosage of only two teaspoons of therapeutic honey during chemotherapy.
Honey bees raised through conventional methods by large scale farmers are often given large doses of antibiotics to boost their immunity against diseases. Unfortunately, the honey also gets contaminated with these antibiotics.
In 2002, several samples of Chinese honey tested in Europe were found to contain traces of antibiotics, which led to a ban on imports of honey from China into Europe. Fortunately, imports of honey from China were resumed after the ban was later removed due to improvements in Chinese veterinary standards.
Residues of veterinary antibiotics such as chloramphenicol, streptomycin and sulfonamides administered in large doses into human may cause cancer and aplastic anemia and other harmful effects to the human body. Many countries are still to ban the usage of these harmful drugs in apiculture.
Tips on How to Use Honey Daily
Boost your immune system, start every new day with this cleansing tonic. Do this by mixing a spoonful of honey and lemon juice from half a lemon into a cup of warm water and drink just before breakfast.
Are you aware of any other way Natural Honey boosts the immune system? Why not leave a comment below or contact us today?