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Health Team

Honey used to treat some wounds

Posted November 25, 2010 5:30 p.m. EST
Updated November 25, 2010 6:42 p.m. EST

— Sharonda McQueen, 27, walks slowly because of wounds on her lower legs.

“When I would hurt, it felt like I was putting my leg in a frying pan,” she said.

McQueen has pyoderma gangrenosum, an autoimmune disease which causes large ulcers which easily become infected.

“She also had a problem with her vascular supply and outflow, which made things worse,” said Dr. David Strom, an orthopaedic surgeon with FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst.

Strom prescribed hyperbaric therapy to increase oxygen in the blood to aid healing. Then, he also told McQueen about Medi-honey.

“I said, ‘Is that like the honey we eat?’” McQueen said.

“We believe, even in ancient Egypt, honey was used for medicinal purposes for wounds,” McQueen said. “They may never have had any great idea why it worked."

The honey product is imported from New Zealand and Australia from bees that produce honey that has a high concentration of an antimicrobial product, Strom said.

It's used either as a special honey ointment or as an absorbing patch, which also keeps the wound moist.

“So, I tried it and started seeing a lot of improvement,” McQueen said.

After two years of treating her wounds, McQueen said she is almost healed. The disease will be chronic problem, so she might be using honey for the rest of her life.

Although it is is imported and specially prepared for medical use, honey is less expensive compared to other medical treatments. It is covered by most insurance policies.