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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Honey - nature's antibiotic + biofilm breaker

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Author Topic: Honey - nature's antibiotic + biofilm breaker
patti1112
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I recently took a spoonful of honey for a sore throat and had a really strong herx afterwards. My eyes started drooping, my brain became very tired, I got a splitting headache, and I fell asleep for 2-3 hours. I already knew that honey has mellitin in it, which has strong antiborrelial qualities, but I decided to take another spoonful after the herx wore off and ended up taking 3 spoonsful that day. The next day I increased to 4 teaspoonsful. Then yesterday I increased to tablespoons. The honey has made me feel so much better. I had to share, and also share this article, which shows that recent research indicates that in addition to it's many antibacterial effects, honey is also effective at penetrating biofilms. Not only this, but it has been found to reverse the antibiotic resistance of many bacteria, including MRSA.

In this study, they refer to a "medihoney", but I just used a generic Safeway brand, because that's what I had at home, although I had a partial jar of Manuka honey left that I'd bought several years ago. Manuka honey reportedly has the strongest antibiotic activity. It does have a stronger, more medicinal taste, so it takes a little more getting used to, but it's effect w/me was noticeably stronger. I hope it helps some of you. Nothing could be easier to take than honey, and I now plan on taking it daily.

Manuka honey can be found at stores like Whole Foods, or online at sites like Vitacost.


Here are a couple of studies FYI:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19308800

Scand J Infect Dis. 2009;41(5):341-7.
Bacteria, biofilm and honey: a study of the effects of honey on 'planktonic' and biofilm-embedded chronic wound bacteria.
Merckoll P, Jonassen T, Vad ME, Jeansson SL, Melby KK.
Source
Department of Microbiology, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevl and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. [email protected]
Abstract
Chronically infected wounds are a costly source of suffering. An important factor in the failure of a sore to heal is the presence of multiple species of bacteria, living cooperatively in highly organized biofilms. The biofilm protects the bacteria from antibiotic therapy and the patient's immune response. Honey has been used as a wound treatment for millennia. The components responsible for its antibacterial properties are now being elucidated. The study aimed to determine the effects of different concentrations of 'Medihoney' therapeutic honey and Norwegian Forest Honey 1) on the real-time growth of typical chronic wound bacteria; 2) on biofilm formation; and 3) on the same bacteria already embedded in biofilm. Reference strains of MRSE, MRSA, ESBL Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were incubated with dilution series of the honeys in microtitre plates for 20 h. Growth of the bacteria was assessed by measuring optical density every 10 min. Growth curves, biofilm formation and minimum bactericidal concentrations are presented. Both honeys were bactericidal against all the strains of bacteria. Biofilm was penetrated by biocidal substances in honey. Reintroduction of honey as a conventional wound treatment may help improve individual wound care, prevent invasive infections, eliminate colonization, interrupt outbreaks and thereby preserve current antibiotic stocks.

PMID: 19308800 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


http://www.biofilmcommunity.org/f5/manuka-honey-antibacterial-antibiofilm-131/

http://realneo.us/content/medical-honey-all-honey-antibacterial-because-bees-add-enzyme-makes-hydrogen-peroxide

MEDICAL HONEY - "All honey is antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide,"

