Australian researchers have revealed the secret explanation for the deadly bug-killing properties of honey. Researcher, Shona Blair from the University of Sydney has found that, when diluted honey is applied to a moist wound, it produces hydrogen peroxide, a known anti-bacterial agent. The research has also revealed that honey is powerful even against drug-resistant hospital killer golden staph Staphylococcus aureus.
Ms Blair said hydrogen peroxide is produced when the enzyme glucose oxidase (produced by bees) reacts with water in the wound and glucose in the honey. "It’s like bleach, she said. "If you put bleach on your skin it would burn you, but this is at such a low concentration it doesn’t harm the skin."
Ms Blair found that honey diluted to one per cent inhibited the growth of S. aureau for about three hours. Stronger solutions of honey at two per cent and three per cent inhibited growth for five hours and 10 hours respectively. "There was no moisture or pus out of the wound," she said.
Another reason for honey’s antibacterial properties is its high sugar content. Honey left in the cupboard never goes bad, partly because bacteria need moisture to grow. Honey has so many sugar molecules that any available water molecules become bound to them, and aren’t available for bacteria to use.
Honey is still used in Africa, India and the Middle East, and the Greek philosopher Aristotle often prescribed different types of honey for different ailments. Honey was known to have powerful wound-healing properties in ancient times, but its properties appear to have been forgotten. To apply honey to a wound. put it directly on to the wound, or on to the dressing. Change once or twice a day. It may sting a little at first. Raw honey from health food stores is best, as it has not been heated which can affect its bacterial properties.