Honey sourced from a native myrtle tree in Australia has been hailed as the “world’s most potent” after it was found to have the strongest anti-bacterial properties in the globe.
A research team has claimed the honey from the myrtle tree could be used to treat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections that commonly occur in hospitals and nursing homes.
According to researchers, the myrtle honey has very high levels of the anti-bacterial compound Methylglyoxal (MGO) and it outperforms all medicinal honeys currently available on the market.
The research, led by the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation in conjunction with The Australian Organic Honey Company & Medi Bioactive Australia, involved comprehensive trials with honey harvested from a native species of myrtle (leptospermum polygalifolium).
CEO of The Australian Organic Honey Company & Medi Bioactive Australia, Carolyn MacGill, said the findings had shown anti-bacterial potency levels that could allow for the development of highly effective anti-bacterial treatments.
“We have had MGO readings in excess of 1750 mg/kg in certain batches of honey. This would make this range of honeys one of the most potent in the world,” MacGill said.
Honeys investigated by the research group were effective as anti-bacterial treatments when used in the range of 500 to 1750 mg/kg MGO to prevent the growth of Methicillin -Resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a common bacterial infection in hospitals.
Lead researcher Yasmina Sultanbawa said potency of the honeys meant a small amount was required to fight infection.
“The sheer strength, due to high levels of active compounds in these honeys, has meant that we have been able to completely inhibit MRSA for example in in-vitro studies with a small quantity of the honey,” Dr Sultanbawa said.