CLINICAL CONDITIONS THAT RESPOND TO TREATMENT WITH HONEY
Honey not only possesses significant antibacterial activity, it has also been shown to actively promote healing. Some of the clinical conditions that respond to treatment with honey include the following: The use of honey as regards to wounds- Honey acts as highly vicious barrier preventing bacteria penetration and colonization of wound surface.
The use of honey to treat severe acute post operative wound infection- Topical application of crude undiluted honey have been used in the treatment severe acute post operative wound infection due to gram positive and gram negative bacteria following caesarean sections and hysterectomies. This was said to lead to lead to faster eradication of bacterial infection, reduced period of antibiotic use and hospital stay, accelerated wound healing, prevent dehiscence and used for restructuring and results in minimal scar formation.
Treatment with honey in chronic meningococcal skin lesions- chronic infected meningococcal skin lesions have also been said to have been successfully treated with honey.
Honey on gastritis/ diarrhoea- infantile gastroenteritis and diarrhea are usually treated with hydrating glucose and electrolyte solutions, when honey at 5%(v/v) concentration replace the glucose in dehydration fluid, the duration of diarrhea is shortened in patience with bacterial gastroenteritis compared to control group on standard therapy. Besides the antibacterial activity of honey, the anti fungal activity has also been reported and honey has been used in treatment of vagina yeast (Candida albican) and tinea.
Work on the antibacterial activity of honey has been going on since the 18th century and various researchers have shown that honey exerts antibacterial activity against various organism including gram negative and gram positive bacteria.
An in-vitro experiment to determine the antibacterial effect of Omani and Africa honey against staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa using standard antibacterial assay showed that both honey samples were active against these organism. Omani honey was reported to have anti-staph. aureus and E.coli activity against pseudomonas which previously was reported not to be susceptible to honey.
An in-vitro study to confirm the potential antimycobacteria failed to grow in plates containing honey with a conc. of 100% and 20% as a result, Avilenna recommended honey in the treatment of tuberculosis. In one study to investigate the non peroxide antibacterial activity of honey against staphylococcus and micrococcus lateus using quantitative turbidimetric assay involving serial dilution of the honey sample.
Honey is produced from many different floral sources and its antibacterial activity varies with origin and processing dioscorides stated that pale yellow honey from Africa was the best. Aristotle when discussing different honeys, referred to pale honey as being “good as a salve for sore eye and wounds” substantial amount of honey need to be applied to a wound to achieve adequate potency although honey may be very viscous and even solid at room temperature. Honey becomes very fluid at body temperature and even more fluid when diluted with proportionally small volume of exudates. It is therefore very important that sufficient honey should be applied to a wound and kept in a place if good therapeutic effect is to be obtained.
Honey produced as a food often is not well filtered and may contain various particles in it. Also, although honey does not allow vegetative bacteria to survive, it does contain viable spores, including clostridia. This processing kills clostridia spores without loss of any of the antibacterial activity. In medicine, historically, honey has been used by humans to treat a variety of ailments, from gastric disturbances to ulcers, wound and burn through ingestion or topics application, but only recently have the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey been chemically explained. Different honeys have different properties which were known since ancient times.
BY AKUBUO CHIGAEMEZU