Honey as medicine

November 29, 1999

Australia Produces a World's First

Australia achieved a world-first on November 30, 1999 with the release of a pure honey treatment for wounds and sores - MEDIHONEY®

Developed in association with Capilano Honey Limited and researched by the Agency for Food and Fiber Sciences and the University of Waikato Honey Research Unit in New Zealand, MEDIHONEY® is the first topical honey product in the world to achieve Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) listing in Australia.

Capilano Honey National Operations Manager Anthony Moloney said public feedback from this initial release would provide important information to help further research and development. Further clinical trials are also being proposed by a number of Australian research institutions. "Now that consumers have the assurance of TGA listing, a limited amount of the product is being released for public use," he said. "We want members of the public who try it to tell us how the product works for them."

Scientific literature shows that highly active antimicrobial honey from the nectar of particular Leptospermum trees has been used to successfully heal a wide variety of wounds and infections which have not responded to other treatments.

Research conducted by Associate Professor Dr P.C. Molan at University of Waikato Department of Biological Sciences in New Zealand, has shown that the antimicrobial component of the Leptospermum honey is particularly effective against virulent 'Golden Staph' (Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria - even when diluted more than 50 times.

The use of honey as a wound dressing goes back to ancient times and has continued into present-day folk medicine. It is used as a traditional therapy for infected leg ulcers in Ghana, and as a traditional therapy in Mali for the topical treatment of measles, and in the eyes of patients to prevent corneal scarring. It is a common observation in medical journal reports that numerous benefits result from using honey to dress wounds:

Honey researchers feel that the therapeutic potential of honey is grossly underutilized. It is widely available in most communities and although the mechanism of action of several of its properties remains obscure and needs further investigation, the time has now come for conventional medicine to look at this traditional remedy. With increasing interest in the use of alternative therapies and as the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria spreads, honey may finally receive its due recognition.
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For information contact Mary Ann Johnson at 415-268-5421 or mjohnson@zfpartners.com

Zuckerman Fernandes & Partners

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