Honey for diabetic foot ulcers

A 79-year-old male with type two diabetes developed foot ulcers which proved nonresponsive to conventional treatments. Tissue cultures grew MRSA, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and Pseudomonas.
The patient was hospitalized five times and underwent four surgeries over a 14-month course. Three toes were amputated; physicians urged that he have an below-the-knee amputation which the patient refused. The patient elected to go home and began the daily application of a thick layer of honey (purchased at the local supermarket). The honey was placed on a 4×4 gauze, placed on the wound, and wrapped to hold it in place. Over the next two weeks granulation tissue began appearing in the wound; over the course of the next 12 months the ulcers healed.
Honey has been used medicinally in many countries, with very few adverse effects reported. Some report a stinging or burning sensation with the application of the honey, but most have no adverse reaction. While this patient used ordinary supermarket honey most reports use raw honey. There is currently a “medicinal honey” commercially available which has been gamma-irradiated.
The authors of this report encourage others to consider the use of honey for difficult to heal diabetic foot ulcers.
(Eddy, Jennifer and Gideonsen, Mark D. Topical honey for diabetic foot ulcers. Journal of Family Practice 54(6)533-535, June 2005)


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