Jan 19 2010
Scientific research that is in accordance with Sharia has helped us a lot in understanding some honey issues in much greater depth. A Hadith points out a tradition that says, “If it is used at least thrice in a month at early morning, the one who uses it will remain safe from diseases.” Fresh honey is highly beneficial but should not be used with fish, vinegar, radish or melon. Always store honey in a glass jar that should not have even a single drop of water, as even a few drops of water can destroy honey’s value.
Beneficial for cardiac patients
The heart muscle works continuously and needs glucose to make up energy expended. When a very small quantity of glucose (0.1 percent) is added to physiological saline in which an isolated heart is immersed, the heart will continue working outside the body for four days.
Honey has a beneficial effect on the heart because it contains much easily assimilated glucose. It has been noted that it has an invaluable effect on the weakened heart muscle in various types of cardiac diseases. Even diabetics can take honey, since pure honey improves cardiac activity. Honey causes veins to expand and improves circulation through coronary arteries.
At a concentration of 40 percent, honey has a bactericidal effect on various intestinal bacteria known to cause diarrhea and dysentery such as Salmonella, Shigella and enteric pathogens like E. coli and Vibrio cholera. In one study, honey given with oral dehydration fluid was shown to reduce the duration of bacterial diarrhea in infants and children. (1).
Anti-tussive and expectorant properties
Honey’s anti-cough properties are related to its capacity to dilute bronchial secretions and improve function of the bronchial epithelium. Uncontaminated or pure honey is a natural, healthy, energy-rich and easily-digestible food. Observation of treatment for lung abscesses in professor F. A. Udintsev’s clinic at the Kiev Medical Institute has drawn attention.
Three patients were given 100 to 150 grams of honey a day, resulting in considerable improvement. They began to feel better, their appetites improved and they began putting on weight. Their hemoglobin increased, while the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) decreased. Patients coughed less and the amount of sputum decreased; they began urinating more during the day than at night (the opposite was the case before honey was given); and a beneficial effect also was noted on the gastrointestinal tract.(1).
Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
These are well-established properties of honey. Undiluted honey inhibits bacterial growth such as Staphylococcus aureus, certain intestinal pathogens and fungi such as Candida albicans. At a concentration of 30-50 percent, honey has been shown to be superior to certain conventional antibiotics in treating urinary tract infections. (1).
A recent study published in the Journal of Family Practice reports the case of a 79-year-old man with Type 2 diabetes who developed foot ulcers. After 14 months of care costing $390,000, which included five hospitalizations and four surgeries, the ulcers measured 8×5 cm and 3×3 cm and were resistant to effects of the best antibiotics.
During this time, the patient lost two toes but refused below-the-knee amputation, despite being informed by two different surgical teams that without it, he likely would die. The patient eventually was discharged to his home at his request. He lost a third toe before consenting to a trial of topical honey.
Once-daily, thick applications of ordinary honey were smeared on gauze and placed on the wounds, which then were wrapped. Oral antibiotics and saline dressings were discontinued, but otherwise, treatment was unchanged. Dressing changes were painless and the serum glucose remained in excellent control.
New tissue appeared within two weeks, with the ulcers healing completely in six to 12 months. Two years have passed and the ulcers have not reoccurred. The patient moves about with a walker and reports improved quality of life.
Researchers state that as diabetes incidents increase, it’s important to identify effective strategies to reduce amputation rates, both to improve quality of life and decrease costs. They also recommend random controlled trials to determine efficacy and invite physicians to consider topical honey therapy for patients with refractory diabetic foot ulcers. (2).
Medical experts still dispute the topic, with some firmly believing that honey is a cure, while others say it’s injurious to diabetics.
The Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) drank honey in the early morning and in the afternoon. The Sunnat is a blessing if one has no doubt. The user achieves two advantages simultaneously: one is physical, which is a cure, and the other is spiritual blessing.
Sayedna Abdullah bin Abbas provided the Hadith, “You have sources of cure and remedies – Qur’an and honey.” This Hadith is a forceful categorical reply to arguments based on the opinion of medical experts who disallow honey’s use for diabetics. Honey provides the quickest energy boost for longer endurance without a big drop in blood sugar later.
Wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties
Al Shaikh Al-Rais, Abi Ali Ibn Sina, considered honey to have absorbing properties, recommending a waterless ointment of honey and wheat flour to treat wounds. Honey is of value in treating burns, infected surgical wounds and decubitus ulcers in that honey is very viscous, thereby enabling it to absorb water from surrounding inflamed tissue. It also has been suggested that honey may be useful in treating chronic, foul smelling ulcers seen in leprosy. Honey is unique and has an excellent “track record” – more than 4,000 years’ usage as a wound dressing.
Dr. Peter Molan, a leading honey researcher for the past three decades and a biochemistry professor at New Zealand’s Waikato University, says of honey’s anti-microbial properties: “Honey speeds healing of open wounds and also combats infection. Modern science now acknowledges honey as an anti-microbial agent, meaning it deters growth of certain types of bacteria, yeast and molds.
