Long-Term Care

Use of honey when treating wounds

MDS 3.0 Insider, November 15, 2013

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Treatment with honey is called apitherapy. Medical-grade honey is used for wound care. Commercial (food-grade) honey is not used, because antibacterial activity and microbiological quality cannot be ensured. Never remove honey from a jar and apply it to a wound. Medical-grade honey is filtered, gamma irradiated, and produced under exacting infection control standards. This is important, because some professionals have continued to be quite verbal about their concerns regarding disease transmission from spores in the honey. Gamma irradiation eliminates Clostridium botulinum spores, rendering the honey sterile without damaging the antibacterial enzymatic activity. Honey is not a generic product. It should be selected by evidence-based research and antibacterial strength. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires manufacturers to have evidence to support claims of efficacy. Clinical evidence reveals that honey has many healing properties. This suggests that it may be useful as a topical treatment that could be used concurrently with systemic antibiotics, but as with everything else, evidence-based guidance is needed.

This excerpt is adapted from Barbara Acello's book,
Chronic Wounds: Providing Efficient and Effective Treatment. Interested in learning more? Contact HCPro's customer service department at 800-650-6787.



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