Is honey antibiotic


Honey has been used as a natural remedy for centuries to address a variety of medical issues. One of its properties is its antibiotic effect, which has made it a popular natural remedy for many ailments.

In this article, we will explore the science behind honey’s antibiotic properties and discuss whether or not it can be used as an effective natural antibiotic.

What is honey?

Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by worker bees and other insects from the nectar of flowers. Honey has a long history of human consumption, and is used in many cultures as a sweetener for foods or beverages. It is composed primarily of carbohydrates such as fructose, glucose, and sucrose; wax; proteins; water; enzymes; minerals; free acids and vitamins.

It can vary in color from nearly colorless to deep amber, depending on the specific variety or blend. Sweetness depends upon the type of honey and their fermentation levels. Generally lighter colors indicate milder flavor and darker colors indicate a deeper flavor. It is often used to make pastries like croissants, cookies, pancakes, waffles and many other treats that require sweetness as an essential part of their recipe.

The antibacterial nature of honey makes it beneficial for skin care when applied topically to small cuts or abrasions in order to fight infection and reduce chances of developing infections. Honey has been found to be beneficial against airborne allergies since its bioactive components have the ability to inhibit specific types of triggers which can cause allergic reactions such as rhinitis. Additionally honey is known for its antioxidant properties which help prevent cell damage by eliminating free radicals produced during metabolic activities in the body.

Properties of Honey

Honey has been used to control infections and as a form of medicine for thousands of years. It has been proven to have a wide variety of properties that make it a powerful natural antibiotic.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the properties of honey and how they can be beneficial to us:

Antimicrobial Properties

Honey has long been used as an antibiotic to treat topically and orally bacterial infections. Its main properties responsible for this activity are its hydrogen peroxide content and acidity, along with other compounds it contains. Honey is also known to act as a topical ointment that speeds up healing by preventing microbial infections on wounds through its anti-inflammatory effects and stimulation of local healing processes.

When honey is applied to wounds, it stimulates the growth of tissue, reduces inflammation, and helps create a natural barrier against infection. It can be effective against numerous bacteria, including:

  • Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Escherichia coli
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Proteus mirabilis

Honey helps deactivate toxins released by some species of bacteria and can kill certain types of yeast by lowering their pH levels. It has even been shown to be effective in combating resistant bacteria such as Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (MDR-AB).

When consuming honey internally as an antibiotic remedy, proper dosages are essential in order to enjoy its antibacterial benefits. Studies suggest taking one part honey mixed with four parts hot water or tea three times daily for the best results.

Antioxidant Properties

Honey contains different types of natural antioxidants, primarily organic acids and phenolic compounds. The organic acids found in honey are mainly hydroxycinnamic acids (such as caffeic acid and ferulic acid) and flavonoids, including anthocyanins, quercetin and kaempherol among others. Phenolic compounds contribute to the antioxidant capacity of honey and include caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid and chrysin.

Other compounds responsible for the antioxidant activity of honey include non-enzymatic compounds such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or enzymes like catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glucose oxidase. Studies have demonstrated that the antioxidant properties of honey have a positive effect on human health. For example, consuming honey can:

  • Improve the immune system by scavenging harmful pro-oxidative molecules in the body known as free radicals.
  • Help protect against DNA damage caused by oxidative stress.
  • Reduce lipid oxidation in cholesterol particles.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Honey has a long history of being used therapeutically, with many cultures all over the world using it as a remedy for ailments such as wounds and sore throats. One of honey’s most notable properties is its anti-inflammatory effect. It has been found to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and improve the healing of injured tissue.

Among other things, studies have shown that honey is capable of inhibiting activities associated with pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are proteins involved in inflammatory responses.

In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, studies have found that certain types of honey can contain helpful antimicrobial compounds—in particular, active ingredients such as methylgloxal and hydrogen peroxide—which can help fight off bacterial infections. Honey can also stimulate the release of nitric oxide in cells, which helps reduce inflammation. These components combined help make honey an effective part of a natural antibacterial regimen for combating those viruses and bacteria that may cause illnesses or infection in humans.

Research Evidence

Extensive research has been done to find out if honey is an effective antibiotic. In many studies, it has been found that certain honey varieties have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Additionally, it has been shown to reduce inflammation, aid in wound healing, and stop bacterial growth.

This article will explore the research evidence that supports the use of honey as an antibiotic:

Clinical Studies

Research evidence suggests that honey might be effective as an antibiotic or antimicrobial agent. In vitro and animal studies have reported antibacterial and antifungal properties of honey, while human clinical studies suggest that it might reduce infection in certain wounds and skin ulcers.

In a systematic review published in 2019, researchers concluded that several types of honey could inhibit the growth of potentially pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus vulgaris, and Candida albicans. Manuka honey was shown to be the most effective type of honey in inhibiting bacterial growth.

A few clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of topical application of Manuka honey on the treatment of various wounds. In a study published in 2018, topical application of Manuka honey was found to be more effective than conventional dressing methods at reducing inflammation modulating healing processes involved in wound closure. Another trial found that topical application is also effective against infective dermatitis in older adults without any side effects or adverse reactions reported by participants.

Although research evidence suggests that consuming raw unprocessed honey may help fight certain infections due to its antibacterial properties, further studies are needed before clinical recommendations can be established regarding its therapeutic use.

Laboratory Studies

Laboratory studies have found honey to have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that may help to reduce the growth of microbes associated with infections. In fact, it has been suggested that some of the components of honey might be more effective against certain strains of bacteria than antibiotics.

