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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Manuka Honey, one of our new treatments for infections

We are using Mauka Honey to help treat some of the severe secondary infections on Dexter.

Some people may find it hard to conceptualize the use of honey for medical purposes. However, the truth is, many years ago, before the advent of antibiotics and what we consider to be modern medicine, many cultures used honey for medicinal purposes. When antibiotics were invented, doctors were under the misconception that they were better than honey. New case studies are starting to prove otherwise. There are many different types of honey with varying antibacterial levels. Researchers have found that the most potent type of honey is one that comes from New Zealand called Manuka Honey. The differences in honey is predicated on the floral source, meaning the nectar of the flower that the honeybees use when manufacturing the honey. Manuka Honey is produced when bees use nectar from the flowers that grow on the Manuka bush which is native to New Zealand and certain parts of Australia. Manuka Honey has proven to be extremely effective in the treatment of wounds.

Manuka Honey provides a moist healing environment and prevents bacterial growth even when wounds are badly infected. Doctors are now using dressings with Manuka Honey to quickly sterilize wounds without the side effects of antibiotics. An added bonus to using wound products containing Manuka Honey is that it is effective against antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria such as MRSA. Manuka Honey's antibacterial properties and its viscosity also provide a barrier, preventing cross-infection of wounds. Because of the existence of glucose for leucocytes in Manuka Honey, hydrogen peroxide is produced which is a known antiseptic. The acidity of Manuka Honey also adds to the antibacterial action of macrophages. The acidification of wounds promotes healing. The high glucose levels in Manuka Honey is used by the bacteria instead of amino acids from the serum and dead cells which increases lactic acid instead of ammonia and the amines and sulphur compounds that are the cause of malodor in wounds. Because of this, Manuka Honey can actually help wounds smell better.

Clinical studies have shown that Manuka Honey increases the growth of new tissue. It also reduces inflammation, the exudation of wound fluids and malodor in wounds. Its anti-inflammatory effect on wound tissues plays a big role in reducing pain. Manuka Honey has a nutrient effect on regenerating tissue because it contains amino acids, vitamins and different types of sugar. By osmosis, Manuka Honey causes an outflow of lymph which provides nutrition for regenerating tissue. The healing process can take longer if the circulation to the affected area is poor or if the person is poorly nourished. Manuka Honey also increases oxygenation of tissues which is important to the healing process.

When the Manuka Honey draws fluid away from the wound, it also lifts dirt from the wound bed. This makes surgical debridement unnecessary. Manuka Honey also helps to prevent bandages from sticking to the wound which is helpful when the bandages need to be changed. This eliminates the pain normally associated with the changing dressings as well as the tearing of newly formed tissue. "Manuka Honey is also an ideal first aid dressing material for wounds and burns, says Frank Buonanotte, CEO of Honeymark International which is a manufacturer of Manuka Honey products. "In addition to providing an immediate anti-inflammatory effect, the Manuka Honey also provides an antibacterial action and a barrier to prevent infection."

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