By Dr. Andrew Jones
The Secret Remedy: Honey
Honey is a treat, and is man’s oldest sweetener. It is an excellent substitute for sugar in our drinks and food. It is also good for many medicinal uses and treating certain conditions.
Honey is made by bees from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans. Honey produced by other bees and insects has distinctly different properties.
Honey is created by bees as a food source. In cold weather or when fresh food sources are scarce, bees use their stored honey as their source of energy.
Honey contains MANY components, and it is very rich in nutrients. Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of which change according to the qualities, along with copper, iodine, and zinc exist in it in small quantities.
Due to its natural anti-inflammatory effect, it will help to heal the wounds more quickly. It also has different phytochemicals–chemicals found in plants and different foods–that kill viruses, bacteria, and fungus making it a good substitute for wound dressings.
Honey is a natural antiseptic. Raw honey, for example, contains small amounts of the same resins found in propolis. Propolis, sometimes called “bee glue,” is actually a complex mixture of resins and other substances that honeybees use to seal the hive and make it safe from bacteria and other micro-organisms.
International Symposium Discusses Benefits of Honey
Speakers at the First International Symposium on Honey and Human Health, held in Sacramento, CA, January 8, 2008, presented a number of research papers. (Fessenden R. Report to the Committee for the Promotion of Honey and Health) Findings include: Different varietals of honey possess a large amount of friendly bacteria (6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria), which may explain many of the “mysterious therapeutic properties of honey.”
Honey may promote better blood sugar control. Proper fueling of the liver is central to optimal glucose metabolism during sleep and exercise. Honey is the ideal liver fuel because it contains a nearly 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose. Experimental evidence indicates that consumption of honey may improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity compared to other sweeteners. The body’s tolerance to honey is significantly better than to sucrose or glucose alone.
Honey has been shown to be a more effective cough suppressant for children ages 2-18 than dextromethorphan.
Honey boosts immunity. Research conducted in several hospitals in Israel found honey effective in decreasing the incidence of acute febrile neutropenia (when high fever reduces white blood cell count) in 64% of patients.
The wound healing properties of honey may, however, be its most promising medicinal quality. Honey has been used topically as an antiseptic therapeutic agent for the treatment of ulcers, burns and wounds for centuries. One study in India compared the wound healing effects of honey to a conventional treatment (silver sulfadiazene) in 104 first-degree burn patients. After one week of treatment, 91 percent of honey treated burns were infection free compared with only 7 percent receiving the conventional treatment. Finally, a greater percentage of patients’ burns were healed more readily in the honey treated group. Honey is composed mainly of glucose and fructose, two sugars that strongly attract water, honey absorbs water in the wound, drying it out so that the growth of bacteria and fungi is inhibited (these microorganisms thrive in a moist environment). Secondly, raw honey contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase that, when combined with water, produces hydrogen peroxide, a mild antiseptic.
Honey also contains antioxidants and flavonoids that may function as antibacterial agents. One antioxidant in particular, pinocembrin, which is unique to honey, is currently being studied for its antibacterial properties. Darker honeys, specifically honey from buckwheat flowers, sage and tupelo, contain a greater amount of antioxidants than other honeys, and raw, unprocessed honey contains the widest variety of health-supportive substances.
How to SELECT Honey for you and your pets
Ideally select locally grown RAW and UNPASTEURIZED Honey. I would advise going to your local Natural Health Store, or Farmers Market. Look for darker-colored “honeydew” varieties produced by bees that collect the sugary secretions insects leave on plants, which is called honeydew.
In Veterinary Medicine has has a multitude of uses, BUT for your own pets, the top 3 diseases are for WOUNDS and WOUND healing, COUGHS, and ALLERGIES.
Honey to heal wounds
Any wound can have honey applied to it- typically this would be for speeding up closure of an open wound.
An example would be a cat abscess, or a abrasive wound in which a section of skin has been removed and it can NOT be closed with surgery.
Wounds such as cuts, grazes, scrape when covered with honey and bandage is an excellent healer. The next time you OR your pet has a bite wound or cut, I encourage you to try honey as a remedy.
Honey for Coughs in dogs and cats
NATURAL COUGH SYRUP. Lemon and honey can soothe any sore throat. Mix 2 tbsp of honey, 1 tsp of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of water. Give it to your dog twice daily. Homeopathic cough syrups may also be helpful. I have used Hyland’s Cough Syrup, dosing it at 1/4 of regular adult dose per 10 lbs of body weight.
Researchers from the Penn State College of Medicine asked parents to give either honey, honey-flavored dextromethorphan (DM), or no treatment to the children. The first night, the children did not receive any treatment. The following night they received a single dose of buckwheat honey, honey-flavored DM, or no treatment 30 minutes before bedtime. The trial was partially blind as parents could not distinguish between the honey and the medication, although those administering no medication were obviously aware of the fact. Parents were asked to report on cough frequency and severity, how bothersome the cough was, and how well both adult and child slept, both 24 hours before and during the night of the dosage.
Significant symptom improvements were seen in the honey-supplemented children, compared with the no treatment group and DM-treated group, with honey consistently scoring the best and no-treatment scoring the worst.
Honey for Allergies in dogs and cats
Local honey contains very tiny amounts of pollen. These tiny amounts of pollen are not enough to trigger the allergic reaction in your pet when they ingest the local honey. Each time your pet eats the local honey, he or she begins to build up a tolerance to the pollen. Eventually, your allergic pet is able to tolerate the amount of pollen usually present in the environment.
You can give your dog or cat 1 teaspoon per 10lbs daily. Do this for 60 days to test the effectiveness. Make sure it is raw local honey.
Honey for Digestion
Mix honey and apple cider vinegar in equal proportion, dilute with water. This wonder drink aids digestion and eases joint inflammation
Honey for Eye Infections
Honey dissolved in equal quantity of warm water is good lotion or eyebath for the conjunctivitis (eye infections)
Honey to help you sleep…for those insomniac pet owners..
A mug of hot milk with a dessert spoon of honey acts as a mild sedative (minerals, vitamins amino acids) aiding sleep.
Dr Andrew J
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