Research suggests that putting manuka honey on wounds can help heal chronic infections, and can even stave off MRSA, the hospital “superbug”. Welsh scientists believe that the honey, already known to have healing properties, could be even more powerful than we previously thought.
The researchers, from Cardiff Metropolitan University, discovered that the honey can destroy stubborn “biofilms” which form on wounds that refuse to heal. Applying the honey to a wound immediately can even prevent these films from appearing in the first place, speeding up healing time considerably.
Dr Sarah Maddocks, the author of the study, believes that this is because the honey disrupts interaction between bacteria and a special protein in human skin that can lead to biofilms forming. Their research even shows that manuka honey can even tackle the “superbug” methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the bacteria which claims the lives of hundreds of hospital patients every year.
Dr Maddocks said: “We have been studying these biofilms which can affect wounds by growing them in lab conditions. They are generally quite resistant. We found that you treat these biofilms, inhibit their growth and kill bacteria using manuka honey. MRSA is another bacteria that can infect wounds. Research we have been doing showed that we can use manuka honey to reduce levels of MRSA. There is an urgent need to find innovative and effective ways of controlling wound infections that are unlikely to contribute to increased antimicrobal resistance.”
The research was published in the journal Microbiology.
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Written exclusively for The Life Dept | Live Longer | 1 February 2012
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