Submitted by Quest-News-Serv... on Wed, 08/19/2009 - 05:05.
When Jennifer Eddy first saw an ulcer on the left foot of her patient, an elderly diabetic man, it was pink and quarter-sized. Fourteen months later, drug-resistant bacteria had made it an unrecognizable black mess.
Doctors tried everything they knew -- and failed. After five hospitalizations, four surgeries and regimens of antibiotics, the man had lost two toes. Doctors wanted to remove his entire foot.
"He preferred death to amputation, and everybody agreed he was going to die if he didn't get an amputation," said Eddy, a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
With standard techniques exhausted, Eddy turned to a treatment used by ancient Sumerian physicians, touted in the Talmud and praised by Hippocrates: honey. Eddy dressed the wounds in honey-soaked gauze. In just two weeks, her patient's ulcers started to heal. Pink flesh replaced black. A year later, he could walk again.
"I've used honey in a dozen cases since then," said Eddy. "I've yet to have one that didn't improve."
Eddy is one of many doctors to recently rediscover honey as medicine. Abandoned with the advent of antibiotics in the 1940s and subsequently disregarded as folk quackery, a growing set of clinical literature and dozens of glowing anecdotes now recommend it.
Most tantalizingly, honey seems capable of combating the growing scourge of drug-resistant wound infections, especially methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, the infamous flesh-eating strain. These have become alarmingly more common in recent years, with MRSA alone responsible for half of all skin infections treated in U.S. emergency rooms. So-called superbugs cause thousands of deaths and disfigurements every year, and public health officials are alarmed.
Though the practice is uncommon in the United States, honey is successfully used elsewhere on wounds and burns that are unresponsive to other treatments. Some of the most promising results come from Germany's Bonn University Children's Hospital, where doctors have used honey to treat wounds in 50 children whose normal healing processes were weakened by chemotherapy.
The children, said pediatric oncologist Arne Simon, fared consistently better than those with the usual applications of iodine, antibiotics and silver-coated dressings. The only adverse effects were pain in 2 percent of the children and one incidence of eczema. These risks, he said, compare favorably to iodine's possible thyroid effects and the unknowns of silver -- and honey is also cheaper.
"We're dealing with chronic wounds, and every intervention which heals a chronic wound is cost effective, because most of those patients have medical histories of months or years," he said.
While Eddy bought honey at a supermarket, Simon used Medihoney, one of several varieties made from species of Leptospermum flowers found in New Zealand and Australia.
Honey, formed when bees swallow, digest and regurgitate nectar, contains approximately 600 compounds, depending on the type of flower and bee. Leptospermum honeys are renowned for their efficacy and dominate the commercial market, though scientists aren't totally sure why they work.
"All honey is antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide," said Peter Molan, director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. "But we still haven't managed to identify the active components. All we know is (the honey) works on an extremely broad spectrum."
Attempts in the lab to induce a bacterial resistance to honey have failed, Molan and Simon said. Honey's complex attack, they said, might make adaptation impossible.
Two dozen German hospitals are experimenting with medical honeys, which are also used in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. In the United States, however, honey as an antibiotic is nearly unknown. American doctors remain skeptical because studies on honey come from abroad and some are imperfectly designed, Molan said.
In a review published this year, Molan collected positive results from more than 20 studies involving 2,000 people. Supported by extensive animal research, he said, the evidence should sway the medical community -- especially when faced by drug-resistant bacteria.
"In some, antibiotics won't work at all," he said. "People are dying from these infections."
Commercial medical honeys are available online in the United States, and one company has applied for Food and Drug Administration approval. In the meantime, more complete clinical research is imminent. The German hospitals are documenting their cases in a database built by Simon's team in Bonn, while Eddy is conducting the first double-blind study.
"The more we keep giving antibiotics, the more we breed these superbugs. Wounds end up being repositories for them," Eddy said. "By eradicating them, honey could do a great job for society and to improve public health."
_______________________________________

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Blackstone
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When dealing with chronic wound care (such as diabetic foot ulcers) there is already a commercially produced dressing that is made with Manuka New Zealand honey. Medihoney is the brand name of one such dressing. In fact, you can go on Amazon and get a tube of it for around $20, or the dressings themselves for around $40-50. I've suggested the tube for topical use of most minor wounds and many patients have seen improvements with skin conditions as well. Insurance will even pay for it at times, but only the "proper" medical variants.

There is ample evidence to show that it speeds healing with few if any side effects. Of course, you can also buy Maluka honey itself - I suggest any of the Raw Organic New Zealand-sourced brands with a "Premium" or "15+" label, which contains honey with the highest amounts of beneficial antimicrobial compounds (On the original scale, Manuka honey is rated from 0-20 in its effectiveness and 5+ , 10+ variants are cheaper and most certainly work, but they're usually not so much cheaper that it isn't worth it to pay the $5-10 extra and get 15+ or even 20+ if available). Note, it does NOT taste like most honey; its comparatively bitter.

