Some wounds heal faster when treated with honey than with most modern antibiotics, according to a recent study.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Bonn, Germany in collaboration with colleagues from Homburg, Düsseldorf and Berlin and they found that medihoney is a very effective treatment for several wounds, including the healing of chronic wounds that are infected with multi-resistant bacteria within a few weeks.
According to Dr Arne Simon from the cancer ward of the Bonn University Children's Clinic, doctors are faced with many antibiotic resistant germs and therefore honey was once looked upon as a viable treatment.
He said, "In hospitals today we are faced with germs which are resistant to almost all the current antibiotics. As a result, the medical use of honey is becoming attractive again for the treatment of wounds."
Pediatricians in Bonn have pioneered the use of medihoney, which bears the CE seal for medical products in Germany in treating wounds. Kai Sofka, wound specialist at the University Children's Clinic, stated that medihoney has proved very successful in treating wounds.
Kai Sofka said, "Dead tissue is rejected faster, and the wounds heal more rapidly. What is more, changing dressings is less painful, since the poultices are easier to remove without damaging the newly formed layers of skin. Even wounds which consistently refused to heal for years can, in our experience, be brought under control with medihoney - and this frequently happens within a few weeks."
Medihoney is a combination of two different types of honey: one known as 'leptospermum honey', derived from a species of tree that occurs in Australia and New Zealand and another which forms a comparatively large amount of hydrogen peroxide. Honey from the Leptospermum trees has a particularly strong anti-bacterial effect, even in a 10 percent dilution.