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Honey and Wound Infections

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If the findings of one recent study hold true, you might end up moving that jar of honey from the pantry to your medicine cabinet.

Researchers at Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales have found that manuka honey may help clear chronic wound infections and actually keep them from developing at all. Manuka honey is derived from nectar collected by bees foraging on the manuka tree found in parts of Australia and New Zealand.

According to the scientists, very small concentrations of this special kind of honey can destroy a specific kind of skin bacterium called streptococcus pyogenes and also prevent the bacteria that infect wounds from clumping together and forming a barrier to drugs, which can lead to chronic infection.

The authors of the study say it is important to find new ways of controlling wound infections without contributing to the problem of increased resistance to antibiotics. They say applying antibacterial agents to the skin is cheaper than taking antibiotics, which is important because chronic wounds account for as much as 4% of health care expenses in developed countries.

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