Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Honey is the Latest ‘Wonder Treatment’ for a Variety of Ills

The Treatment That's the Bee's Knees
By Peta Bee, Daily Mail (UK), 7/11/2006

Medicine may be increasingly high-tech, but the latest wonder treatment which is being offered to patients is — honey.

Last week, it was announced that bandages soaked in manuka honey are to be given to mouth cancer patients at the Christie Hospital in Manchester to reduce their chances of contracting the MRSA superbug and to lessen wound inflammation following surgery.

This is just the latest study investigating this particular type of honey's healing powers.

It is used routinely at the Manchester Royal Infirmary for dressing wounds, and other research has found it can fight gum disease, ease digestive problems and soothe sore throats.

All honey contains hydrogen peroxide, a substance once used as a wound disinfectant in hospitals — it comes from an enzyme that bees add to nectar…

In separate studies, researchers at Aintree Hospital in Liverpool and the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, found manuka honey could help to combat MRSA, which kills 5,000 British patients a year…

Another study published in the European Journal of Medical Research found manuka had an 85 per cent success rate — compared with 50 per cent with routine treatments — when used to treat infected caesarean and hysterectomy wounds.

Despite its sweetness, manuka honey has been found to disrupt three types of bacteria in the mouth which cause tooth decay.

In laboratory tests, it sharply reduced the acid levels produced by Streptococcus mitis, Streptococcus sobrinus and Lactobacillus caseii.

Research by Professor Molan has shown that reducing the amount of acid stops the bacteria from producing dextran, which sticks dental plaque to the surface of teeth. He recommends rubbing manuka into the gums after brushing or, since it retains its anti-microbial properties even when diluted up to 50 times, it can be used as a mouthwash...

Trials at the University of Waikato are looking into the effects of manuka honey on acne and eczema.

It is suggested it is applied neat to the skin as a face pack and left for 15 to 20 minutes before washing off…

Using honey, including manuka of various UMFs, during exercise was found to be as successful at improving performance and power among athletes as specialist energy drinks…

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