Honey for diabetic ulcers

A study from Egypt demonstrates the effectiveness of honey, a natural remedy used since antiquity. Thirty infected diabetic foot wounds were treated with pure raw untreated commercial clover honey over a three month period. Slightly more than 43% achieved complete healing, with another 43% having significant improvement. Slightly over 6% received no benefit from the treatment.
Gauze soaked in honey was applied to the wounds, using enough layers to fill the depth of the wound to above the skin area, a fluffy dressing applied over the area, and tape used to hold the dressing in place. Dressings were changed when they became soaked, sometimes several times a day. The wounds were debrided as necessary at each dressing and washed out with normal saline. The wound was dried before the honey gauze was reapplied.
Diabetic foot ulcers often lead to amputations, and can be very difficult to treat. Edema, hotness, and redness disappeared within 10 days in all study subjects. Ulcers which have progressed to expose the bone did not respond to this treatment and two subjects in this study progressed to amputation.
Honey is known to be effective against many antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and may prevent bacterial growth even in heavily infected wounds.
(Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 89:276-281, 2010)
Copyright 2010 Phylis A Austin

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