The only issue thus far is that is that it is unproven as a systemic treatment for pathogens or biofilm (aside from certain stomach issues, where the compound will obviously touch). Many of its compounds could theoretically be broken down in the digestive tract and not reach deep tissues where tick-borne pathogens are known to hide. This is the same issue type with iodine, silver, and many other compounds that are known to destroy pathogens on contact, but have not been shown to work the same way systemically.

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Razzle
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Watch the label on the honey - some cheap honey brands have High Fructose Corn Syrup added (to stretch the honey/save the company who markets the honey some money)...

--------------------
-Razzle
Lyme IgM IGeneX Pos. 18+++, 23-25+, 30++, 31+, 34++, 39 IND, 83-93 IND; IgG IGeneX Neg. 30+, 39 IND; Mayo/CDC Pos. IgM 23+, 39+; IgG Mayo/CDC Neg. band 41+; Bart. (clinical dx; Fry Labs neg. for all coinfections), sx >30 yrs.

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James1979
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quote:
Originally posted by Razzle:
Watch the label on the honey - some cheap honey brands have High Fructose Corn Syrup added (to stretch the honey/save the company who markets the honey some money)...

They're actually not required to list HFCS on the label. They are allowed to make the final product up to 70% HFCS, and not even include it as an ingredient.

REAL honey should crystallize within a short period of time.

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triathlongal
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I typically have a bad reaction when I eat honey.

For me I think it is the sugar feeding my yeast issue.

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Dogsandcats
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Is there a way you can hide the bitter taste-like mixing it with something? Or does that defeat the good stuff.....

--------------------
God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there.

Billy Graham

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mom2kids
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My grandfather was a beekeeper and he stung himself for years to relieve arthritis pain. He also put honey in my mom's baby bottles because it soothed her collic. It was given to her through her childhood due to gastero problems, but he died when she was 7 and it stopped then.

I also used it in my baby's bottles and have no doubt it is medicinal. I have only ever used local honey (not from a store) even though doctors claim it causes botulism or something because it is not "processed".

And now I am going to stop at the beekeeper down the road and pick up a new bottle to test this theory. Plus it's yummy...

--------------------
Down on her knees, she wept on the floor.
This hopeless life, she wanted no more.
Dead in the mind and cold to the bone,
She opened her eyes and saw she was alone. ~Seether

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randibear
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i don't think i can take it because of my yeast problems.

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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GiGi
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We are using Venex (bee venom cream) rubbed into problem areas, i.e. the neck, etc. We then apply photons. Definitely breaks up the deposits and causes symptoms. You need to pay attention to toxin binders when doing this.

Read up on bee venom treatments in general to become aware of effect of bee venom on borrelia, sensitivities, etc.

German beekeepers recently filed suit because they found genetically engineered corn pollen in their honey and they won their case against Monsanto!

Take care.

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Kudzuslipper
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Fascinating.
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jlp38
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Anyone suing monsanto is a hero in my book! And even better that they won.
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scorpiogirl
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Let me share our experience.

About 5 years ago after being in the hospital for her annual checkup our oldest girl came down w/ MRSA! B/c she was only a few years out of chemo treatment for Leukemia, I did not want to put her on multiple antibiotics. So after much research I ordered Medihoney to try on her wounds.

Not only did it not work... it spread all over her body then to her baby sister who was only 2 at the time. Ultimately we had no choice but to put both girls on antibiotics to eradicate the MRSA. So in our case the Medihoney did NOT work!!

I'm glad it is working for some folks, but it definitely did not work for our kids.

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canefan17
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Manuka Honey is powerful stuff
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patti1112
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I think Medihoney is pasteurized and wonder if that destroys any of the natural ingredients in the honey. I'm just taking regular honey, and all I can say is that it's making me herx, so I feel like it's helping out my antibiotics, maybe through breaking up the biofilms, or other things like mellitin, which is anti-borrelial.

But I'm going to order some more manuka honey from Vitacost now, since I used mine up.

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Javelina
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Hi - any concerns about the honey feeding yeast or parasites? I am being so vigilant about not having sugar in my diet.

