Honey, a widely used ingredient in all Ayurvedic medicines has come into limelight for its properties to act on pathogenic fungi which are fatal for many humans and animals.
Researchers from the University of Manchester in United Kingdom found that honey, especially Surgihoney can kill Fusarium, a fungus that can cause blindness or even death. Using Surgihoney that is biologically engineered to produce chemically reactive molecules with oxygenwas, researchers were able to destroy the fungus Fusarium, which is found on plants and in soil.
Surghoney was found to have broken down the cell wall of the fungus, pointing at its vital effect in treatment of chronic infections, especially those found in wounds and other infectious diseases in humans. Fungi affects 60-80 percent of infectious diseases in humans by forming into biofilm of thin microorganisms and delays healing of wounds.
“What I found amazing is that honey actually works better than some anti-fungals,” said Zain Habib Alhindi, researcher at the Manchester University. She used different concentrations of Surgihoney and found that even the lowest concentrations had a significant effect.
Zain (29) from Saudi Arabia is one of only handful of students who have completed the University’s new master’s degree course in Medical Mycology which runs for just one year instead of the customary two, making it a world first.
Because of the way the course is structured Zain was able to spend almost a third of her time in the lab working on experiments to test her theory, said her supervisor Dr Riina Rautemaa-Richardson. “In the world of increasing antimicrobial resistance new approaches to the management of infections, sparing the real antibiotics, are highly relevant and important,” said Dr Riina Rautemaa-Richardson.
Professor Malcolm Richardson, Professor of Medical Mycology at the University of Manchester said: “Honey has been used since ancient times for the treatment of several diseases. Only a limited number of investigations have looked at its effect on pathogenic fungi. This opens an exciting door for further work on the application of honey for many fungal infections and allows researchers to adopt different options for treating a range of superficial infections.”