“Honey and beeswax form the basis of many skin creams, lip balms and hand lotions. Thanks to honey’s ability to absorb moisture from the air, it facilitates the healing process and prevents scarring because it stimulates growth of epithelial cells that form the new skin covering a healed wound. In this way, even in the case of large wounds, honey may eliminate the need for tissue transplantation.” (1). (3). (4).
Quick burn treatment
Random trials have shown that honey is more effective in controlling infection in burn wounds than silver sulfadiazine, the antibacterial ointment hospitals use most widely (Honey against infected skin lesions). A 1991 study by Dr. Subrahmanyam compared results of topical honey application on burns with conventional burn treatment using silver sulfadiazine. Results showed that within a week, 91 percent of infected wounds treated with honey were free of infection, compared to less than seven percent of silver sulfadiazine treated burns.
Gastroenteritis and stomach ulcer treatment
Research by Haffejee and Moose (1985) found that honey treatment shortened the duration of diarrhea in patients with bacterial gastroenteritis, in that patients treated with honey had an average recovery of 58 hours compared with 93 hours for control patients.
Additionally, research conducted by Somal, et al (1994) at New Zealand’s Waikato University showed that Manuka honey successfully inhibits Helicobacter pylori, the organism responsible for upper gastro-intestinal dyspepsia in stomach ulce
However, it should be noted that research is ongoing in this field, and although initial results are promising, full clinical trials are yet to be completed. As well as its other therapeutic properties, the presence of potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium means that honey is capable of neutralizing body acid, thus maintaining the acid-alkaline balance. (5) (6)
At the University of Connecticut Health Center-Farmington, immunologist T.V. Rajan, M.D., Ph.D., is studying simple honey’s healing powers to treat seasonal allergies. The study is based on the theory of oral tolerance, which reasons that humans become accustomed to things they ingest. So if people eat local pollens via pollen-rich honey, allergic pollen reactions in the spring and summer should diminish. Study subjects receive either a tablespoon of local honey, non-local honey as a placebo or their usual allergy medications.
University of Illinois researchers reported in the 1998 Journal of Agricultural Research that antioxidants in 14 honey varieties are highest in the darkest honeys (Manuka honey is very dark). Antioxidants are important to the diet because they slow production of free radicals that cause DNA damage and have been implicated in age-related illnesses like arthritis, stroke and cancer.
Enhance exclusive pleasure
In the East, ginger has lived up to its reputation of being a powerful herb. Indian literature recommends a mixture of ginger juice, honey and half-boiled eggs, taken nightly for a month, as a remedy against impotence. Taking a teaspoon of honey and milk before hitting the fire increases virility and is even said to cure premature ejaculation. According to traditional Indian herbal medicine, it also increases masculine power.
Powdered cardamom seeds boiled with milk and mixed in a glass with a spoon of honey is believed to be an excellent remedy against impotence and premature ejaculation, as well as recommended as an ointment for recovery from impotency (Qaratis Yamaniyah manuscript written Hijra year 871).
Honey and the eyes
Honey long has been considered a most effective remedy for many eye diseases. Only sterile honey from the honeycomb should be used on the eyes and only under doctor or ophthalmologist supervision. Honey applied as a kuhl (eye ointment) strengthens weak eyesight. If used by those under age 40, it improves vision and also removes their need for glasses. An added benefit is that honey has no side effects.
Cure for dental problems
Dentists have no doubt about the harmful effect of sweets on teeth. It has been established that the remains of sugar in the mouth increase bacteria’s effect, leading to slow but considerable teeth decalcification and cavities. Honey, on the other hand, has active antibiotic properties and in fact disinfects the mouth.
Pure honey may refine with age, but its food value remains unchanged. Various honey varieties taste differently, depending on its source: clover honey tastes like clover, while citrus honey has a citrus scent.
Honey is Allah’s gift to humans. No medicine can ever equal its cure and benefits. If you’ve not tasted honey yet, now is the perfect time to benefit from it. Firm faith is indispensable in the commandments of the Qur’an and “Sahib al Qur’an.” It is highly beneficial to recite prayers before and after taking honey to cure any disease. If we judge with full justice, the divine commandments are sweet to the taste, sweeter even than honey.
Dr. Qazi Shaikh Abbas Borhany is an attorney at law in Karachi, Pakistan and a member of Pakistan’s Ulama Council.
(1) Bees & the Hidden Miracles of Honey, Dr. Monzur Ahmed, MRCP (UK), M.D. Muslim Technologist, November 1990.
(2)Topical honey for diabetic foot ulcers, Jennifer J. Eddy, M.D., Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin Medical School, 617 W. Claremont Ave., Eau Claire, Wis. 54703.
(3)Effects of topical honey on post-operative wound infections due to gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria following Caesarean sections and hysterectomies, N.S. Al-Waili, K.Y. Sallom. European Journal of Medical Research, 1999, Vol. 26, pp. 126-30.
(4)Using honey as a dressing for infected skin lesions, C. Dunford, et al. Nursing Times, 2000, Vol. 96, pp. 7-9.
(5)The Curative Properties of Honey and Bee Venom, N. Yoirish. New Glide Publications (US), 1977, pp. 46-54.
(6)The Antibacterial Effects of Honey: Medical Fact or Fiction? J. McCarthy. American Bee Journal, May 1995.
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