There’s no worse feeling than being sick. Even after you’ve dragged yourself to the doctor, gotten a prescription, and eaten some chicken noodle soup, you’re guaranteed to be under the weather for at least a few days. If only there were an easily accessible trick to help you feel better instantly.
Well, your wish may be getting closer to reality than you’d believe. In fact, doctors around the world have begun swearing off traditional drugs and treating their patients with a food product you probably have in your pantry.
No one ever wants to go to the hospital, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil. Amid all the doctors, nurses, and sterilization, however, there’s a hidden danger lurking where you would least expect it.
While hospitals are always kept clean, having so many germs in one place is quite dangerous. There’s a constant risk of cross-contamination as nurses, linens, and visitors pass between rooms. Something else, however, is even more deadly.
Hospitals are also home to drug-resistant bacteria, which thrive after sterilization has killed off other microbes. Given how difficult they are to treat, these germs unfortunately carry a high mortality rate.
In 2006, hospitals in Manchester, England were battling against MSRA. The drug-resistant bacteria was wreaking havoc on the weakened immune system of cancer patients and doctors were at a loss. Biochemist Peter Molan had an idea, though.
Molan spent decades researching how the indigenous people of Australian and New Zealand treated their wounds with a common natural substance. The doctors were skeptical but, without any other choice, followed his advice.
They began preparing new bandages to wrap their patients’ wounds following Molan’s specifications. Before long, they had to make special supply orders to New Zealand to ensure they could keep up demand. What was this miracle drug?
The treatment was manuka honey, which is made by bees feeding on the nectar of the manuka tree. But, regardless of the type, honey is just a common household product. What could the simple sweetener do that modern medicine couldn’t accomplish?
Well, remember how your mom would clean your scraped knee with hydrogen peroxide? The glucose enzymes in honey actually produce hydrogen peroxide, too. Manuka honey also provides a unique healing factor that others cannot.
Manuka honey also has additional non-peroxide antibacterial activity not found in other varieties of the sweet stuff. If you don’t remember your high school biology, that means the honey has extra potential to latch onto and kill bacteria.
That’s why honey, in medical settings, is commonly used in wound dressing. Honey-based salves or honey-coated bandages can help prevent inflammation and fight infection where conventional drugs can’t. But honey can also have benefits outside of the hospital, too.
Rubbing sticky honey on your face might seem counter-intuitive, but the sweet stuff makes a good acne treatment. Not only does it fight bacteria and reduce inflammation, but honey will also prevent any potential scarring. It can also help your face in another way.
It can also be an all-natural makeup remover, as long as you thin it out with jojoba or coconut oil. The oil will help moisturize your skin while the honey will keep everything clean and germ-free.
Similarly, honey makes a great exfoliating mask. Simply wash your face and apply a thin layer of the sticky stuff to your damp skin. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse with warm water for a sweet-looking complexion.
But what about, you know, eating honey? Surely something with all these health benefits has to be just as good when stirred into tea or drizzled on a dessert, right?
While honey is better for you than conventional sugar, you still shouldn’t go overboard. Honey causes a smaller blood sugar spike than other sweeteners. It’s still a form of sugar; moderation is always key!
And speaking of tea, honey is a proven cough suppressant. Stir a spoonful into a steaming cup of chamomile and you’ll be breathing easy and ready for bed in no time. Honey still has more vital uses inside the body, however.
As an anti-inflammatory, honey is good for heart health. Reducing inflammation reduces plaque build-up in your arteries; too much plaque forms blockages, which can eventually cause a heart attack or a stroke.