Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Honey Kills Bacteria That Cause Sinusitis

Honey is the most important food in my cupboard. I use it for everything - cuts, burns, bites, skin care, as a sweetner, as the ultimate vitamin, fighting infections, etc. In Italy - we buy our honey from the Catholic Church (actually from a man who raises the bees at a monastery). He's a wealth of information ... and when we go to buy from him, I've met several interesting women who've given me their own stories about honey helps their health.

I'll write more on this in the future -- but for now, I thought you'd be interested in this latest research ... which came to me courtesy of a newsletter I receive from Check them out, they have interesting health information.

Honey is very effective in killing bacteria in all its forms, especially the drug-resistant biofilms that make treating chronic rhinosinusitis difficult, according to research presented during the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in Chicago, IL.

The study, authored by Canadian researchers at the University of Ottawa, found that in eleven isolates of three separate biofilms (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and methicicillin-resistant and -suseptible Staphylococcus aureus), honey was significantly more effective in killing both planktonic and biofilm-grown forms of the bacteria, compared with the rate of bactericide by antibiotics commonly used against the bacteria.

Given the historical uses of honey in some cultures as a homeopathic treatment for bad wound infections, the authors conclude that their findings may hold important clinical implications in the treatment of refractory chronic rhinosinusitis, with topical treatment a possibility.

Chronic rhinosinusitis affects approximately 31 million people each year in the United States alone, costing over $4 billion in direct health expenditures and lost workplace productivity. It is among the three most common chronic diseases in all of North America.


  1. "...the historical uses of honey in some cultures as a homeopathic treatment for bad wound infections..."

    That reminds me of this painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, 1472-1553) in London's National Gallery. Cupid has stolen a honeycomb and is complaining to Venus about the bee stings; it's an allegory for how life's pleasure is inseparable from pain:

  2. By the way, take a look at Cranach's deft use of geometry. All the action takes place on the diagonal line from the upper right corner to bottom left, as Venus' body language directs your attention downward.

    Now, if you take a straight edge on that diagonal, you'll see that it passes exactly through Venus' crotch, which happens to be in the exact centre, although the way it's painted creates an optical illusion that her crotch is slightly lower.

    Also, the honeycomb is pointed toward her thigh. Not very subtle, but instructive.


Isabel Van Fechtmann

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