Natural healing products like honey and maggot larvae to clean wounds, and tackle bacteria like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are being used by staff at a British hospital.
Nurses at Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath, Somerset, have been using both the medical grade Manuka honey, harvested from the native New Zealand Manuka plant, and the sterilised larvae of the common greenbottle fly for applying on wounds.
Advertisement"Honey has been used in healing for centuries but now new products on the market have overcome the problems associated with using conventional honey and bring the use of honey into a modern healthcare setting," the Telegraph quoted Kate Purser, tissue viability nurse specialist, as saying.
"As well as having effective antibacterial properties, honey has an osmotic action meaning its high sugar content actively draws fluid from the wound helping the body to dissolve and remove dead tissue.
"It also reduces wound odour and maintains a moist wound healing environment," she added.
Although maggots have been used medically for hundreds of years, their popularity dwindled in the 1940s after the introduction of antibiotics.
Maggot therapy was reintroduced to the UK in 1995, and was accepted for use by the NHS in 2004.
"Sterile maggots applied to a wound as part of a dressing, are capable of killing bacteria in their gut, including MRSA. In addition, their saliva contains enzymes that enable them to remove dead or unhealthy tissue and promote healing in a wound," said Purser.
"We may use maggot therapy when conventional dressings have not been successful or if a wound requires a more rapid form of treatment. The maggots can convert an infected, offensive smelling wound into a clean healthy wound within a few days.
"There is something of the 'yuck' factor which may put people off but once the maggots are applied, some people may feel a tickling sensation, but most people don't feel a thing," she added.