Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Is Manuka Honey the Best Type of Honey for Wound Care?

J Hosp Infect, 2009 Nov 9

Honey has been used since ancient times as a remedy in wound care, but there remains insufficient evidence to recommend one type of honey over another type. Honey derived from the floral source Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) has been claimed to have therapeutic advantages over other honeys due to its notable antibacterial effect. It is currently used as a medical product for professional wound care in European hospitals. The main advantage of manuka honey is that the floral sources increase its antibacterial activity, even against meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

However, it has been well documented that the pronounced antibacterial activity of manuka honey directly originates from methylglyoxal, as well as other components such as hydrogen peroxide, flavinoids and aromatic acids, all of which demonstrate antimicrobial properties. Microbial resistance to honey has never been reported, which makes it a very promising topical antimicrobial agent.

In this report, we investigated the antibacterial properties of several types of Slovak honey against active manuka honey UMF 16รพ and a control solution with sugar content similar to that of the natural honey...

We compared the antimicrobial activity of local Slovak honeys with ‘therapeutic’ active manuka honey at different concentrations and demonstrated that forest honey had an inhibitory activity equivalent to that of manuka honey for some, but not all, bacteria. Forest honey was even more effective against Proteus spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa than manuka honey.

When honey is used clinically, honey is applied directly to the wound in much higher concentrations than those in laboratory conditions.

Nowadays, recent papers have described the effects of honey on immune cells, where the antibacterial activity of honey is likely to be unrelated to the actions on such cells. In addition to the antimicrobial properties, honey may influence the activation of various cellular and extracellular matrix components and cells.3e6 Alongside 55 kDa major protein of honey (MRJP1), 5.8 kDa component of manuka honey as well as an effective component from jungle honey withMWof 261, were found to be novel potential therapeutic agents for the treatment
of wounds.

The aim of this report is to highlight the potential beneficial properties of honey during the healing process at cellular level. We believe that honey contains an effective molecule(s) with non-antimicrobial characteristics which stimulates cells involved in wound healing.

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