UK Hospitals Opt for Food Ingredients as Wound Cleaners
In a win for homeopathic medicine, the nation that discovered penicillin is now opting to use food ingredients as a wound cleaner in hospitals.
The UK is trialing, and seeing major success, with using a combination of medicinal-grade honey and food-grade vinegar to clean wounds rather than antibiotics or antiseptics.
Known as oxymel, the mixture has been written about in the medical literature of at least Classical Rome, and likely older civilizations as well.
“In our survey of pre-modern recipes we noticed a pattern of combining honey and vinegar to wash or dress wounds and swellings, and this inspired us to focus on that combination in our analysis,” said Dr. Erin Connelly, a researcher on the study.
Today at Warwick University, Connelly and her team of researchers at the British National Health Service were looking to see if bacterial concentrations could be reduced when ensconced within the protections of a biofilm.
A complex, slimy agglomeration of microbes, biofilms can cover wounds thanks to a property that allows them to bind very close to flesh. Inside, bacteria can escape traditional topical antibiotics.
Applying a variety of doses and mixtures, they found that a combination low dose acetic acid (the active ingredient in vinegar) and medicinal honey dramatically reduced microbial count.
“These doses are lower than those that wound care nurses currently use on patients. But when we put these low doses together, we saw a large number of bacteria dying which is really exciting,” Dr. Freya Harrison of Warwick University told the London Times.
SIMILAR OLD WISDOM:
Following up, the team found that whole vinegars like pomegranate vinegar worked even better than the acetic acid alone.
Medicinal honey can be effective for more than just wound cleaning. Manuka honey, for example, can clear bacterial infections that cause cystic fibrosis, a deadly disease.
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