Honey as an Alternative Medical Practice

1604 Words7 Pages
USSO 285T 7/30/12 Honey as an Alternative Medical Practice Honey is naturally processed by honey bees from plant nectar. The resultant product is a sweet and viscous fluid used throughout the world as a sweetener, wound dressing and antibacterial agent. Honey begins as a precursor called nectar—a sugar-filled fluid produced by plants. Honey bees then produce honey by repeatedly regurgitating nectar and storing it in honeycombs (Milne 847). While bees produce honey as a food source, they make plenty of extra and can sustain themselves even on honey farms in which honey is produced and extracted for sale. Honey is known to be used medicinally as an alternative to common antibacterial agents and is widely used as a nutritional supplement (Jacobs 51). The use of honey for medicinal use involves both ingestion and topical application. When ingested, honey provides a rich antioxidant that prevents free radicals from causing problems on a molecular level. Occasionally, honey is used to illicit an immune response to pollen strands—the idea is that exposing oneself to pollen in a contained and less invasive medium (honey), the body can “render future immunity to pollens” (Jacobs 51). Topically, honey provides the same benefits as antimicrobial ointments purchased at a pharmacy. The practice is simply to spread plain honey over open, lacerated and exposed wounds and assist the natural healing process of the body as well as prevent infection. The expectation is that, along with a healthy diet, honey provides additional nutrients, antioxidants and antibacterial agents (such as hydrogen peroxide) that prevent the risk of infection and help support overall wellbeing (Molan). Unlike many other Alternative Medicine practices, the use of honey isn’t as controversial. The uncertainty is instead, a question of its effectiveness, which is the topic of

More about Honey as an Alternative Medical Practice

Open Document