Ruminations

Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Honey Good for Dogs, Cats

3.0 Health Promoting Properties of Honey
The ancients knew that natural honey had many health promoting properties - modern science has revealed that the ancients were correct. Science is now revealing some of the reasons why honey is so beneficial…
 
3.1 Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antimicrobial, Antiseptic,
      Anti-tumor, Antiviral, Prebiotic, Probiotic
Natural honey is a powerful broad spectrum antibiotic and kills bacteria by creating an inhospitable environment for the bacteria to thrive and reproduce…

3.1.1 Bacteria do not like acidity
Natural honey has a relatively high acidity level (low pH level) of between 3.2 and 4.5 pH. The acidity level in combination with honey’s natural composition deprives bacteria of nitrogen thereby shutting down the ability of bad bacteria to reproduce.

3.1.2 Bacteria need water to survive; honey dehydrates
         bacteria 
Natural honey is primarily composed of two monosaccharides leaving very few water molecules available for microorganisms - this condition is called low water activity.  Low water activity creates a very unfriendly environment for the growth of microorganisms.
3.1.3 Bacteria can’t thrive in the presence of hydrogen
         peroxide -
Natural honey contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase. When glucose oxidase is mixed with a small amount of fluid (i.e. from an animal’s body - canine, feline, human and other non-human animals) creates a small amount of diluted hydrogen peroxide solution. This solution is strong enough to kill bacteria and gentle enough not to irritate or inflame skin.
In the case of a flesh wound hydrogen peroxide forms when the honey mixes with body fluids present on the surface of the wound. The hydrogen peroxide is released slowly and acts as an antiseptic.
If you use honey to treat an eye infection or sty a light burning sensation may be felt momentarily due to the formation of the mild hydrogen peroxide solution. Stinging is not usually an issue when using honey to treat skin wounds.
3.1.4 Honey is Free of the Dangers Posed by Conventional
         Antibiotics
Natural honey has been proven to protect against at least sixty (60) species of bacteria - some of which cannot be killed with the use of conventional antibiotics. Unfortunately the number of species of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is on trajectory of rapid incline.
Unlike conventional antibiotics, natural honey does not cause a myriad of adverse temporary and long-term side effects, and disease causing bacteria do not become resistant to honey’s anti-bacterial properties.
Honey is also a prebiotic and a probiotic - both functions provide additional support to the immune system. In its capacity as a prebiotic, natural honey provides food to support the beneficial flora (‘friendly’ or ‘good’ immune system supporting bacteria) in the gastrointestinal track (GI Tract).
In its capacity as a probiotic natural honey contributes significant friendly bacteria to populate the GI tract, once again supporting the immune system and healthy serotonin levels. Depending on the floral origin and other factors that contribute to potency natural honey contains varying amounts of the following friendly bacteria - four (4) species of bifidobacteria and six (6) species of lactobacilli.
Conventional antibiotics have the opposite effect as they kill all bacteria good and bad leaving the GI Tract in an unbalanced state, affecting a drop in serotonin levels and depressing the immune system.  A potentially dangerous condition at anytime and for a body that is already fighting illness a precarious state in which further infection, virus and anxiety can take hold.
Natural honey offers a potent natural alternative to conventional antibiotics.  
New research has shown that natural honey also contributes to building the body’s natural antibiotic - white blood cells. Recent findings show that honey may stimulate white blood cells. White blood cells are the body’s natural bacteria fighting cells.
3.1.5 Honey Can Help Prevent further Degradation of
         Conventional Antibiotics
Antibiotics are the most over misused, over-prescribed conventional medication used today in both human and veterinarian medicine. With this overuse comes great risk to the individual patient and the collective population. As bacteria become increasingly resistant to mankind’s array of conventional antibiotics - the ability of those antibiotics to fight many diseases has become seriously compromised.
If if you are drinking tap water; if you are eating non-organic meat; dairy, fruit and vegetables you and your dog or cat are probably ingesting antibiotics on a daily basis. Now on addition to that daily exposure imagine if you, your dog or cat is also taking a course of prescribed antibiotics. Not only is the body getting over-dosed and over-exposed, so to is the environment and the disease causing bacteria.
