You might notice a preponderance of people wearing purple this month. That’s because it’s the signature color of the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Go Purple” initiative to raise awareness about the devastating effects of the disease. Discovered by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906, the disease is defined by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) as “an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.” It is estimated that more than 5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s, and that it may rank as the third most common cause of death for older people, superseded only by cancer and heart disease.
Documented evidence of the use of honey for medicinal purposes has existed for centuries across continents and cultures. As is so often the case, what’s old is new again, and honey has seen a resurgence as a treatment, specifically as a topical ointment to aid in wound healing. Because of its antimicrobial properties, honey is often used when treatment with antibiotics and antiseptics have failed. The honey produced by the Manuka (species Leptospermum scoparium) flower of New Zealand has been shown to be one of the most powerful in this regard.