Volume 1, Issue 11
November 20, 2008

A really sweet way to treat
chronic wounds

Did you know that you probably have a remedy in your kitchen cabinet that is the most effective known medical treatment for wounds? I'm talking about acute, recent wounds, as well as chronic wounds that just won't heal.

This marvelous substance works both as an anti-bacterial therapy to prevent infections as well as to treat infected wounds? And it also stimulates healing in wounds that refuse to heal. Not only that, in controlled studies, researchers have shown that it's either more effective than or as effective as drug therapies. And it's much less painful. Amazingly, because it's not a drug marketed by Big Pharma, it's actually cheap.

I'm talking, of course, about honey.

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Using honey on wounds is nothing new. It has been used for centuries. And I've been using it routinely for over 25 years. Even the medical literature has documented its effectiveness.

Many studies have compared honey against standard medical therapies, such as silver sulphadiazine and IntraSite Gel. And, in each study, honey either worked better or as good as the drug therapies. Now, new research shows that honey is four times more effective in treating difficult pressure ulcers than the commonly used medications. This study comes out of a university school of nursing in Turkey.

Pressure ulcers are one of the worst problems that any nurse has to face. Pressure ulcers occur in people who are bedridden for weeks, such as stroke victims. They also commonly happen to our older patients who have been laid up secondary to surgery or some type of medical complication.

Pressure ulcers are serious business. First of all, they are extremely painful, and often require narcotic medication. They also can become infected and even result in death secondary to the infection. And perhaps the worst problem with them is that they are very slow to heal. In fact, in many cases, they never heal. So anything that can promote the healing of pressure ulcers is important. That's where honey comes in.

In this study, researchers treated 36 patients with a total of 68 stage-2 or stage-3 pressure ulcers. These are the more serious kinds of ulcers. They treated 15 of the patients with a total of 25 different ulcers with honey. And they treated 11 of the patients who also had a total of 25 different ulcers with the more commonly used patent medications (ethoxy-diaminoacridine with nitrofurazone). All of the ulcers were similar with regard to depth and degree of infection. Before the study began, the researchers evaluated each of the wounds using a scoring system called the PUSH system (Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing).

The results were conclusive. According to the authors, after five weeks of treatment, the honey healed the wounds four times faster than the drugs!

If you have any open wounds, reach for the honey before anything else. Make sure it's raw honey, as it works the best.

When you apply honey to a wound, put enough on to give you a layer equivalent to two to three millimeters (about 1/8th of an inch). Then cover it with a protective dressing. If the wound hurts, you will notice an almost immediate decrease in pain. Gently wash off the old honey with warm water and baby shampoo every day. Then replace it with a new layer. In only a few days you will be singing, "How sweet it is."

Finding your Real Cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

REF: Yapucu Gne, Eer I. Effectiveness of a honey dressing for healing pressure ulcers. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2007 Mar-Apr;34(2):184-90.

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