Using honey in wound care
Molan, P. C. (2006). Using honey in wound care. International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy France. 3(2b), 21-24.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2030
Honey is primarily a herbal product with some modifications that are made by the bees that process the nectar or sap collected from the plants to store as honey. The types of phytochemicals present in a honey depend on the plant source of the honey. The hydrogen peroxide that is formed in honey by an enzyme the bees add, and sometimes also particular phytochemicals from the nectar or sap, give honey antibacterial activity that is sufficient to be effective in clearing infection from wounds. The phytochemicals also give honey its antioxidant activity which is also important in wound care, acting to decrease inflammation. Honey has been used in wound care since ancient times, but was displaced from use by the advent of antibiotics. With the widespread resistance to antibiotics developing in bacteria, it is now being 'rediscovered', and in many cases is proving to give better results than modern wound-care products. It has the advantage of providing moist healing conditions without the risk of bacterial growth, preventing adhesion of dressings to wound tissues, giving rapid removal of pus, dead tissue and debris from wounds, decreasing inflammation and thus decreasing swelling, pain and exudation of serum and preventing scarring, and speeding up the growth of tissues to repair wounds.
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This article is published in the International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy. Used with permission.