The scientific evidence allows us to propose the honey of Melipona Stingless bee species as a potential alternative for the obtention of bioactive compounds with antioxidant activity in the Yucatan Peninsula and natural food being proposed to reduce some diseases associated with stress oxidative physiological human cells.
Stingless bee honey has great therapeutic potential, especially as an antimicrobial agent. Other traditional uses given to Mayan Melipona Bee honey are reducing and curing cataracts, pterygium eye, and conjunctivitis.
Melipona honey is a natural substance produced by the Mayan Stingless bee Melipona one of 16 native species of the southeastern region of the Mexican territory and is known for being energy, nutraceutical, and medicinal food. Its properties are attributed to the compounds it contains such as carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, organic acids, and proteins.
The honey composition can change depending on the diversity of the floral source used by the bees to harvest the nectar, the climate, storage time, and entomological origin. The variation of its components gives rise to its appearance, smell, taste, and biological properties.
Foodborne diseases caused by bacteria are a significant cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide and are the focus of great interest to the World Health Organization. Antimicrobial activity is one of the nutraceutical properties attributed to Melipona Bee honey, based on reports of its great antibacterial spectrum which causes growth inhibition of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
Furthermore, it has been reported that this food could inhibit the growth of pathogens related to foodborne illnesses such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes, among others.
In addition, it has been documented that Mayan Melipona Bee honey has a negative effect on the different virulence factors of some bacteria, diminishing their pathogenicity.
Recently, reported that the antibacterial efficacy of honey is related to some of its components that work synergistically, which makes it highly effective against a variety of microorganisms; such effectivity is different for each microbial strain.
These phenolic compound contents, in addition to molecules of protein origin, have been regarded as the source of antioxidants that contribute substantially to this biological activity.
Many of the healing properties attributed to honey are the basis for some treatments of traditional medicine around the world, reaching used in the treatment of open wounds, in the treatment of ulcers, and sores on the skin also the ancient Maya used Melipona honey to accelerate the healing of wounds and burns. Other traditional uses given to Melipona honey are reducing and curing cataracts, pterygium eye, and conjunctivitis.
Mayan communities use Melipona bee honey for the treatment of diseases like laryngitis, sinusitis, typhoid, bronchitis, cough, and bacterial infections. Even there are reports where the use of honey has been successful against some types of cancers. This chapter compilates some actual medicinal uses of honey from Melipona in the Mayan communities of Yucatan. Contrasting traditional uses with strong scientific evidence about the therapeutic uses and effects of honey.
Melipona bees honey is a natural compound, which can be safely used on ocular surfaces. Due to its physicochemical features, it is likely to have many applications such as an antibacterial, hyperosmotic and moisturizing agent.
There are many studies that show that Melipona honey acts as a super tonic to improve vision and reduce inflammation or redness or irritation of the eyes.
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