Therapeutic Benefit of Manuka Honey in Wound Care

In comparing the use of Manuka Honey dressings with topical antiseptics on wound infections, it has been found that Manuka Honey dressings significantly reduce the amount of fluid exuding from the wound. This, in part, is a result of the anti-inflammatory properties present in Manuka Honey. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties in Manuka Honey also help to reduce pain and minimize scaring.

It has also been established that Manuka Honey dressings create a moist wound environment which facilitates the healing process. Manuka Honey draws lymph out of the deeper tissues of the wound by osmosis and continuously cleans the wound bed. Lymph fluid contains enzymes that degrade protein molecules. The constant reduction of wound fluids remove foreign body contamination, such as dirt or grit.

The most likely explanation for Manuka Honey's degradation activity involves the conversion of blood to plasmin, which is an enzyme that breaks down the protein in blood coagulation. This conversion minimizes dead tissue and scab formation on the wound. The osmotic action of Manuka honey draws moisture into the skin.

It has also been found that Manuka Honey has the ability to reduce malodor in wounds. Malodorous substances such as ammonia and sulphur compounds are produced when bacteria feeds on the protein in a wound. Because Manuka Honey provides bacteria an alternative source of energy (sugar), these noxious compounds are no longer produced and wounded malodor is eliminated.

In clinical observations, Manuka Honey has also been proven to have the ability to manage wound infection in circumstances where antibiotics and other conventional treatments have failed. More specifically, Manuka Honey has been found to be effective against antibiotic-resistant strains of bacterium such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and other multi-resistant microorganisms. These mutated types of bacteria protect themselves from antimicrobial elements by forming a biofilm. Manuka Honey breaks down these clumpy biofilms as well as preventing the formation of biofilms. These findings are particularly encouraging, considering the growing number of cases involving Staph infections that do not respond to antibiotics. So far there has been no evidence of any bacterial resistance to Manuka Honey. It is highly unlikely that bacteria will ever be able to develop a resistance to Manuka Honey because bacteria rely on sugar as a source of food.

Manuka Honey's antibacterial properties are a result of the following:

1. The high sugar content and low water activity provides an osmotic action;

2. Acidic pH inhibits bacterial growth;

Glucose oxidase enzyme produces hydrogen peroxide;

4. Plant-derived factors such as UMF and Methylglyoxal.

Manuka Honey's antibacterial properties have the ability to penetrate below the surface of the skin, making it possible to clear deep-contained infections and boils with unbroken skin. In other words, Manuka Honey diffuses through the skin, getting to deeper tissues.

"The use of Manuka Honey dressings help prevent cross contamination," says Frank Buonanotte, CEO of Honeymark International which is a manufacturer of advanced wound and skin care products containing Active Manuka Honey as a healing agent. "The sticky nature of Manuka Honey provides a protective barrier that precedes cross contamination."