Raw Honey: The Golden Tsunami

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:    Raw honey is more than just delicious! 

It is time you learned about an ancient folk remedy for sore or strept throat, laryngitis, post nasal drip and chronic sinus infections. In a slightly different delivery system, it is also the best remedy for pink eye (conjunctivitis).

Charlie Mraz a master beekeeper and master apitherapist taught me this remedy back in 1985 when I started keeping bees and learned about the medicinal aspects of the glorious, radiant honey bee (apis mellifera). Our collaboration led to my founding the American Apitherapy Society which remains vital to this day teaching the world about the remedies from the beehive.  (Watch an amazing video featuring Charlie Mraz and apitherapy).

New flash: what I am about to share with you I have shared with all my patients. The results is thousands of grateful people and because of its simplicity and potency, untold revenue lost to the Weeks Clinic over the years. People do this home remedy, then call up saying “Doctor Weeks, I took care of the sinus problem myself so I don’t need to come in tomorrow.” I love working with educated and empowered patients! But truth be told, sharing this remedy has cost me more in lost income than any other remedy except for the old magic of high-dose vitamin A palmitate at the first onset of any cold.

So here you are! Suffering!  You can’t speak because of insanely painful laryngitis which makes your voice barely audible; your poor throat is so sore that it feels to be aflame as do your throbbing sinuses! The net effect is a terrible headache, and you are down for the count. Could be two or maybe 5 days. Antibiotics are ineffectual – too much overuse creates resistant strains of bacteria (by the way chronic sinusitis is typically fungal and rarely bacterial but your doctor hasn’t read the literature (thank you HERE and HERE !). So you are given course after course of ineffectual antibiotics and you continue to suffer.

Try this: Get some raw organic non-GMO honey. How do you know whether or not it is raw? Well, if it crystallizes it’s raw or when you add a teaspoon of raw honey to a glass of hot water or hot tea and it starts to bubble a bit and make a small head atop the fluid, then you know that it is raw. The bubbles are hydrogen peroxide gas which is created when raw honey meets water and only raw honey which, still features living enzymes like glucose oxidase, can manufacture hydrogen peroxide which kills bacteria, viri and fungi.

Now lie on your back with a pillow under your shoulders so your neck is extended and your nostrils are pointing straight up. If you’re brave, you can do the following yourself. If not, ask a friend or loved one to help you with this part. Dip a Q-tip into the raw honey and remove as much money as the Q-tip can hold. Insert that dollop of honey into your left nostril and inhale to encourage it to start to make its way down your nose. Do the same in your right nostril. Your body temperature will warm up the honey and allow it to flow. Now lie back and relax as best you can while breathing through your mouth to make sure you get plenty of oxygen. This will sting a bit and your eyes may start to run. Hang in there!  What is happening is the honey is becoming a golden tsunami wave which is running down your nose to your nasopharynx (the target) and killing every pathogen in its path while leaving nothing but cleansed, healthy regenerated tissue in its wake. At a certain point, you will have had enough and now you can sit up and blow your nose and begin to experience cleaned out sinuses and cleaned out nasopharynx for the first time in perhaps years.

Why is this a powerful and effective treatment? Because the nasopharynx (which is the back of the nose) is the base camp for most infections of the head, nose and throat. The battleground may be your throat (that is where the pain is!) but site of the infection is the nasopharynx. If you think about it,  germs which you inhale through your mouth meet salivary digestive enzymes and are destroyed on contact, but the nose has no such defense so germs can set up base camp at the back of the nose (nasopharynx). The first sign of their presence is post-nasal drip. This is why, when someone coughs in your face, you should plug your nose!

Warning: one patient, whose career he cryptically described as  “extensive work experience abroad” told me: “Dr. Weeks this is the most effective treatment I’ve ever had for my damned chronic sinusitis, but I have to tell you, if they had done that to me in Russia, I would’ve told them anything they wanted to know!’

Many folk remedies never make it out of the countryside and into the hospital. Raw honey is a glorious exception.

During my first year is of medical student having already been keeping bees and starting apitherapy, I listened with disappointment has are microbiology professor regurgitated to us inaccurate findings from a flawed study which claimed raw honey should not be given to infants because of the risk of infection of the botulinum toxin, i.e. botulism. After the lecture, I introduced myself and share with him my experience with raw honey and asked him if he would be in student learning why thought what he said in the lecture class was inaccurate. A credited to his profession, he was open-minded and curious. When I explain that raw honey (which is never been heated) contained an enzyme called glucose oxidase which converts in contact with the skin two 20 ppm of hydrogen peroxide that got his attention. We designed an experiment involving exposing in petri dishes ten of the most toxic and lethal pathogens he had his laboratory many of which were present in the hospital in killing patients on a regular basis. We controlled for the osmotic affective honey – it steals water from its surroundings and can kill germs through desiccation and dehydration. My professor had heard the true World War I story of how the Germans would pack infected wounds with white sugar sucrose which also had a killing effect because of osmosis so he designed the test to control for the osmotic effect.

