Get a 'bee' in medicine

Honey is a potent medicine that has been used to treat burns and wounds for at least 4,000 years. It is acidic and has a very low moisture content. It makes its own hydrogen peroxide when it mixes with the moisture it draws out from wounds. Bacteria need moisture to survive and honey draws it out very efficiently. It also helps prevent inflammation and odor associated with infection.

Honey also has been clinically proven to help soothe coughs.

Locally grown honey contains pollen from local trees, flowers and shrubs that some people are allergic to.

Eating locally grown honey or bee pollen can help prevent allergic reactions to these plants. It is best to get this honey as close to the natural state as possible. Heating honey destroys many enzymes.

There is a special type of honey called manuka honey that is used internationally to help prevent and treat infection and also digestive problems. It works wonders on helicobacter pylori (more popularly known as h. pylori, it is the number one bacterium responsible for gastric ulcers) and dyspepsia.

Manuka honey is made from nectar collected from manuka and jelly bushes in New Zealand. Manuka honey is especially effective for treating pressure ulcers in the feet of patients with diabetes. It helps prevent MRSA. Even diluted, it's extremely powerful.

Melaleuca honey, made from the flowers of melaleuca trees, is another type of honey.

Propolis, the resin bees use to seal cracks and prevent air leaks, is a potent antimicrobial. It is often used in mouthwashes and toothpastes. Bee pollen has similar abilities. It can also help regulate intestinal activity. One isolated study showed that taking a 500-milligram dose of pollen twice a day increased the percentage of pregnancy in women suffering from mild endometriosis.

Once a honeybee stings, it will die. Many animal rights activists oppose using bee venom or sting therapy for this reason. Using bee products also means eating bees' food and disrupting their hives. People who are allergic to bee venom or who have blood sugar problems may want to take this into consideration.

It also is against some religious beliefs to knowingly inject poison into one's body. These are factors to consider before using bee products for medicinal purposes.

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