Australian honey proves to be a powerful anti-bacterial treatment

March 1, 2011, University of Queensland
DEEDI scientists working on the QAAFI medicinal honey research project, Margaret Currie and Andrew Cusack, testing the infection-fighting power of an Australian native myrtle honey.

Honey sourced from an Australian native myrtle tree has been found to have the most powerful anti-bacterial properties of any honey in the world and could be used to treat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections that commonly occur in hospitals and nursing homes.

A Brisbane-based research group found that Australian native myrtle has very high levels of the anti-bacterial compound, Methylglyoxal (MGO), and outperforms all medicinal honeys currently available on the market, including Manuka honeys.

Led by the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), which is a partnership between The University of Queensland and the Queensland Government's Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), the research is being carried out in conjunction with The Australian Organic Honey Company & Medi Bioactive Australia.

The project to date has involved comprehensive trials with honey harvested from a native species of myrtle (leptospermum polygalifolium), which is distributed along the Australian eastern seaboard from the south coast of NSW to Cape York.

CEO of The Australian Organic Honey Company & Medi Bioactive Australia, Carolyn MacGill, said the findings had shown anti-bacterial potency levels that could allow for the development of highly effective anti-bacterial treatments.

“We have had MGO readings in excess of 1750 mg/kg in certain batches of honey. This would make this range of honeys one of the most potent in the world,” Ms MacGill said.

Honeys investigated by the research group were effective as anti-bacterial treatments when used in the range of 500 – 1750 mg/kg MGO to prevent the growth of Methicillin-Resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a common bacterial infection in hospitals and community facilities where residents are immune challenged, such as .

Chief researcher working on the project, QAAFI scientist Dr Yasmina Sultanbawa, said the potency of the honeys meant that only a small amount was required to fight infection.

“The sheer strength, due to high levels of active compounds in these honeys, has meant that we have been able to completely inhibit MRSA for example in in-vitro studies with a relatively small quantity of the honey,” Dr Sultanbawa said.

“This means potential products could maintain significant levels of anti-bacterial activity even in surface wounds where the honey is diluted in the bed of the infection.

“The presence of MRSA in a wound is a matter of concern and MRSA-colonised wounds are an increasingly urgent problem in hospitals and nursing homes. The continued emergence of strains with resistance to antibiotics or even antiseptics adds to the difficulties of treating these infections.

“Investigations into unconventional remedies that are non-toxic and unlikely to result in resistance to the treatment, such as the QAAFI research into bioactive honeys, is very promising.”

According to Ms MacGill, the potential of the honeys could ultimately result in a range of highly sought-after products.

“Our research to date has produced overwhelming results in the quest to inhibit the very common infection MRSA at very low percentage rates of application,” Ms MacGill said.

“This could provide enormous benefits for Australian and international medical fraternities and their patients.”

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4 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2011
Back home, my family used home-made honey from the family bees for all sorts of cures. Quite effective as each different type (ie diff flower used by bees) produced a different effect.

Mix in some silver water and you can probably cure cancer with the right type of honey.
not rated yet Mar 02, 2011
A question for iknow...Would you please list what sorts of honey you used for what cure and what recipe or method you used for application if you can remember?

Thank you, Naouel BenAhmed
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 02, 2011
honey comes from bees not trees ... whats going on?

not rated yet Mar 02, 2011
cmon bluehigh; trees! Amazing but true. Where you raised under a rock?
1 / 5 (2) Mar 02, 2011
Trees may produce flowers but only bees produce honey.

with honey harvested from a native species of myrtle

Bees might harvest pollen from the tree flowers but there is no honey in any species of tree and no mention of bees at all in this article.

Bog, maybe you can harvest the honey as you sit up in the tree picking nits from your monkey fur.

not rated yet Mar 02, 2011
OK I get it now, you where just being a nitpicking fucking idiot. Ironic choice of slander. Would you have raised the same nitpick if it had been flower pollen based honey?
1 / 5 (2) Mar 02, 2011
Bog: you cant harvest honey from flowers and the article makes no mention of pollen or bees. Honey is harvested from bees, not trees and not flowers. Did you ever get past coloring the picture books? Maybe you need to learn to read instead of banging away in the vain hope of writing something meaningful.
1 / 5 (1) Mar 02, 2011
Im sure theres a way to make honey without bee intervention...
5 / 5 (1) Mar 02, 2011
the article makes no mention of pollen or bees. Honey is harvested from bees, not trees and not flowers.

Laugh of the day :)
not rated yet Mar 02, 2011
Like I said, you where nit-picking, do you think the authors are unaware of where honey comes from - you fucking idiot? Its called a bad edit. Fuckwad.
not rated yet Mar 06, 2011
the article makes no mention of pollen or bees. Honey is harvested from bees, not trees and not flowers.

Laugh of the day :)

Hahaha. I'm still laughing at this conversation.

I assume they meant to say "nectar" in the article. Using the word "honey" (with no association to bees) just seems like a mistake.
not rated yet Mar 07, 2011
The good news is that we've solved your horrible skin infection. The bad news is that you are really sticky and attract ants.

When I read about Manuka honey, last year. People responding to that story could not seem to recognize that it was "MANAKU" honey and every health-nut was blathering about how it was a proof that honey as a folk remedy was true!

It's like some people can't read adjectives... adjectives just go through their heads like corn through a dysentery infected colon.

Most types of honey do nothing to kill MRSA. Only this type (honey harvested from a native species of myrtle (leptospermum polygalifolium), which is distributed along the Australian eastern seaboard from the south coast of NSW to Cape York.) or Manaku, or a honey from Yemen (sorry I don't know the name) have been shown to kill MRSA.

But is makes me wonder this (and I hope someone knows): Why not use an extract from the plant directly? Is there something in that the bee's do that completes it?

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