Bee Products: The Rediscovered Antibiotics
Honey and other bee products have been subjected to laboratory and clinical investigations
over the past few decades, the most significant discovery being their antibacterial activity. The emergence
of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria has made the current use of antibiotic therapy problematic,
resulting in earlier remedies being reassessed. Honey, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom, all exhibit
strong antibacterial activity. Even antibiotic-resistant strains such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) have been found to be as
sensitive to honey as the antibiotic sensitive strains of the same species. The main problems in using
bee products for medical purposes involve dosage and safety. The increased availability of licensed
medical products containing bee products means that clinical use will probably grow and further evidence will become
available. Use of such products in professional treatment centers should be limited to those which are safe and that exhibit
proven antibacterial activities.
Keywords: Antibacterial, antibiotic resistance, bee product, bee venom, honey, royal jelly, propolis.
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