We all know about the medical benefits of New Zealand’s Manuka honey, but now a report from a Scottish university has revealed that Scottish heather honey is even more effective!
Honey is one of nature’s most powerful bacterial fighters. Ancient civilisations prized it and even modern veterinarians use it as a wound dressing today.
Now a study carried out by Patrick Pollock, an equine surgeon at the University of Glasgow, has been published in The Veterinary Journal suggesting that out of 29 honey products from around the world, including medical grade honeys, locally-sourced and supermarket honeys, heather honey was the most potent.
18 were found to contain bacteria and 11 were tested against 10 equine bacterial isolates at concentrations varying from 2% to 16%. It was found that 8 were effective against all the bacteria at concentrations ranging from 2% to 6%. But heather honey from Inverness stunned them all, as it was shown to be the most effective – killing off MRSA microbes and a further three other types of bacteria at concentrations of 2%.
Pollock writes in the study, ‘Honey is useful in equine medicine, particularly on wounds to legs. There is not much fat on the lower half of horses’ legs, so can take a long time to heal, or even never fully heal at all. Although Manuka has been the most studied honey source to date, other honey sources may have valuable antimicrobial properties too. Honey helps to promote healing, cleaning the wound and keeping it free from infection. If vets were able to use locally-sourced, cheaper honey as a wound dressing, it would be very beneficial, particularly in poorer countries.’.
Although the test was conducted on Scottish heather honey it is likely to be the same for all pure heather honeys. It has also been shown that darker honeys, with rich malty flavours, are have higher levels of antioxidants than their lighter, sweeter counterparts.
photo credit: Local Honey