Conventional antibiotics - like most substances that we humans and our animal companions ingest, pass through the body and into the environment. In this manner antibiotics make their way into municipal water treatment systems, into ground water, then on into streams, rivers and oceans. The same antibiotics then end up in municipal drinking water and in the water you shower and bath in.
If you or your companion animal are consuming meat from large factory farms - confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) you are consuming antibiotics in the meat. Animals in CAFOs are fed antibiotics with their feed. CAFO animal manure is also spread on fields. The grains, fruits, vegetables etc. harvested from these fields also contain antibiotic residue.
The collective and accumulated result is antibiotic-resistant disease. If you put your cat or dog on multiple courses of antibiotics you put your cat’s and dog’s short and long-term health at serious risk. In the absence of effective antibiotics all surgery becomes extremely risky. As for the collective risk - antibiotic resistant superbugs are killing more cats, dogs and people every year. If you are interested in reading more about the real threat posed by over/misuse of conventional antibiotics you can read the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Antibiotic and Antimicrobial Resistance Threat Report 2013.
Conventional antibiotics should only be used when absolutely necessary. If your dog or cat is on conventional antibiotics adding natural honey to the daily diet can help to fight some the adverse affects of conventional antibiotics.
3.2 Antioxidant Properties
Natural honey contains multiple powerful antioxidants as noted further above. Antioxidants prevent and delay cell damage. Free-radicals are biologically destructive chemical agents that are linked to many chronic diseases such as arthritis and cancer. The antioxidants in honey destroy free-radicals.
The antioxidant properties in honey come from monosaccharides (natural sugars) and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicals with disease preventing and protective compounds that shield the plant from disease, drought, excessive heat, injuries, insects, poisons (air and soil) and ultra violet rays. When added to the animal (canine, feline, human, etc.) diet, phytochemicals act as antioxidants that protect the body from various conditions and diseases such as aging, cancer, coronary diseases and other inflammatory disorders, neurological degeneration and a host of other conditions.
The antioxidants in natural honey include: Ascorbic acid; Amino acids, and;
Protein.
The polyphenol antioxidants in honey include: Acacetin; Apigenin; Caffeic acid; Caffeic acid phenylesters; Chrysin; Galangin; Kaempferol; Quercetin; Pinocembrin, and Pinnobanskin.
In addition to containing phytochemicals produced by plants, natural honey also contains health promoting resins manufactured by the bees themselves. Bees use plant phytochemicals to make resins which are one of the ingredients of Propolis. Propolis, also called ‘bee glue’ is manufactured by bees for use as a sealing substance to keep the bee hive free from health threatening bacteria and other undesirable microorganisms. Honey contains trace amount of Propolis.
These antioxidant properties also contribute to the natural ability of honey to help heal wounds as the antioxidants in honey provide nutritive value to cells which translates into the growth of new, healthy tissue.
The antioxidant composition of natural honey varies based on the botanical and environmental origin of the honey as explained further below.
The antioxidant value of honeydew honey has been found to be greater than that of most other honey.
3.3 Hygroscopic Properties - a Natural Humectant
Natural honey is hygroscopic. When exposed to air honey naturally absorbs moisture from the air. When used to treat open wounds the hygroscopic nature of honey can help to prevent scaring as the moisture collected by honey keeps skin hydrated and fresh; supports the growth of new tissue; helps to ensure wound dressings do not stick to healing wounds/skin.
3.4 Nutritive Properties
Natural honey contains vital minerals and vitamins including…
Minerals -
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Chromium
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Phosperous
  • Selenium
  • Silicon
  • Sodium
  • Sulfur
  • Vitamins -
  • A
  • B Complex…
  • B1 (thiamine)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B6 (pyridoxine)
  • B9 (folic Acid)
  • C (ascorbic acid)
  • D
  • E
  • K
  • Niacin (Nicotinic acid)
Darker honey contains higher quantities of nutrients than lighter honey. For a more detailed listing of the nutrients found in honey you can look at this chart.

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