Thanks

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Javelina
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Hi Gigi - would like to get in touch with you about the bee venom and photon treatments. Are you using a pe1? You can pm me..thanks
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nefferdun
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My husband started raising bees a couple of years ago. I absolutely love them and the honey they produce. Honey is extremely good for you, as you have said, but you can overdo it.
I hope we can raise more wild flowers for the bees; especially medicinal plants.

Propolis is also antibacterial. It is the sticky stuff used to fill small holes in the hive and glue things together.

--------------------
old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

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Catgirl
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Ditto on monsanto. You'll never know how evil they are until you research it.

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--Keep an open mind about everything. Also, remember to visit ACTIVISM (we can change things together).

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Mo
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thank you for this wonderful information!!!

[Big Grin] mo

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patti1112
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Honey has anti-candida properties according to this article in PubMed. Note that it does say "certain honeys". Although the abstract doesn't specify which honeys, maybe the full article goes into it more.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16702110

If you have yeast/Candida problems, I would think it would be worth trying once in a small dose, 1/2-1 tsp, and see what happens. Clearly, honey is not Just Sugar. I also agree that pasteurization may kill some of the natural active ingredients in it. The idea of a company trying to promote something as "Medihoney" bothers me as another way big pharma is trying to find a way to control a perfectly good natural product in order to make a buck.

If the honey is labeled 100% pure honey, it shouldn't have high fructose corn syrup, should it? One of the activities reported by the articles above which I found especially exciting is the possibility that of it reversing the antibiotic resistance of bugs to antibiotics.

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James1979
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No, if it's labeled as 100% pure, it can contain up to 70% corn syrup. God bless America!

If it doesn't crystallize, it ain't honey.

Personally, I think it's too risky to use honey as a medicine for killing microbes. IF you end up using the wrong type of honey, then you end up feeding the bugs instead of killing them, because most bugs love sugar.

For such serious illnesses, I wouldn't take the chance.

If it simply didn't work and didn't do anything sometimes, then that would be a different story. But the danger here is that it could make the problem MUCH worse.

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mom2kids
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I only buy my honey from local farmers, they don't add anything, cook it or "violate" it in any way. It goes from the hive to the jar and some put pieces of honeycomb in with it.

I would not use it in place of medicine, but a spoonful a day can't hurt, IMO. Also, if you are eating local honey it helps with seasonal allergies too.

--------------------
Down on her knees, she wept on the floor.
This hopeless life, she wanted no more.
Dead in the mind and cold to the bone,
She opened her eyes and saw she was alone. ~Seether

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patti1112
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James, I don't think anyone is advocating using honey as a sole antibiotic, but if it potentiates the activity of other antibiotics by penetrating biofilms, etc, which some studies seem to show it does, (plus it Does contain mellitin, which has proven to be very potent against Borrelia,) then why not add take a little every day to help things along?
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Jamers
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Mom2kids-most honey labels caution to not give to children under the age of 1 year old. I learned this in nursing school also. In Mexico, its a tradition to do this but apparently it can be harmful to babies.

--------------------
Diagnosed Pos. Lyme Nov. 17, 2010, Igx.
Pos. Babesia Duncani March 2011, Igx.
Clinical diagnosis for Bartonella

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patti1112
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Jamers - Very correct, and good advice.
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phyl6648
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I went to the Farmers Market and they had local honey called clover honey , bees fed from clover. It didn't have any comb or list the ingredients so was afraid to buy.

Sure would like to try it but which kind to buy?

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James1979
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phyl - ask them if the honey crystallizes. If it crystallizes, it's pure and unaltered.

IMHO, we should be looking for companies that actively brag about their honey's ability to crystallize. NOT companies that brag that their honeys stay smooth and easy to spread.

Dang, what's the plural of honey? Lymetoo just had a good post about the craziness of English! [Smile] I enjoyed it, but it didn't include the word "honey".

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mom2kids
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Jamers, I think I said in my post that it is not recommended for babies, but that I did give it to mine for colic as did my mom's parents. It was the only thing that helped my kids. Honey can cause "baby botulism" which is why it is not recommended for little ones whose immune systems aren't developed enough to fight it off.

