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Review Article Open Access
Honey is one of nature’s wonders. For long, honey has been used as important source of carbohydrates and natural sweetener. Honey contains sugars, organic acids, minerals, and proteins, enzymes and vitamins in trace amounts. The simple sugars in honey are responsible for its sweetness, hygroscopicity, energy value and other physical properties.
Honey’s use as medicine has been limited due to lack of scientific report. In recent days, however, there is resurgence. Its greatest medicinal potential is its application as topical agent to wounds and skin infections. Honey has anti-inflammatory, immune boosting property, and exhibits broad spectrum antibacterial activity, which are attributed both to physical factors: acidity and osmolarity, and chemical factors: hydrogen peroxide, volatiles, beeswax, nectar, pollen and propolis. Its antioxidant activity is attributed to: glucose oxidase, catalase, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, phenolic acids, carotenoid derivatives, organic acids, Maillard reaction products, amino acids, and proteins. Honey prevents and treats gastrointestinal disorders such as peptic ulcers, gastritis and gastroenteritis. It also poses prebiotic effects and promotes health of gastrointestinal tract.
Honey has proven safety for use. Compared to glucose and sucrose, it has lower glycemic and incremental indices in type I diabetic patients. It’s simple sugars are absorbed directly into bloodstream without digestion and can serve as an athletic aid.
Honey, Medicinal uses, Nutrition, Traditional medicines, Traditional medicines