Honey has been known for its therapeutic uses for thousands of years. It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and wound healing properties. Honey contains some hydrogen peroxide, and its content of small amounts of micronutrients, polyphenolics and flavonoids contributes to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
In a South African study, honey was just as effective in healing wounds as a conventional wound healing gel, but cost 25X less. In a Malaysian study, honey was found to be just as effective as more conventional iodine dressings in treating type 2 diabetic foot ulcers.
A new German study found honey to have a much lower glycemic index than a sugar equivalent. In fact, honey has been used to reduce body weight, glucose handling, blood lipids and other metabolic outcomes.
What's really interesting is honey as an effective cough medicine. A recent US trial found honey to be better than conventional cough suppressant (dextramethorphan) in every measure - cough frequency, cough severity, sleep quality and overall symptoms. My four-year old daughter had a nasty cough for over two weeks and the nurse surprisingly recommended honey instead of conventional suppressants because of her age. It worked like a charm for up to 4 hours.
Look for honey as a healthier sugar substitute on packaged foods labels. Most manufacturers don't use honey because it's very expensive compared to sugar. All of our products (human and dog) use honey as a sweetener (www.thrivefoods.net) because it's considered a superfood by nutritionists.