My thought is this, there are so many things that cause so many things and I took the chance. Before I get voted "Bad Mom" of the year from everybody think about this - how many people get their children vaccinated, but in the back of their minds are thinking "will this one make my child autistic?"

How many moms don't or can't breastfeed and wonder if they are harming their babies by not giving them that extra immunity boost or the "best" nutrients possible?

There is so much we do or don't do and most of the time it's a crap shoot. Just my opinion though...

Years ago a client of mine told me "every time you do/don't do something that makes you feel "mom guilt" (dads too) put a dollar in a jar and when your child/ren turns 18 give them the jar for therapy."

Now that I hijacked yet another post...

I get my honey right from area farms/beekeepers and the hives are right there in plain sight. They are not big corporate farms and I know they do not add anything to their honey. It always crystalizes, but I eat the crystals like candy, the comb too if I get that. Their labels just have the farms name and what kind of flowers the bees used to make the honey and are homemade labels.

--------------------
Down on her knees, she wept on the floor.
This hopeless life, she wanted no more.
Dead in the mind and cold to the bone,
She opened her eyes and saw she was alone. ~Seether

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GiGi
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Apple cider vinegar (1 T) in good glass of water, with some good honey to sweeten it works also as a biofilm breaker. Besides that, good honey has an antimicrobial effect. Further, this drink works as a blood thinner considering CCSVI which seems to be a major problem for many Lyme afflicted.
Take care.

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troutscout
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I'm sorry...but anyone who would take the chance of using a high sugar product to treat anything while they are on antibiotics...needs to rethink reality.

There are too many reasons NOT to do this.

--------------------
Now is the time in your life to find the "tiger" within.
Let the claws be bared,
and Lyme BEWARE!!!
www.iowalymedisease.com
[/URL]  -

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GiGi
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Apple cider vinegar has great health benefits, at least one of them fights fungus. The list is endless. And it contains pectin, a binder for neurotoxins. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/health-benefits-apple-cider-vinegar.html

Honey has even more health benefits - the list is endless. http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/health-benefits-of-honey.html

Both work as antifungals, antibacterials, antimicrobials!

Tartaric Acid = vinegar. Drop the TA of EDTA and you have a chelator in vinegar. A cup of
Apple cider vinegar in the bathtub helps lowering aluminum toxicity.

Why not enjoy a bit of nature's sweets?

Nice to hear from you again, Troutscout! Hope you and your family are doing well.

Take care.

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patti1112
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Troutscout, I linked an article above which I'll link again here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16702110

which indicated that certain honeys have anti-candida activity. Honey is not just sugar. And I think if someone wants to be sure that they're not getting some adulterated product, then just buy 100% pure ORGANIC honey. You can get it at trader Joe's or any gourmet market, like Whole Foods. Personally, I don't think it's necessary, because I herxed just on a generic 100% pure clover honey. It doesn't have to have the comb in it.

But do what you feel comfortable with. I just posted the info because I thought it might help some people.

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patti1112
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BTW, I'd like to see a link to the info that says that honey can be labeled as 100% pure honey while being cut with 30% HFCS. I called the manufacturer of the honey I bought and they said that's not true. Whatever is listed on the label as the ingredients is what's in the bottle. If anything was added it has to be listed on the label. I don't doubt that it's done somewhere, esp maybe for the restaurant supply business. But all the honey's I've checked at the market say 100% honey on the ingredient list, even the cheapest one, although that one had honey from Brazil in it. The manuka honey I bought from Vitacost arrived yesterday, so I'll be trying it out soon.
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James1979
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patti - okay, you've forced me to do some research! [Smile] It looks like I got some of the details wrong, but the main point is that this is something that we should all keep our eyes open to:

http://www.ehow.com/how_7689089_tell-honey-adulterated-corn-syrup.html

http://www.ghgeochem.com/documents/food_analysis.pdf

http://www.thefitshack.com/2007/08/31/high-fructose-corn-syrup-and-honey-a-sneaky-relationship/

It's also interesting to note that Dr. Mercola says that we shouldn't eat more than 1 teaspoon of pure honey a day, because it is 70% fructose. I'm sure that's debatable, but I think it's worth mentioning.

