Honey and vinegar may be key to fighting stubborn infections

(ORDO NEWS) — In a groundbreaking study published in the journal Microbiology , scientists from the University of Warwick examined the ancient honey and vinegar remedy known as oxymel to explore its potential in modern medicine.

This traditional mixture has long been used as a remedy, and now scientists are discovering its potential in the fight against chronic infections.

The problem of treating bacterial infections

Bacterial infections, especially those found in biofilm, can be difficult to treat. Biofilms are complex systems of bacteria that adhere tightly to surfaces such as wounds, making them difficult to effectively eliminate with traditional treatments. Existing methods often do not completely destroy biofilms.

Harnessing the Power of Natural Remedies

Previous studies have shown the effectiveness of natural remedies in fighting infections. For example, Manuka honey has been shown to have antimicrobial properties and promote wound healing. Vinegar is also recognized as a useful antiseptic.

Doctors have already incorporated these natural remedies into their practices, using manuka honey to treat antibiotic-resistant infections and acetic acid, the active ingredient in vinegar, as an antiseptic. However, the combination of honey and vinegar has not yet been studied.

First comprehensive study

Dr Erin Connelly, Dr Freya Harrison and their collaborators at the University of Warwick began a pioneering study examining the effects of a combination of honey and vinegar on biofilms of bacteria grown in laboratory conditions. Their goal was to determine the effectiveness of such treatments in killing microbes and to identify the optimal combination.

Studying the Benefits of Honey and Vinegar

Researchers compared the effects of vinegar and acetic acid alone and their combination with medicinal honey. Surprisingly, it turned out that the combination of honey and vinegar was most effective. Dr. Erin Connelly explains: “While studying modern recipes, we noticed that honey and vinegar were combined to cleanse or dress wounds and swellings, which led us to focus on this combination in our analysis.”

Promising results:

When small doses of honey and acetic acid were used separately, they did not have a significant effect on killing bacteria. However, when used together, these low doses resulted in a significant reduction in bacteria counts. Dr Freya Harrison added: “We really need to look at whether combining these substances can help patients who don’t respond to either one alone.”

The Power of Natural Vinegar

In addition, researchers have found that some natural vinegars exhibit greater antibacterial activity compared to an equivalent dose of pure acetic acid. In particular, pomegranate vinegar has shown strong antibacterial properties and has been shown to be active when combined with honey.

The future of infection treatment

This groundbreaking study sheds light on the potential of using honey and vinegar as a new approach to treating chronic infections.

The combination of these two natural remedies allowed the researchers to achieve a significant reduction in bacterial counts, demonstrating the promise of this traditional yet innovative treatment. Further research, particularly on pomegranate vinegar, is needed to fully explore the potential of this ancient remedy in modern medicine.


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