Honey: What Nature is Offering for Mankind

Author

ASS.PROF. SITI AMRAH SULAIMAN
Ass. Prof. of Pharmacology, Coordinator for TCAM Research and Chairperson for Phase 1 MD Programme
School of Medical Sciences
Universiti Sains Malaysia
Email:
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Language

English

Title

Honey: What Nature is Offering for Mankind

Proceeding

7th INTRACOM – 2nd ICBWI 2009

Date

25th July 2009

Place Held

PWTC, Kuala Lumpur

Abstract

Honey is a highly reputable food. During ancient times, honey is available only in the palace. Traditionally, honey has been extensively used in the treatment of various illnesses in many civilizations. It is stated in the Holy Quran that honey is a medicine for the human kind. During world war, honey has saved many lives as it was very effective in treating wound. The use of honey as a medicine started to decline when antibiotic was discovered and the focus of treatment was zooming towards the use of a single chemical entity. However, evidences have shown that interests towards the use of honey as health-promoting substances and therapeutic remedies have reemerged. Many research findings support the honey’s healing properties. Honey contains various phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are rich in antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-ageing, anticancer and wound healing enhancement properties. Its acidity with high sugar content, together with the presence of furfural compounds and hydrogen peroxide, are believed to contribute to its superior antibacterial properties. Some medical practitioners and patients have accepted its use in the treatment of diabetic would, burns and skin ulcers. It is also being used as an effective agent in preventing chemotherapy-induced mucosities.  Studies in diabetic animal models indicated that Tualang honey, a Malaysian wild honey reduced fasting blood glucose levels and significantly restore the activities of SOD, CAT, GST, GPx, GR as well as levels of TAS and TBARS in the kidney of diabetic rats when compared to those of the non-diabetic rats. Histology of the kidney further revealed that the honey-treated groups had a reduced incidence of mesangial matrix expansion, thickening of glomerular basement membrane and other structural changes when compared to untreated diabetic rats. Thus, Tualang Honey has a protective effect, and slows down the process of glomerulosclerosis in diabetic rat kidneys. Studies in postmenopausal animal model also revealed that Tualang honey reduces weight gain, increases posterior tibia bone weight and improves reproductive’s organ weight. Even though the 17-beta oestradiol and progesterone levels were not significantly altered, the free testosterone level was marginally increased in honey-treated animals. There were increased in vaginal epithelial-muscle and uterine muscle thickness together with increased proliferation of vaginal epithelial cell with vacuolations implying increased in mucopolysaccharide production. Histology of the bone revealed that there was increased in trabecular thickness. Hence, honey has a high potential to relieve and prevent infectious and non-infectious diseases. Many more research findings will reveal its diverse medicinal properties. In summary, honey is a special gift from nature to human kind.

Keywords

Honey, Tualang Honey

Session

Symposium 5A-1

Topic

Remain Healthy: Showcase From T&CM Product.