Horse owners have long used honey to promote wound healing in horses, with New Zealand’s manuka honey considered the world leader, but it could soon have a Scottish rival.
A new study has shown that Scottish heather honey proved especially effective in fighting bacteria in a trial.
The study, published in The Veterinary Journal, was carried out by equine surgeon Dr Patrick Pollock and colleagues at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow.
A keen bee-keeper, Dr Pollock was interested to know if honeys other than manuka might make effective anti-bacterial wound dressings.
Pollock said: “Although manuka has been the most studied honey source to date, other honey sources may have valuable antimicrobial properties, too.
“Honey is useful in equine medicine, particularly on wounds to legs. There is not much fat on the lower half of horses’ legs, so can take a long time to heal, or even never fully heal at all.
“Honey helps to promote healing, cleaning the wound and keeping it infection-free. If vets were able to use locally sourced, cheaper honey as a wound dressing, it would be very beneficial particularly in poorer countries.”…