Manuka honey has been known as an effective remedy for chronically infected wounds, but recent studies show that it could even help reverse bacterial resistance to antibiotics. This is the conclusion presented by Professor Rose Cooper of the University of Wales in the Society for General Microbiology’s Spring Conference in Harrogate.
Cooper studied the effects of manuka honey in three types of bacteria, which commonly infect wounds. These are Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Group A Streptococci. Her team discovered that honey has several ways of interfering with the growth of these bacteria, which makes it an attractive option in the treatment of drug-resistant wound infections.
In the research study which they conducted, they investigated the inhibiting properties of honey at the molecular level. In the case of streptococci and pseudomonads, honey hampers the attachment of these bacteria to body tissues, which is a vital step in preventing the initiation of acute infections. As for MRSA, honey shows to reverse antibiotic resistance of certain sensitive antibiotics like oxacillin effectively. Thus, the team suggests a combination of honey and these antibiotics for a more effective remedy against drug-resistant infections.
The team further suggested an increased clinical study with regards to the other potential uses of manuka honey, especially now that the world is experiencing and discovering new viruses and bacteria, which results in stronger infections. More anti-microbial interventions have to be discovered, invented, and manufactured, which can help humanity. There may be several existing topical agents available in the market today. Still, potentially cheaper products need to be manufactured, so more individuals will benefit from antibiotic therapy in the future.
In the past, honey has been used to treat wounds of different types because of its anti-microbial properties. The ancients acquire it from the nectar collected by honey bees that forage in the Manuka trees of New Zealand. But now, modern medicine is exploring the possibility of using it for other potential benefits it may bring to humankind.
There may be a lot to learn about the works of our ancestors, but medical science is now humbling itself by accepting the fact that our forefathers may have more knowledge in medical treatment than we can ever think of.