What Honey Should Be Used
For centuries it has been known that different types of honey exhibit differences in antibacterial activity. In recent years, honey from different sources have been studied and a few have been identified as having particularly high antibacterial activity. Mnuka honey gathered from the mnuka tree Leptospermum scoparium, native to New Zealand, has high antibacterial activity, with about half of this type of honey having high levels of non-peroxide activity.
Honey produced from mnuka trees is tested for antibacterial activity and is given a potency rating called a UMF . The honey is tested for the key signature compounds leptopsperin, methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone. The higher the UMF rating, the greater the level of UMF properties.
Medical grade UMF honey is sterilised by gamma irradiation without loss of any antibacterial activity.
Selection Criteria And Methods
One reviewer screened citations and selected studies. In the first level of screening, titles and abstracts were reviewed and potentially relevant articles were retrieved and assessed for inclusion. The final selection of full-text articles was based on the inclusion criteria presented in .
Context And Policy Issues
There are a variety of types of wounds, acute wounds and chronic wounds . The management of wounds presents a burden on the Canadian healthcare system. In 2011 to 2012, more than 2.6 million wounds were treated in Canadian healthcare settings. In 2013, it was estimated that infected pressure ulcers and surgical wounds cost individual hospitals around one million dollars a year.
This review aims to summarize the guidelines for use and evidence regarding the effectiveness and safety of honey for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds.
Don’t Miss: Venous Stasis Ulcer Signs And Symptoms
How To Use Honey On Wounds
The following are general tips on how honey may be used for wound care.
- Sterilised, laboratory-tested honey for medicinal purposes should be used to treat infected wounds
- The amount of honey used depends on the amount of fluid exuding from the wound. Large amounts of exudate require substantial amounts of honey to be applied
- The frequency of dressing changes depends on how rapidly the honey is being diluted by the exudate. This should become less frequent as the honey starts to work on healing the wound.
- Occlusivedressings help to prevent honey oozing out from the wound.
- It is best to spread the honey on a dressing and apply this to the wound than apply the honey directly onto the wound. Dressing pads pre-impregnated with honey are commercially available and provide an effective and less messy alternative.
- Abscesses, cavity or deep wounds need more honey to adequately penetrate deep into the wound tissues. The wound bed should be filled with honey before applying the honey dressing pad.
Critical Appraisal Of Individual Studies
The included HTA and SRs were critically appraised by one reviewer using AMSTAR and guidelines were assessed with the AGREE II instrument. Summary scores were not calculated for the included studies rather, a review of the strengths and limitations of each included study were described narratively.
Recommended Reading: How To Prevent Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcers
The New Zealand Honey Trial
Four centers around New Zealand decided to put honey to the test as a healing agent. The test centers were in Auckland, South Auckland, Waikato and Christchurch. A total of 368 patients were then randomly divided into two groups of equal numbers. Researchers gave one group conventional dressings. They gave the other group dressings that they impregnated with honey. Both groups in the trial used compression bandaging.
After 12 weeks the results were in for these clinical trials.
There was no significant difference between the rates of healing between the two groups. However, the honey treatment was more expensive overall. People in that group also reported more adverse events than the conventional group. This was quite surprising because honey has shown to speed up the healing process in lesser sores, cuts and grazes.
How To Use Honey For Leg Ulcers
Recommended Reading: What Does Ulcerative Colitis Affect
Types Of Honey Used On Wounds
Ideally, a person should use medical-grade honey, which is sterilized and therefore less likely to cause immune system reactions.
In addition to Manuka honey, other forms sold for healing include Gelam, Tualang, and MediHoney, which is a brandname for a product where the honey has been sterilized by gamma irradiation.
Honey To Treat Leg Ulcers
A leg ulcer is a type of open sore that takes a long time to heal, usually more than 2 weeks.
It is the result of poor blood circulation in the lower extremities caused by a variety of underlying conditions. In fact, it is the lack of blood flow that prevents the skin from healing quickly and properly.
You can typically find the ulcer on the inner side of the leg, right above the ankle.
In the beginning, the skin turns dark accompanied by pain, itching, swelling, and a feeling of heaviness in the affected area. The dry, irritated skin eventually breaks to form an asymmetric open wound.
There has been considerable research on the use of topical honey for healing leg ulcers, with some studies providing promising results but not without their limitations.
Thus, more large-scale and rigorous clinical trials are needed to conclusively determine the true potential of honey as a dressing for leg ulcers. However, honey is unlikely to trigger any adverse side effects, making it worth a try.
Also Check: What To Give A Horse With Ulcers
Tips For Applying Honey On Wounds
If youre applying honey on wounds at home, here are some general tips for application.
- Always start with clean hands and applicators, such as sterile gauze and cotton tips.