The bet was made. We shook hands on it. If the raw honey didn’t feel all 10 pathogens, I would buy my professor a case of his favorite liquid nourishment: Guinness Stout. For his part,  if the honey did kill all 10 pathogens, he promised that in the future, and for the rest of his career, every time he came to the point of his lecture where he would declare that raw honey should not be given to infants because of the risk of botulism, that instead, he would recount he used to say that,  but in fact now he’s learn better, and he would describe our experiment. Well as you probably guess I wouldn’t be recounting this story from the glory days of my medical school studies were it not for the fact that my raw honey killed all 10 pathogens…. to my professors in amazement!  I celebrated (a case of Guinness would have strained my medical school budget!) but soon I forget the bet and didn’t give it another thought. The year continued and then to my surprise, a year later, a first-year medical student underclassman came up to me at lunch break and said “Hey Brad, your name came up in the microbiology lecture today.” I had completely forgot our bet but was delighted when the underclassmen recounted that, to the astonishment of the class, the microbiology professor had kept his word and all the first year medical students had been taught that honey was safe to feed to infants. I remember feeling delighted that, in at least one of the 179 medical schools in America and the just over 1900 medical schools in the world, the truth was being taught about raw honey.

Later on, as a fourth year medical student rotating on the surgical floor, our surgical team was confronted with a tragic case of a middle aged man who suffered a degloving injury on both lower extremities. That is a gentle way of saying that all his skin was torn off of both his legs from the knees down in a motor vehicle accident. He was in extreme pain, but more significantly, because of the risk of infection, we were fighting to save his legs and prevent below the knee amputations bilaterally. The standard of care in 1988 was bathing his skinned legs with triple antibiotic solution to kill and prevent infection and also Silvadene™ – a silver impregnated cold cream- which was spread on like cake frosting to help the wound heal. even the biggest hardest nurse hated dealing with this patient because of the pain which the nurse was forced to torture the patient with. You see, Silvadene™ is a particularly diabolic solution because upon applying it the cells underneath start but the Silvadene™ needs to be removed every six hours so in the removal process that new skin is ripped up as well. You think your fingernails on a chalkboard are Terrifying imagine the pain of every bit of your new skin being removed just as fast as it’s being created.   He had been lying on his back with this standard of care treatment Long enough that the heel bones we’re showing through his skin right where the Achilles tendon attaches. He was not healing. Everyone, nurses in particular, were suffering almost as much as he was.

During Grand Rounds, the medical student tenuously occupies the lowest rung on the totem pole. Because I am going to medical school relatively late in my life (age 28) I was less encumbered with status issues than many of my younger classmates so after we all (“all” being: senior attending surgeon, attending surgeon, chief surgical resident, four other surgical residents, the surgical intern, and we three medical students) reviewed the case of the two gloved patient, I asked the chief attending surgeon if I could share some information about something I thought might be helpful. He said to my delight and surprise: “Of course. What is on your mind?” (I have since learned that surgeons, to their credit in their nature are eminently practical individuals and are fundamentally interested in what works far more than in medical or scientific dogma. I celebrate this professional trait).

I explained to Dr. Pilcher, a man greatly respected and considered stern and unapproachable by many surgical residents, that I was a beekeeper. He raised his eyebrows. Then I describe certain properties of raw honey and I explained the scientific rationale of how I expected that the topical honey in contrast to triple antibiotics and Silvadene™, would not only prevent infection in the degloved limbs but also facilitate regeneration of protective skin. Furthermore, it would be painless and the nurses would be delighted. (Any grey bearded doctor knows that patient care is enhanced if the nurses are cared for and respected). I cited some research, promised to have that research on his desk for the end of day and Dr. Pilcher told me he would take it under advisement.

The next day dawned and by 6:30 AM, we were rounding on the surgical patients again – all ten of us. When we stopped outside the door of the degloved patient, Dr. Pilcher looked at the chief resident and queried “Any suggestions?” The chief surgical resident allowed how the current treatment was the best we could offer. What happened next both delighted and terrified me. Dr. Pilcher turned his stern visage to me and said: “Mr. Weeks, do you have any suggestions for helping our patient?” For a moment, clinging as I was to the bottom of the status totem pole, my first thought was “This could not end well for me.” I shot a glance at the highly irritated chief surgical resident. Time to breath. Then I slowly described the scientific rationale for applying raw honey topically to burns including the antibiotic as well as the dermal regenerative effects. I almost peed my pants when, upon completing by offering, Dr. Pilcher turned to the chief surgical resident with a glint in his eye and said: “Dr. Schmidt, you obviously have not been keeping up with literature.”

Long story short, I was given dominion over the left leg and the surgical chief resident retained control over the right leg which was offered the standard of care. Immediately, the patient was grateful for the painless application of the raw honey instead of the excruciating application and dreaded scraping away of the Silvadene™.

The nurses were thrilled and everyone, myself included, were astonished to see, within one week, the skin close on the left heel while the calcaneus (heel) bone remained open and red with inflammation and infection on the right leg. The decision was made to stop the standard of care and to offer instead topical raw honey on both legs and the nurses were thrilled- not only that the patient was no longer suffering as before – but that infection resolved and cellular healing commenced.

Oh, Yes. I told you I would share the home remedy for pink eye “conjunctivitis”. It is an eye wash of either straight raw honey (stings more) or 50% warm water and 50% warm water – eye wash (stings less). Works every time as topical honey kills bacteria, viri (plural of virus) and fungi.

The word doctor derives from the Latin word “ducere” which means “to lead or teach”. (Think aqueduct). Therefore, a doctor is a teacher first and foremost. Accordingly, it has been with great pleasure that my wife and I forwent substantial fortunes by happily sharing this and other such important health information with our patients, our friends and all their families. (Stay up to date by subscribing to my newsletter: Centsible Heath News.   But for today, the great news is that raw honey is the golden tsunami – so “spread” the word!


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