Why use manuka honey?
Wound management can be a challenging and confusing subject. With numerous products at our disposal and ever-changing advances in wound management techniques, it can become overwhelming trying to make the best clinical decision to suit patients. With the increasing awareness and concern of antibiotic resistance, and a holistic approach to veterinary medicine being sought by clients, the new and old ways of treating wounds are under scrutiny. Throughout various points in history honey has been linked to wound management, possessing desirable properties that can provide osmotic debridement, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects that are beneficial during the inflammatory phase of healing. This article aims to discuss how manuka honey's properties can best be utilised within modern veterinary practice.
Wound management and treatment can be a challenging and confusing subject. Advancements in reconstructive surgery, debridement techniques and the rise of evidence-based veterinary medicine have increased knowledge of the efficacy of a wide range of treatments. However, with a more natural approach to veterinary medicine being sought by clients, new products are constantly being produced and wound treatment has come under serious scrutiny. In a constantly changing field it can prove difficult to decide on the best course of treatment.
Throughout history honey has always played a role within medicine, notably in wound management; and over the last few decades the benefits of honey for wound management have been evidenced through clinical studies and extensive research into new treatments for prevailing antibiotic resistant bacteria. The osmotic nature of honey can provide a form of autolytic debridement, along with anti-inflammatory properties and broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, which has been demonstrated to be effective against a variety of organisms, including meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella spp. and Pseudomonas spp. In addition to this, application of honey encourages a moist wound environment and an acidity level which has been shown to be beneficial for cellular activity in chronic non-healing wounds (Willix et al, 1992).