- Apply the honey to a dressing first, then apply the dressing to the skin. This helps to cut down on the messiness of honey when applied directly to the skin. You can also purchase honey-impregnated dressings, such as MediHoney brand dressings, which have been on the market for several years. An exception is, if you have a deep wound bed, such as an abscess. The honey should fill the wound bed before a dressing is applied.
- Place a clean, dry dressing over the honey. This can be sterile gauze pads or an adhesive bandage. An occlusive dressing is best over honey because it keeps the honey from seeping out.
- Replace the dressing when drainage from the wound saturates the dressing. As honey starts to heal the wound, the dressing changes will likely be less frequent.
- Wash your hands after dressing the wound.
If you have any questions about applying honey to your wound, follow up with a physician.
Complete Healing And Short
Volume 8, Issue 2, 2022
18 January, 2022
Article ID: e130921196412 Pages: 5
Background: Recent advances in care show that inadequate management of the healingprocess in wounds and the development of bacterial infections lead to increased morbidity. Healthprofessionals have progressively recognized the value of choosing suitable dressings to managewounds, particularly in developing countries. Honey has been used for thousands of years as awound dressing and is considered a biologic treatment due to its multiple bioactivities related tothe healing process.
Objective: The aim of this case report is to demonstrate that Argania Honey dressing improves thehealing process in a venous leg ulcer.
Methods: Pure raw Argania honey withno additives, pasteurization or manipulation was used, which was provided by local beekeepers. Amechanical debridement process was achieved previously to the application of honey dressings to avenous leg ulcer of a 67-year-old woman affected by type II diabetes for 11 years.
Results: The Argania honey dressing accompanied by mechanical debridement process demonstrateda rapid recovery and complete healing of the wound for 12 weeks approximately .
Referenceset al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al.
Don’t Miss: Can You Drink Alcohol With Ulcerative Colitis
Is Honey Effective For Healing
Honey is a sugary, syrupy substance that has been shown to have bioactive components that can help heal wounds.
According to a literature review published in the journal Wounds, honey offers the following benefits in healing wounds:
- Acidic pH promotes healing. Honey has an acidic pH of between 3.2 and 4.5. When applied to wounds, the acidic pH encourages the blood to release oxygen, which is important to wound healing. An acidic pH also reduces the presence of substances called proteases that impair the wound healing process.
- Sugar has an osmotic effect. The sugar naturally present in honey has the effect of drawing water out of damaged tissues . This reduces swelling and encourages the flow of lymph to heal the wound. Sugar also draws water out of bacterial cells, which can help keep them from multiplying.
- Antibacterial effect. Honey has been shown to have an antibacterial effect on bacteria commonly present in wounds, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci . Part of this resistance may be through its osmotic effects.
Honey To Treat Bed Sores
Bed sores develop when a part of the skin remains under constant pressure for a long period, causing damage to the skin and underlying tissue. This localized strain and trauma trigger inflammation in the area, which ultimately results in ulcer formation.
The ulcer starts off as a discolored patch that hurts, itches, and does not turn white when pressed upon. Over time, the underlying inflammation manifests in the form of a blister that may burst and turn into an open wound.
Bed sores mostly occur in people confined to beds or wheelchairs, but they can affect anyone.
You May Like: Sand Beds For Pressure Ulcers
A Comparison Of The Efficacy And Cost Of Different Venous Leg Ulcer Dressings: A Retrospective Cohort Study
Syed M. Asim Hussain
Objective. To compare the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of simple nonadherent dressings with other more expensive dressing types in the treatment of venous leg ulcers. Study Design. Retrospective cohort study. Location. The leg ulcer clinic at the University Hospital of South Manchester. Subjects and Methods. The healing rates of twelve leg ulcer patients treated with simple nonadherent dressings were compared with an equal number of patients treated with modern dressings to determine differences in healing rates and cost. Main Outcome Measures. Rate of healing as determined by reduction in ulcer area over a specified period of time and total cost of dressing per patient. Results. Simple nonadherent dressings had a mean healing rate of 0.353cm2/week compared with a mean of 0.415cm2/week for more expensive dressings. This resulted in a one-tailed value of 0.251 and a two-tailed value of 0.508. Multiple regression analysis gave a significance of 0.8134. . The results indicate that the difference in healing rate between simple and modern dressings is not statistically significant. Therefore, the cost of dressing type should be an important factor influencing dressing selection.
2.1. Null Hypothesis
There is no significant difference in leg ulcer healing rates when comparing simple nonadherent Ultra dressings with modern dressings such as Inadine, Iodoflex, Medihoney, Aquacel Ag, and Atrauman Ag.
