Sunday, September 21, 2008

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Prompt Interest in Healing Honey

Ask Dr. H: Using Honey to Heal Wounds
By Mitchell Hecht, Philadelphia Inquirer (USA), 9/15/2008

Question: What can you tell me about using honey to heal hard-to-treat wounds? How well does it work?

Answer: The practice of using honey to heal wounds goes back thousands of years to the ancient Egyptians - long before bacteria were known about. Honey has long had a reputation as a folk remedy for infection, but there was little formal study of its potential until recently.

Renewed interest in medicinal honey is due to the rapidly growing problem of bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotic drugs. Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, and it's able to avoid bacterial resistance.

Its bacteria-killing properties are the result of low water concentration; a small amount of the oxidant hydrogen peroxide; and a fairly acidic pH of 3.2-4.5 (water has a neutral pH of 7.0). These properties inhibit bacterial growth and kill topically when honey is applied directly to a bacteria-infected area.

Researchers in the Netherlands recently investigated the antimicrobial properties of medicinal-grade honey produced by bees in closed greenhouses. Their culture studies showed that a 40 percent solution of honey killed all bacteria tested, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as well as vancomycin-resistant E. faecium…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where do you get medicinal-grade honey? My 10 year old son has had five cases of CA-MRSA over a two year period. I will do anything to eradicate this.