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Tualang Honey is a Malaysian multifloral jungle honey. In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in the potential health benefits of this honey. Studies range from pure laboratory tests to animal experiments and controlled clinical trials. They show that the ability of Tualang Honey to heal various types and depths of wounds is better than that of conventional wound treatments. Tualang Honey shows bactericidal and bacteriostatic activity against a number of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. It is rich in antioxidants and has great potential as an anticancer agent. It improves hypertension, lipid profiles and diabetes in rats. It shares some similar properties and biochemical characteristics with the much-researched Manuka honey (New Zealand and/or Australian monofloral honey). Distinct differences include higher phenolics, flavonoids, and HMF. Tualang Honey is more effective than Manuka honey against some gram-negative bacterial strains in burn wounds. Although the health benefits of Manuka honey are internationally recognised, those of Tualang Honey are only recently attracting attention. More laboratory research and clinical trials are needed to develop a better understanding of its potential health benefits and to abate scepticism.
Tualang Honey is produced by the giant rock bee (Apis dorsata), which builds hives high up in the branches of Tualang tree (Kompassia excelsa). This tree (common name Mengaris) is found mainly in tropical rain forests and can reach up to 250 feet in height. In Malaysia, the trees are plentiful in the north-eastern region in the state of Kedah. The honeycombs can be up to 6 feet across, and the hive can contain as many as 30 000 bees. More than 100 nests may be found on one Tualang tree. Such a tree can yield some 450 kg (about 1000 pounds) of honey. In Malaysia, the honey is used traditionally as a health and anti-ageing supplement.
Tualang Honey has a dark brown appearance. It has a pH of 3.55–4.00 and a specific gravity of 1.335. The low pH is similar to Manuka honey (pH 3.2–4.21). Tualang Honey is more acidic than other local Malaysian honeys, such as Kelulut Hitam, Kelulut Putih, and Gelam. This characteristic makes Tualang Honey effective against several pathogenic microorganisms. The concentration of 5-(hydroxymethyl) furfural (HMF) in Tualang Honey is greater than in other Malaysian honeys.
Below list down few of the main benefits of Tualang Honey:
Antibacterial Activity of Tualang Honey
Tualang Honey is more effective than other known honey against some gram-negative bacterial strains in burn wounds management, probably due to its higher content of phenolics, flavanoids, and HMF. The bactericidal effect of the acidic fraction of Tualang Honey is greater against some bacterial strains.
Tualang Honey reduces the growth of wounds infected with bacteria and these bacteria are a common cause of hospital infections.
Wound Healing Properties of Tualang Honey
Tualang honey heals moist burns and several other types of wounds. In full-thickness burn wounds treated with Tualang Honey and conventional hydrofibre silvertreated wounds, the wounds treated with the Tualang Honey show a reduction in wound size of 32.26%.
Antioxidant Activity of Tualang Honey
Tualang Honey has antioxidant activities that can suppress oxidative stress. The antioxidants in Tualang Honey are flavonoids, phenolic acids, amino acids, proteins, and some enzymes.
Tualang Honey has a higher level of antioxidant activity than other local Malaysian honeys, such as Gelam, Indian forest, and pineapple honeys.