How does honey, being so high in sugar, have antibacterial properties?


A lump full of sugar sounds like bacterial heaven to me.

Edit: the question seems to be solved, thank you for all of your answers!

In: 5

Because, sugar is way too concentrated for bacteria to grow, they would dehydrate trying to grow in honey. Honey is also somewhat acidic, making it even more difficult for them.

Bacteria need sugar dissolved in water. Honey, however, is 80% various sugars and less than 20% water. This concentration of sugar draws water out of the bacteria that come into contact with it through osmosis, thus killing them.

Honey’s antibacterial effect can be explained by:

-High sugar concentration (which exerts osmotic pressure on bacterial cells, causes cells to become dehydrated and thus unable to grow)

-Low PH (undiluted honey is quite acidic, which reduces bacterial growth)

-Hydrogen Peroxide/bleach (when honey is diluted with water, ‘bleach’ is produced)

It being so high in sugar is what actually also contributes to its antibacterial properties.

For one thing, bacteria don’t necessarily eat straight sugar. That’s more of a fungus thing (molds and yeast).

For another thing, the *concentration* of sugar kills them by sucking all the fluid out of them osmotically.

Straight up granular sugar is used to treat large wounds. They just put sugar in the wound and wrap a bandage around. Here’s a video of a veterinarian using a sugar wrap on a dog. WARNING, THIS VIDEO IS GRAPHIC, THIS DOG IS MISSING THE SKIN FROM ITS NECK. YOURE GOING TO SEE RED MEAT AND VIENS AND ARTERIES. DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO.