Friday, October 19, 2007

Honey, the Ancient Healer, Makes Comeback

United Press International, 10/18/2007

BANGOR, Wales, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- As antibiotic resistance spurs new interest in old remedies, a researcher in Wales suggests seriously considering honey as a healer.

The study, a review published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, reports honey effectively sterilizes infected wounds and speeds up healing and has been used to reduce amputation rates among diabetes patients.

"Honey is one of the oldest foods in existence and was an ancient remedy for wound healing," lead author Dr. Fasal Rauf Khan of North West Wales National Health Service Trust in Bangor, Wales, said in a statement. "It was found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun and was still edible as it never spoils. Researchers started to document the wound healing properties of honey in the early 20th century, but the introduction of antibiotics in 1940 temporarily halted its use."

Honey has a number of properties that make it effective against bacterial growth, including its high sugar content, low moisture content, gluconic acid, which creates an acidic environment and hydrogen peroxide, Khan explains. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling and seems particularly suited for healing wounds left by laparoscopic surgery to remove cancer…

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