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Honey helps problem wounds

A household remedy millennia old is being reinstated: honey helps the treatment of some wounds better than the most modern antibiotics. For several years now medical experts from the University of Bonn have been clocking up largely positive experience with what is known as medihoney. Even chronic wounds infected with multi-resistant bacteria often healed within a few weeks. In conjunction with colleagues from Düsseldorf, Homburg and Berlin they now want to test the experience gained in a large-scale study, as objective data on the curative properties of honey are thin on the ground.

The fact that honey can help wounds to heal is something that was known to the Ancient Egyptians several thousand years ago. And in the last two world wars poultices with honey were used to assist the healing process in soldiers' wounds. However, the rise of the new antibiotics replaced this household remedy. 'In hospitals today we are faced with germs which are resistant to almost all the current anti-biotics,' Dr. Arne Simon explains. 'As a result, the medical use of honey is becoming attractive again for the treatment of wounds.'

Dr. Simon works on the cancer ward of the Bonn University Children's Clinic. As far as the treatment of wounds is concerned, his young patients form part of a high-risk group: the medication used to treat cancer known as cytostatics not only slows down the reproduction of malignant cells, but also impairs the healing process of wounds. 'Normally a skin injury heals in a week, with our children it often takes a month or more,' he says. Moreover, children with leukaemia have a weakened immune system. If a germ enters their bloodstream via a wound, the result may be a fatal case of blood poisoning.

For several years now Bonn paediatricians have been pioneering the use in Germany of medihoney in treating wounds. Medihoney bears the CE seal for medical products; its quality is regularly tested. The success is astonishing: 'Dead tissue is rej
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Source:University of Bonn


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