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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Health Update

Air Date: Week of

Living On Earth’s Diane Toomey tells us that honey not only delights the taste buds, but it also might have potential as a medicine.


TOOMEY: It's one of the oldest known remedies recommended by Aristotle and used on the battlefields of ancient Rome. And now modern medicine may be validating some of the benefits of honey. Honey has been shown to have anti-bacterial properties, thanks to the bees. The insects secrete an enzyme into the nectar they gather. This enzyme in turn produces the antibacterial hydrogen peroxide. In small clinical studies, researchers have found that honey, applied to burns, ulcers, and other wounds not only cleared infection but also reduced inflammation and stimulated the growth of new tissue. The medicinal use of honey may be particularly helpful in developing nations. As one researcher put it, honey is readily available, simple to use, and cheap. That's this week's environmental health update. I'm Diane Toomey.



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