Friday, February 22, 2008

UK Nursing Journal Outlines Healing Properties of Honey

Modern Wound Therapies
Journal of Community Nursing, February 2008, Volume 22, Issue 02

Maureen Benbow gives an overview of just some of the vast range of modern wound therapies available to community nurses

The modern wound care nurse is overwhelmed with a range of products, gadgets, devices and therapies that claim to improve the management of wounds. From topical negative therapy to live maggots, protease modulating therapies to electrical stimulation, the merits of which are often poorly understood, misused and, in some cases, lack evidence of efficacy. This article will attempt to demystify a few of these concepts and suggest the ways that they can be best utilised for the benefit of the patient…


The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, deodorising and debriding effects of honey are very well documented (Molan, 1999; Willix et al, 1992; Cooper et al, 1999; Cooper & Molan, 1999; Cooper et al, 2000; Karayil et al, 1998). It is believed that the antibacterial properties of honey include the release of hydrogen peroxide at safe levels plus an additional phytochemical antibacterial component (Molan, 2001). Honey is also able to prevent the development of biofilm formation thus reducing infection (Irish, Carter & Blair, 2006 as cited by Cutting, 2007). Honey is able to remove Enterococcus species Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and fungi from infected wounds, reduce pain and odour, stimulate the immune system and the rapid production of granulation tissue to set the wound on the road to healing (Efem, 1988; Armon, 1980; Cavanagh et al, 1970; Molan, 2002). Molan (2001) suggests that can be effective against antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. Its use therefore is supported in the treatment of infected wounds and prophylactically in the treatment of wounds in patients who are susceptible to MRSA and other bacterial resistant bacteria (Molan, 2001). Adverse local effects are rare apart from a stinging sensation experienced by a small number of patients however, Molan (2007) reports that patients find honey soothing, pain relieving and non-irritating.

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