Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Expert Says Medicinal Honey Making a Comeback

Sweet, Natural Cure
Honey tastes great on toast and as a drink. Now, there’s a new application for it – as a remedy for wound care.
By Majorie Chiew, The Star (Malaysia), 7/18/2007

Not all honey is the same. Manuka honey from New Zealand, it is claimed, is potent enough to heal nasty wounds and even kill some strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Now that antibiotics have somewhat lost their effectiveness, people are rediscovering the use of honey for wounds, said Peter Molan, 63, professor of Biological Sciences and director of the Honey Research Unit of the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand.

The use of honey, the oldest remedy for treating wounds, dates back more than 4,000 years. The ancient Egyptians used honey in a grease-honey-lint dressing to put on infected wounds, said Prof Molan, a biochemist. “This traditional cure was displaced in the 1940s with the discovery of antibiotics.”…

Prof Molan was in Kuala Lumpur recently to speak at the 3rd International Congress of the Asia Pacific Society of Infection Control Conference.

At the press conference, Prof Molan, a honey researcher, said honey has antibacterial properties. In his research paper, he explained: “The antibacterial activity of honey rapidly clears infection and protects wounds from becoming infected. Thus, it provides a moist healing environment without the risk of bacterial growth occurring.”

He claimed that Manuka honey can be effectively used to heal simple wounds, chronic ulcers, burns, MRSA infections and other serious wounds…

“Staphylococci can be a problem in people with tubes that go into their skin when they are on dialysis for kidney failure, while people can die from Pseudomonas infection that gets into burns (wounds),” he said…

Two years ago, scientific researchers and clinical practitioners came up with an ideal wound dressing, incorporating calcium alginate fibres with Active Manuka Honey. This apinate dressing (widely used in Australia and New Zealand) offers anti-bacterial barrier protection and encourages wound tissue re-growth…

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