Man seems to rediscover old truths as Australian scientists now look to honey as a solution, to fight superbugs such as MRSA.
Scientists at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough were inspired by the use of honey by the aborigines (indigenous tribal people of the continent), who use honey as a dressing for their wounds.
Mention of honey and its benefits are seen in ancient Indian texts such as the Charaka and Susrutha Samhitis, and the Bible as well.
Honey is known for its anti-bacterial properties, among others. The key ingredient that does the trick is hydrogen peroxide, which is derived from an enzyme that the bees add to nectar, in order to prepare honey.
Australian doctors manufactured 'Medihoney' by extracting honey from a particular colony of bees and then sterilizing it. It was then combined with seaweed, which is said to draw out and absorb harmful bacteria.
This was then placed on a dressing and used to treat wounds, especially those resulting from heart operations.
The doctors claim that this treatment could help do away with the over-use of antibiotics, which are leading to the creation of superbugs like MRSA, that defy even a variety of heavy dose antibiotics.
They say that if successful on large scale, the treatment could be used in all hospitals to fight the MRSA infections that claim around 2500 lives and cost the health services a billion dollars yearly.