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How Honey Can Help Wounds Heal Better

Fifteen percent of diabetes sufferers develop ulcers, usually because of impaired sensation in their feet.

Every 30 seconds, someone in the world has their foot amputated as the result of a diabetic foot ulcer. In 2001, almost $11 billion was spent treating diabetic ulcers and amputations in the United States.

Researchers are currently conducting the first randomized, double-blind controlled trial investigating the use of honey for diabetic ulcers. Many experts believe that treating wounds with honey could offer tremendous benefits to the approximately 200 million diabetics worldwide.

Diabetics often have decreased ability to fight infection because of poor circulation, so diabetic ulcers treated with antibiotics can become colonized with drug-resistant organisms. But honey fights bacteria in numerous ways.

Honey's combination of acidic pH, low water content (which dehydrates bacteria), and the hydrogen peroxide secreted by its naturally-occurring enzymes make it effectively immune to resistance.

Science Blog May 3, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

If you thought that I was going to recommend that diabetics actually eat honey, even raw honey, you were wrong.

Please remember that if you are diabetic, overweight, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, there is a strong likelihood that your insulin levels are too high, and raw honey may not be a good idea for you until you get those conditions under control.

The uses for honey -- already proven to have a natural antimicrobial effect against many bacteria and fungi -- are growing by leaps and bounds. The current research had its origins in the experience of a University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health professor and doctor, who successfully used honey to treat a borderline diabetic's open wounds.

The doctor prescribed topical honey after a strong staph infection the patient had been fighting for eight months continued to fester, despite the use of oral antibiotics. Once the honey treatment started, the wound healed completely within months, without the use of drugs, including antibiotics.

Honey can also help with diarrhea, insomnia, sunburn, and sore throats. But if you ingest honey as part of a treatment, rather than applying it topically, be sure to use raw honey. And even though it is one of the safest sweeteners to use, it still needs to be consumed in moderation, especially if you struggle with signs of insulin excess.

Should the healing properties of honey on diabetic ulcers hold up after closer scrutiny (and there's little doubt they won't), this could be a wonderful natural treatment for the patients around the world who deal with diabetes every day.

If only we can keep the honeybees from disappearing ...

If they do disappear, though, you can always use maggot therapy for wounds or one of my favorite wound dressings, Duoderm, which is particularly useful for burns. Duoderm really is amazing material; it nearly instantly relieves the pain from burns. I believe it works by restoring your body's damaged electrical system.

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