THE MIRACLE OF HONEY
Your Lord revealed to the bees: “Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow.” From inside them comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Qur’an, 16:69)
Honey is a “healing for men” as stated in the verses above. Nowadays, apiculture and bee products have opened a new branch of research in scientifically advanced parts of the world. Other benefits of honey may be described as below:
Easily digested: Because sugar molecules in honey can convert into other sugars (e.g. fructose to glucose), honey is easily digested by the most sensitive stomachs, despite its high acid content. It helps kidneys and intestines to function better.
Rapidly diffuses through the blood; is a quick energy source: When accompanied by mild water, honey diffuses into the bloodstream in seven minutes. Its free sugar molecules make the brain function better since the brain is the largest consumer of sugar. Honey is a natural composition of sugars like glucose and fructose. According to recent research, this unique mixture of sugars is the most effective means to remove fatigue and increase athletic performance.
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey were revealed as a result of clinical observations and research. Honey is exceedingly effective in painlessly cleaning up infection and dead cells in these regions and in the development of new tissues. The use of honey as a medicine is mentioned in the most ancient writings. In the present day, doctors and scientists are rediscovering the effectiveness of honey in the treatment of wounds.
Dr. Peter Molan, a leading researcher into honey for the last 20 years and a professor of biochemistry at New Zealand’s University of Waikato, says this about the antimicrobial properties of honey:
Randomized trials have shown that honey is more effective in controlling infection in burn wounds than silver sulphadiazine, the antibacterial ointment most widely used on burns in hospitals. (“Honey Against Infected Skin Lesions,” www.apitherapy.com/honeysk.htm.)
Supports blood formation: Honey provides an important part of the energy needed by the body for blood formation. In addition, it helps in cleansing the blood. It has some positive effects in regulating and facilitating blood circulation. It also functions as a protection against capillary problems and arteriosclerosis.
Does not accommodate bacteria: This bactericide (bacteria-killing) property of honey is named “the inhibition effect.” There are various reasons of this anti-microbial property of the honey. Some examples are: the high sugar content that limit the amount of water microorganisms need for growth, its high acidity (low pH) and composition which deprive bacteria from nitrogen necessary for reproduction. The existence of hydrogen peroxide as well as antioxidants in the honey prevents bacteria growth.
Antioxidant: Everyone who wants to live a healthier life should consume antioxidants. Those are the components in cells that get rid of harmful byproducts of normal metabolic functions. These elements inhibit destructive chemical reactions that cause spoilage of food and many chronic illnesses. Researchers believe food products rich in antioxidants may prevent heart problems and cancer. Strong antioxidants are present in honey content: Pinocembrin, pinobaxin, chrisin and galagin. Pinocembrin is an antioxidant that merely exists in the honey.108
Vitamin and mineral depot: Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Besides the above, copper, iodine, and zinc are also present, albeit in small quantities.
Honey is used in healing wounds:
– When used in treatment of wounds, thanks to its ability to absorb moisture from the air, honey facilitates healing process and prevents scarring. This is because honey stimulates the growth of epithelial cells that form the new skin cover over a healed wound. In this way, even in case of large wounds, honey may eliminate the need for tissue transplantation.
– Honey stimulates the regrowth of tissue involved in the healing process. It stimulates the formation of new blood capillaries and the growth of fibroblasts that replace the connective tissue of the deeper layer of the skin and produce the collagen fibres that give strength to the repair.
– Honey has an anti-inflammatory action, which reduces the swelling around a wound. This improves circulation and thus hastens the healing process. It also reduces pain.
– Honey does not stick to the underlying wound tissues, so there is no tearing away of newly formed tissue, and no pain, when dressings are changed.
– Thanks to its aforementioned antimicrobial property, honey provides a protective barrier to prevent wounds becoming infected. It also rapidly clears any existing infection from wounds. It is fully effective, even with antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Unlike antiseptics and antibiotics, there is no impairment of the healing process through adverse effects on wound tissues.109
It can easily be seen from this information that honey has great “healing” properties. This is undoubtedly one of the miracles of the Qur’an Allah, Who is Exalted in Power, has revealed.
The “First World Wound Healing Congress,” held in Melbourne on September 10-13, 2000, discussed the use of honey in wound treatment. The comments made during the congress were along these lines:
Many natural antibacterial substances are being evaluated to find a treatment for wounds infected with bacteria with multiple resistance to antibiotics, the “superbugs”, as this becomes a major clinical problem. But most of these natural substances have no proven effectiveness on infected wounds, nor is it known if they have any adverse effects on wound tissues. Honey is different, as it has an excellent “track record” over 4,000 years of usage as a wound dressing… Honey has a potent antibacterial activity and is very effective in clearing infection in wounds and protecting wounds from becoming infected.