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A Sweet Way to Get Better

Can honey treat a wound? What a sweet idea?if only we can keep our bees alive long enough to use it!

Smeared on a burn, the sticky elixir could reduce the time it takes for the wound to heal up to four days sooner in some cases. Honey?s history as a topical ointment for wounds stretches back into antiquity. An Egyptian surgical text, written on papyrus between 2600 and 2200 B.C., recommends the treatment, as do the Greek, Chinese and Ayurvedic medical traditions. Later, caregivers used honey-soaked bandages until topical antibiotics became widely available after World War II.

Honey can draws moisture out of cells and contains hydrogen peroxide, both of which help kill off infectious bacteria. Some varieties of honey have other antibacterial properties as well, the Cochrane researchers note. Researcher Jennifer Eddy says patients might consider honey as part of an interest in alternative medicine or following a bad reaction to other topical treatments. She says, "Topical honey is cheaper than other interventions, notably oral antibiotics, which are often used and may have other deleterious side effects."

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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