Thursday, October 04, 2012

Does Honey Heal Wounds?

By the Midland Daily News, September 30, 2012
Historians have found references going back 4,000 years that suggest the use of honey for the treatment of skin wounds. It was recommended both topically and orally for various conditions. In 1894, a study showed that honey did, indeed, have some benefits in healing. Fifty years later, medical literature confirmed quicker and faster wound healing with the topical use of honey.
The honey bee produces beeswax, royal jelly, bee pollen, bee venom, and honey which have all been used in various ways for medicinal purposes. With the introduction of antibiotics, there was less need for honey to fight infections. However, as organisms have become more resistant to antibiotics, the interest in honey has reemerged.
Wound healing has many stages and phases. Modern research technology has documented that honey promotes improved healing in all of the phases. It appears to limit infection against some of the most aggressive bacteria, like Staphylococcus (including MRSA), Pseudomonas, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus. However, the healing effect seems to have more mechanisms of action than just preventing infection.
Honey appears to activate the local immune system to remove debris faster. It also enhances the formation of new blood vessels. In ages past and even recent times, people were taught to use hydrogen peroxide and iodine on their wounds. These products do reduce infection but they tend to kill new, young, healing cells. Honey is not toxic in this way. Rather, it provides a medium for the new cells to grow faster and reduces healing time…

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