Table 2characteristics Of Included Health Technology Assessments Systematic Reviews And Meta
||Relevant literature identified to address the predetermined outcomes of interest was assessed using GRADE methodology||
CVI = chronic venous insufficiency PVD = peripheral vascular disease
Features Of Honey Wound Dressings
Honey wound dressings have the following features and benefits:
- High sugar levels in the dressing promote autolytic debridement
- Available in multiple formulations to handle different exudate levels
- Maintain a moist wound environment that helps in faster healing
- Acidic pH between 3.2-4.5 inhibits many pathogens
- Contain 82% carbohydrate, amino acids and enzymes
- Help reduce wound odor
Treating Venous Leg Ulcers With Honey Dressings Unlikely To Help Healing
- When compared with normal care, treating a leg ulcer with dressings impregnated with honey did not significantly improve the rate of healing, but did lead to a significantly increased number of reported adverse events, according to new research.
When compared with normal care, treating a leg ulcer with dressings impregnated with honey did not significantly improve the rate of healing, but did lead to a significantly increased number of reported adverse events, according to research published today in the British Journal of Surgery.
The breakdown in skin tissue below the knee that ends in venous leg ulcers forming has been recognised for centuries. Since the 17th century it has been treated by applying a compression bandage and we now know that this helps the leg cope with the constant pressure of fluids in lower parts of the body .
The current interest in alternative medicines has led to renewed interest in honey as a potential healing agent, and some people have suggested using honey dressings as well as a compression bandage.
“In our trial the honey dressing did not significantly improve healing, time to healing, change in ulcer area, incidence of infection or quality of life,” says lead author Dr Andrew Jull who works in the Clinical Trials Research Unit at the University of Auckland.
How Is Honey Used On Wounds
People have used honey for thousands of years for wound healing. While we now have other very effective wound-healing options, honey may still be good for healing certain wounds.
Honey has antibacterial properties and a unique pH balance that promotes oxygen and healing compounds to a wound.
Before you reach into your cabinet, know that wound-care professionals use medical-grade honey for healing chronic wounds and other injuries.
Read on for more information on the right and wrong times to use honey for wound healing.
How Do You Apply Honey For Wounds
If you have a wound or burn that wont heal, its important to check with a doctor before using honey on the wound. Ask the doctor if honey is a possibility for treatment.
For severe wounds, its best a doctor or wound-care nurse shows you how to apply the honey the first time. This is because the amount of honey and the way the dressing is applied can impact how effective the wound-healing will be.
Recommended Reading: What Is A Perforated Ulcer
Quantity Of Research Available
A total of 399 citations were identified in the literature search. Following screening of titles and abstracts, 345 citations were excluded and 54 potentially relevant reports from the electronic search were retrieved for full-text review. Three potentially relevant publications were retrieved from the grey literature search for full text review. Of these potentially relevant articles, 50 publications were excluded for various reasons, and 7 publications met the inclusion criteria and were included in this report. These comprised one HTA, five SRs, and one evidence-based guideline. presents the PRISMA flowchart of the study selection.
Four SRs that had been retrieved for full-text assessment were excluded from the review because they overlapped completely with other broader and more inclusive SRs that were assessed in this review
The 7 Most Asked Questions About Medihoney
MediHoney® dressings are made with a special honey that is derived from the nectar of the Leptospermum plant. This type of honey has unique properties that have been scientifically verified and shown in clinical trials and by other clinical evidence to be effective for the management of wounds and burns.1-3
In one randomized controlled trial, the mean healing time of wounds treated with MediHoney dressings was significantly faster than the mean healing time of wounds treated with conventional dressings.4
Unlike regular honey, MediHoney is controlled against a rigorous set of systems and standards, including independent monitoring and auditing, to guarantee quality and batch-to-batch consistency. It is also ultra-filtrated and sterilized by gamma irradiation, removing any bacterial spores without loss of product effectiveness.3 MediHoney comes from a traceable source and is free of pesticides and antibiotics.3
Here are the 7 most asked questions about this dressing:
MediHoney dressings aids and supports autolytic debridement and a moist wound healing environment in acute and chronic wounds and burns,5-8 through two key mechanisms high osmolarity and low pH. The high sugar content of honey facilitates movement of fluid from an area of higher concentration, across a membrane, to an area of lower concentration. Osmotic potential draws fluid through the wound, to the surface, helping to liquefy non-viable tissue.
Read Also: Ulcerative Colitis And Blood In Urine
Table 4strengths And Limitations Of Systematic Reviews And Meta
- Review Honey as a dressing for chronic wounds in adults.Fox C. Br J Community Nurs. 2002 Oct 7:530-4.
- Review Honey as a topical treatment for wounds.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Oct 8 :CD005083. Epub 2008 Oct 8.
- Review Honey and wound healing: an overview.Lee DS, Sinno S, Khachemoune A. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2011 Jun 1 12:181-90.
- .Rothmeier N, Abu-Jawad J, Arnolds J, Arweiler-Harbeck D, Dominas N, Stein R, Zander S, Lang S, Mattheis S. Laryngorhinootologie. 2014 Sep 93:612-8. Epub 2014 Aug 25.
- .Kone SGN, Toure S, Bana A, Kone SA, Dogba E. Mali Med. 2016 31:31-35.