Eastport, NY (PressExposure) February 22, 2009 -- Most people think of honey as merely a food item. However, honey is gaining its well-deserved notoriety as a medicinal ingredient because of its powerful antibacterial properties. There are four main characteristics of honey that are responsible for its ability to kill bacteria: Osmolarity, acidity, hydrogen peroxide and floral nectar.
Honey is a supersaturated solution of sugar that is high in osmolarity. It is this osmolarity that allows honey to destroy bacteria and fungus by drawing moisture for their cells. Fungal and bacterial cells require moisture to survive. Therefore, honey destroys bacteria and fungi by dehydration.
In addition to honey's osmotic effect, its acidity plays an important role in its antibacterial activity. Honey contains a number of acids, including amino acids and organic acids. Honey has a pH between 3.2 and 4.5 which inhibits the growth of bacteria. The optimum pH for growth of these species normally falls between 7.2 and 7.4.
The hydrogen peroxide producing capacity of honey is believed to be the main reason for its antibacterial activity. Hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria on contact and has been widely used for that very purpose. However, straight hydrogen peroxide is unstable and rapidly loses its effectiveness when exposed to air and light. It can also damage tissue when used in high concentrations. However, honey produces low levels of hydrogen peroxide over a prolonged period of time. This slow-release capability makes honey particularly ideal for treating infected wounds.
The variation of honey's antibacterial properties are predicated on the floral source, more specifically, the nectar used by the honeybees that produce the honey. Some types of honey contain more antibacterial properties than others. It has been determined that Manuka Honey from New Zealand has the highest amount of antibacterial properties than any other type of honey. Manuka Honey is made by bees that gather nectar from the flowers that grow on the Manuka tree which can be found predominately in New Zealand and certain parts of Australia. It is believed that the floral components of Manuka Honey enhance the other antimicrobial properties that are present, creating a synergistic action that is optimal for therapeutic use.
In addition to Manuka Honey's antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, it has been determined that it stimulates B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes to multiply which boosts the body's immune system. Manuka Honey also contains anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce pain when used topically on the skin. Manuka Honey is also rich in vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids.
Manuka Honey has a miraculous way of repairing damaged skin and regenerating new skin growth which is why it is an excellent natural ingredient to use in skin care products. A company called Honeymark has developed a line of skin care products that contain Manuka Honey as a natural healing agent. Honeymark's line includes the following products:
- Acne Cream [http://www.honeymarkproducts.com/acne-cream.aspx]
- Anti-Fungal Solution [http://www.honeymarkproducts.com/anti-fungalsolution.aspx]
- Anti-Itch Cream [http://www.honeymarkproducts.com/anti-itchcream.aspx]
- Antiseptic Spray [http://www.honeymarkproducts.com/antiseptic-spray.aspx]
- Anti-Wrinkle Serum [http://www.honeymarkproducts.com/anti-wrinkle-serum.aspx]
- First Aid Antiseptic Lotion [http://www.honeymarkproducts.com/firstaidantisepticlotion.aspx]
- Hand Sanitizing Gel [http://www.honeymarkproducts.com/hand-sanitizing-gel.aspx]
- Liquid Hand Soap [http://www.honeymarkproducts.com/antimicrobial-liquid-hand-soap.aspx]
- Pain Relief Cream [http://www.honeymarkproducts.com/painreliefcream.aspx]
Blended with other useful ingredients, Honeymark products take the sticky mess out of applying honey directly to the skin. Honeymark also sells pure Manuka Honey [http://www.honeymarkproducts.com/manuka-honey-product.aspx] for individuals who are interested in taking advantage of its internal uses. When taken orally, Manuka Honey is effective in treating conditions such as stomach aches, stomach ulcers, soar throats, steph throat, acid reflux disease, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, cold and flu symptoms, etc.
"Manuka Honey has far more impressive healing qualities than any other type of honey," says Frank Buonanotte, CEO of Honeymark International. "Honey was used for medicinal purposes for many years before modern-day medicines were invented. With growing concerns of the negative side effects associated with the use of pharmaceuticals along with the ineffectiveness of antibiotics against certain drug-resistant strains of infectious bacteria, honey is slowing finding its way back into the favor of medical professionals around the world."