Honey is an extremely effective homeopathic treatment for a wide variety of ailments. It has been used in the treatment of disease for thousands of years, as evidenced by early Stone Age paintings depicting its use and extensive references in religious texts. Traditional medical writings outline honey’s use as a treatment of eye disease, bronchial asthma, throat infections, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, dizziness, constipation, worm infestation, eczema, ulcers and wounds.

As a family nurse practitioner working with low-income populations, I am acutely aware of many of my patients’ inability to afford traditional medicine. I have studied homeopathic medicine at great length in an effort to serve my community and help close the gap in care created by affordability. In my practice, I often recommend honey as part of the comprehensive treatment plan for upper respiratory infections (URI), cough and wound care. 

Honey exhibits antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. A comprehensive review by researcher Samarghandian, et al. found that honey reduces inflammatory responses by increasing the T and B lymphocytes, antibodies, eosinophils, neutrophils, monocytes and natural killer cells. By increasing the inflammatory responses, honey expedites healing from diseases that cause chronic inflammation and tissue damage.

Honey high in antioxidants can be identified by its darker color. The darker the honey, the more oxidative stress properties it has, as well as increased effectiveness as a dietary antioxidant. 

In addition, honey’s natural antibacterial properties have been shown to be effective against Escherichia coli (E.coli), Staphylococcus aureus, fungi and many other bacterial pathogens. Manuka honey has one of the highest levels of antibacterial properties and is prized for its medicinal applications. 

Furthermore, honey induces the generation of antibodies which begins tissue repair in wound healing through a process called tissue repair cascades. Honey is so effective as a topical antibacterial medicine that Europe and Australia have a product called Medihoney, one of the first medically certified honeys licensed as a medical product for professional wound care. There are recorded cases where Medihoney was effective at clearing bacterial wound infections quickly, after western medicine local antiseptics proved ineffective.

Honey can be thought of as a natural booster for your body’s own immune response, which is the most important and effective defense against disease and infection. By boosting a person’s immune response, honey becomes an effective treatment for a wide variety of ailments. It may provide benefits as part of a homeopathic approach to treatment in conjunction with western medicine, or by itself as a low-cost alternative. Speak to your primary care physician about the benefits of honey as part of your health care routine.

Emma Bermudez, C- FNP, aesthetic injector, is owner of Desert Bloom Beauty Medical Spa located in Palm Desert and offers a variety of services to enhance beauty and wellness. She also works as a nurse practitioner for a local, federally funded clinic. For more, contact (760) 636.6112 or on Instagram @desertbloombeautypd.

Sources: 1) National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2009). Eating behavior and obesity: A comprehensive review of the literature.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2686636/; 2) Samarghandian, S., Farhokhina, T., & Samini, F. (2017). Honey and health: A review of recent clinical research. Integrative Medicine Research, 6(4), 405–411. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imr.2017.09.004

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