The antibacterial effects of honey depend on many factors including its type, concentration, pH, temperature and amount of water present. Different types of honey also vary in their antibiotic market characteristics such as their viscosity, and different bee species or bee ages may produce different active compounds in the honey. Honey is prone to contamination by microorganisms that deactivate the enzymes contained in it so it is important to choose raw honey over processed versions.

Most studies have found that Manuka honey has strong antibacterial effects against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli (E-coli), which are often involved in wound infections. Studies have also demonstrated activity towards Helicobacter pylori which is linked to stomach ulcers and acid reflux disease. Honey’s antioxidant properties increase the efficacy of applying antibiotic agents directly onto wounds while other studies report no evidence supporting claims that honey can be used as an antibiotic for internal ailments, such as sore throats or chest colds.

The Benefits of Honey

Honey is a popular natural sweetener that has been used for centuries for both culinary and medicinal purposes. It has been found to have many therapeutic and antioxidant properties which can help to boost immunity and fight off illnesses. In addition, honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties which makes it a great all-natural antibiotic.

Let’s explore the full range of benefits that honey has to offer:

Wound Healing

Honey has long been used as a folk remedy to help heal wounds. In recent years, modern medical studies have looked at the antibacterial and healing effects of honey applied to the skin. Research has shown that the use of honey on wounds can improve healing time and reduce the risk of infection.

Honey works by creating a moist environment that promotes healing and helps keep wounds clean. Its high sugar content draws water out of the wound bed, which can stunt bacterial growth. The natural enzymes in raw, unprocessed honey contain antiseptic properties that can kill bacteria and help prevent infection in the wound site. Some studies have also suggested that honey stimulates new tissue growth, reducing scarring and promoting faster healing rates than traditional treatments such as antibiotics or steroids.

The potential benefits of using honey for wound care may make it an attractive option for those looking for a natural remedy suited to their needs.

Sore Throat Relief

Honey may provide relief from sore throats and other upper respiratory tract ailments. Studies have shown that a dose of 10 grams (about 2 teaspoons) of honey can be just as effective as common over-the-counter medicines in treating nighttime coughing due to colds and other upper respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis. Of the types of honey tested, buckwheat honey performed the best in reducing symptom severity and frequency of night-time coughing. It’s important to note that honey should not be given to children under 2 years old due to the risk of botulism.

The anti-inflammatory properties of honey can also soothe the throat. It may form a protective film over your throat, reduce inflammation, and relieve discomfort by numbing irritated tissues. In addition, it can help reduce thick secretions associated with sore throats or colds, making them easier to expel through coughing or blowing your nose. Honey also works to coat the throat, preventing irritation from gastric acid reflux or allergies and reducing episodes of coughing due to sinus drainage.

Digestive Health

The digestive health benefits of honey come from its high levels of antiseptic qualities, which help protect against bacterial contamination and disease. Honey is considered an antibiotic, and studies suggest that it has antimicrobial effects when used topically or taken orally.

Additionally, honey has been traditionally given in small doses to soothe digestive system issues such as dysentery, diarrhea and gastritis. Its antiseptic properties also help reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, improving symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). As a natural sweetener, honey also helps reduce blood sugar spikes and can boost energy levels without having a drastic effect on insulin levels.

Furthermore, honey contains a variety of phenolic compounds which may act as antioxidant agents to protect against various forms of cancer and other diseases caused by oxidative stress.

Potential Risks

Honey is a natural antibiotic with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It has been used for centuries to treat ailments and infections. While it is generally safe to use, there are some potential risks associated with consuming honey.

In this article, we will look at the potential risks and how to use honey safely.

Allergic Reactions

Allergies can cause a range of symptoms, from minor skin irritation to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Individuals who are allergic to coffee beans and their extracts may experience a range of adverse reactions when they consume them. Symptoms vary in severity, depending on the individual’s sensitivities and the degree of allergy. People may experience:

  • Hives, itching or rash
  • Swelling around the lips and eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Tightness in the chest and throat
  • Difficulty breathing

In very rare cases, anaphylactic shock may occur. Individuals with allergies should always read labels carefully before consuming products derived from coffee beans or their extracts, as even trace amounts can trigger serious reactions.

Interactions with Medications

Given its potential to adversely interact with some medications, it is important to be aware of the possible interactions if you are taking any type of medication before consuming honey. Honey can interact with the following medications:

  • Anticoagulants: Honey may interfere with how anticoagulants work, increasing your risk of bleeding.
  • Digoxin and other cardiac medications: Consumption of honey, particularly large amounts, can interact with these drugs and increase heart rate or cause low blood pressure.
  • Drugs metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes: Honey can interact with some drugs that are processed by a certain set of enzymes in your liver called cytochrome P450 enzymes. This can affect the levels of these drugs in a person’s body and increase their risk for side effects or toxicity.
  • Sedatives and sleeping pills: Honey has sedative-like effects and may increase the effects of sedative or hypnotic medications such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or opioids when taken together. This could lead to oversedation which may cause weakness, difficulty breathing, confusion, and increased risk for falls or other injuries.


The conclusion is that while honey does contain antibacterial properties, it’s not as powerful as antibiotics intended to treat infectious bacterial diseases in humans. Realistically, nature has developed an effective and powerful way to fight off bacteria and other pathogens by way of bees producing honey. But, for more serious illnesses and bacterial infections, you should contact your physician who can prescribe antibiotics to help manage the situation effectively.

Additionally, there is much research still being done on honey’s medical benefits and its capacity to reduce inflammation. All of this information will be helpful in determining the future of medical research concerning the use of honey as an antibiotic substitute or treatment supplement.