Honey has been used as a natural wound healer for many years. However, recent discoveries have concluded that one particular kind of honey, indigenous to New Zealand, contains plant-derived healing properties that sets it apart from other types of honey. Manuka Honey's greatest asset is its antibacterial properties. Most traditional forms of medicine used for clearing infections can be damaging to skin tissue. However, Manuka Honey has been found to have no known side effects.
In addition to being an excellent source for healing infection, Manuka Honey also helps to prevent scarring. During the healing process, a wound will form a scab in an effort to prevent further blood loss. The problem is that newly forming skin can only grow below the scab. This creates a deformity as the new tissue is not even with the rest of the skin. However, the moist healing environment created by Manuka Honey helps to lift the scab, therefore, allowing for the regeneration of new skin to grow flush with the surface of the wound.
In some more serious wounds, patients notice that the wound begins to smell bad. Wounds most commonly associated with malodor include exudating wounds, chronic pressure ulcers, venous leg ulcers, diabetic / neuropathic ulcers, fungating, cancerous or malignant lesions and wounds with necrotic tissue. Wound odor is mostly due to the degradation of tissue or bacteria that release compounds and fatty acids. When a Manuka Honey-based dressing is used, the bacteria feed of the sugars in the honey and give off better smelling gases, therefore minimizing or eliminating malodor.
Manuka Honey also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help to relate pain associated with wounds. Once Manuka Honey is applied to a wound, tissue infection and swelling is immediately reduced. Since pain is never considered a desirable experience, this could possibly be one of Manuka Honey's more favorable qualities.
Perhaps the element that has brought Manuka Honey into the spot light as of late is its ability to destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA and VRE. With the widespread concern of Staph infections and the lack of treatment alternatives, Manuka Honey has come through like a ray of hope, effectively healing such conditions where antibiotics have failed. News headlines around the world have described Manuka Honey's ability to go toe-to-toe with this deadly infection. The best way to describe it is that, by osmosis, Manuka Honey draws moisture out of the bacterial cells, making it impossible for them to stay alive. This is why no bacteria has ever been able to develop a resistance to Manuka Honey, and never will.
Below is a brief recapitulation of Manuka Honey's wound healing benefits:
* Antibacterial properties rapidly clear infection
* Causes scabs to lift, avoiding scar formation
* Eliminates malodor in more serious wounds
* Kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA
* Heals wounds quickly
* Repairs damaged skin and regenerates new skin growth
* Anti-inflammatory properties reduce pain
* No negative side effects