LAHORE A study carried out by a team of researchers of the University of Health Sciences (UHS) discovered the therapeutic role of honey and suggested it as a drug supplement for typhoid fever.
The team was headed by UHS Microbiology department's head Prof Dr Abdul Hannan while other researchers were Dr Muhammad Barkaat, Sidrah Saleem, Muhammad Usman and Waseem Ahmed Gilani.
'Typhoid or enteric fever is transmitted through the ingestion of food or drink contaminated by faeces or urine of the infected people. Symptoms, which usually develop 1-3 weeks after exposure, include high fever, malaise, headache, constipation or diarrhea and enlarged spleen and liver.
Typhoid fever can be treated with antibiotics, but resistance to common antimicrobials is widespread,' the report maintains.
'Our research shows that Pakistani 'beri' honey contains potent antibacterial substances against Salmonella typhi, the bacterium responsible for typhoid fever, at 15-16 per cent dilution. It is therefore worthwhile to suggest oral use of honey, in condition of disease, to supplement other anti-typhoid drugs,' said Dr Barkaat.
He said that honey had been used as a healing agent throughout the human history besides its widespread usage as a popular food. Its miraculous healing power was also mentioned in the Holy Quran.
Honey was also used as a medicine for chronic skin infections and burns, he said and added that it had also been successfully used for some ailments of gastrointestinal tract, including periodontal and other oral diseases.
'A clinical trial indicated that honey at concentration of five per cent shortens the duration of bacterial diarrhea in infants and children. It has also been found effective in the treatment of dyspepsia, gastric and duodenal ulcers,' Dr Barkaat said.