Honey has been used for thousands of years to treat various types of infection, but research for treatment against MRSA, superbugs and antibiotic resistance is really ramping up in Wales. Since last summer, scientists there have been collecting honey samples sent in to the lab at Carriff University’s school of pharmacy and pharmaceutical services from all over the UK.
The idea is not necessarily to use the honey itself to treat these issues, but they have been analyzing the samples to see which plants may contain useful compounds that they can isolate and turn into new drugs.
It has already been known that a specific type of honey, manuka honey, has proven extremely effective against hard to treat infections that are resistant to antibiotics. Manuka honey (derived from manuka trees/tea trees) works by breaking down the defenses that bacteria use to shield them against powerful antibiotics, making it useful against such aggressive infections as MRSA. Additional lab tests have also shown it to be a great killer of bacteria in festering wounds and on hard surfaces, and may also actually be able to reverse a person’s resistance to antibiotics.
There you go. More reasons to protect and nurture our honey bees, as if you really needed another reason.