BTW, does anyone know why Dr. M is allowed to make health claims on his site, and to sell products at the same time?? I thought that wasn't allowed by the FDA?

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lymeboy
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I just gotsome fresh honey straight from a farm, and a big honecomg to go along with it. I had a small bite of the honeycomb. Incredible. So glad to know this!
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dogmom2
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How long should natural honey last/not crystalize?
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mom2kids
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I don't really know the answer to that dogmom2, but it doesn't mean it's gone bad or anything. When it crystalizes just sit the jar in a bowl of hot water and it will re-liquify or you can just munch the crystals like candy.

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Down on her knees, she wept on the floor.
This hopeless life, she wanted no more.
Dead in the mind and cold to the bone,
She opened her eyes and saw she was alone. ~Seether

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James1979
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From my personal experiences with pure untouched local honey, it usually crystallizes in about a month or two. I wonder though if it's dependant on the temperature.
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HopesAlive
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A bit off topic, but I just watched the documentary, "The Vanishing of the Bees," narrated by Ellen Paige. Excellent movie, and I highly recommended it. For those with Netflix, it is now free to stream as well.

I love honey, but I don't believe it is allowed on my gluten free, sugar free diet. My doctor said Stevie only (which I just cannot get used to: that aftertaste is wicked, lol). I especially love honey in a hot cup of tea, with lemon, when I have a cold or sore throat.

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~~The Shawshank Redemption~~

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James1979
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Hope - where you been, girl? You disappeared for a long time there! [Smile] Nice to see you back.
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nonna05
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Monsanto, makuna, medihoney.... Please what's what... I ordered Makuna, from amazon,,, forgot it's in front room some where... was going to try to find it cause not feeling better.. now not sure


I order stuff cause not getting out ,then can't get to it cause feel lousy.. what a crappy go around...


Now I looked at my instructions from LLmd from 5 weeks ago, for at least the 6th time and just realized I'm still not getting the whole protocol right. and don't know where there's time to do it... But I want well, so why am I not getting this right.


I've known about the L and co-infect. only over a month.

was told several times before not what it was, but was so sick.... God this is mean stuff.

My rant ..question is about honey.. Rant should have gone to support , I feel like such a dummy right now....darn it,,,,,, [bonk] [bonk] [loco] [dizzy]

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violet01
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sorry to bring up an old post, but I just wanted to know how Patti is doing on the honey now that more time has passed?

I've always heard that honey and apple cider vinegar give great health benefits.

My ex SIL' dad raised bees and gave us honey when I was a kid and it was a lot of fun squeezing the honeycombs through cheesecloths into the jars. :)

The healthfood store here sells locally collected honey from farmers and I may buy some now..

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randibear
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Instead of honey can you take those bee propalis capsules? More importantly if you are allergic to bees can you take the capsules? Also if you have severe candida should you really be eating honey?

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lou
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If a person gets more symptoms ("herxing"} after taking honey, it may be because the sugar in it is feeding yeast and yeast causes symptoms similar to lyme. So, the jury is out on this taken internally, IMO, as opposed to using it topically.
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Marz
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I just checked the tag that the apiary put on my honey jar. It's the solid form of honey.

Thought it was interesting that they seem to be touting the fact that it has "wild yeast"

When I searched, it turns out that wild yeast is the same as what they use for bread, so it's not a good yeast for those of us on abx I wouldn't think.

Also interesting that the bees fly 1 to 1 1/2 miles to gather the pollen. So I can see why GMOs would be a problem.

Still, I'm wondering if it's other properties somehow offset the yeast issue.

Kind of like eggs are high in cholesterol, but also high in lecithin which takes care of the cholesterol.

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violet01
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I was thinking the same thing. It can also help with inflammation.

I read a story a while back about a lady who lost quite a bit of weight from drinking water at night mixed with pure honey and apple cider vinegar (the kind with the mother).

She didn't change her diet otherwise.

It seems to have a lot of good properties to it.

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lost11
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The best benefits come from RAW honey.
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