The Beneficial Use of Honey in Wound Management
The use of honey for medicinal purposes has been around for thousands of years. It has been documented to the era of the ancient Egyptians, to the days of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, even to the battles of World War I. The use of honey has so far declined due to the advances in medicine; however, the improvements in antibiotics are not without flaws. Antibiotic-resistant microbes have proved to be a widespread problem in wound management in all health-care settings. This incline of antibiotic-resistance resulted in a renewed interest in honey for the use in wound therapy.
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209). Honey also acts a physical barrier on open wounds, preventing further external contamination. The antioxidant quality of honey also acts an anti-inflammatory agent on wounds. This effect had been demonstrated in burn injuries; in particular, partial-thickness burns wounds were “prevented from developing to full-thickness burn wounds by application of honey dressings” (Sharp, 2009, p. 70). Furthermore, honey increases the activity of the enzyme plasmin, which effectively digests fibrin that attaches slough to the wound surface without digesting collagen matrix needed for tissue repair. A study found that the increased plasmin activity is a result of honey inhibiting the production of plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI), an enzyme that would have otherwise block the enzymatic activity of plasmin. PAI production is increased with inflammation; hence the decrease of PAI production provides an anti-inflammatory effect on wound therapy as well as wound debridement.
Randomized Controlled Trials
Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) are experiments conducted in a controlled setting, providing a random assignment to treatment groups of large and diverse samples. Based on the article written by Molan (2011), a total of 19 RCTs, with a total population of 2,554 participants, have been concluded on the clinical uses of honey. In this particular article, the statistical database is a compilation of other research on the effects of honey in wound therapy. The other articles provided no definitive statistical measurement of the multiple RCTs, but rather cites and refers to other studies. For instance, Sharp (2009) more often cited the data from the article composed by Molan (2011).
In the compilation of data researched by Molan (2011), different control treatments were used on 17 different types of wounds for a wide variety of specified focuses. In superficial and partial-thickness burns that were less than 50% of total body surface area, the control treatment used was 1% silver sulfadiazine cream. In this study, the main goal was to see the average healing time of both control and honey. As a result, honey had an average of 18.1 days of healing time compared to the 32.6 days of the control. In the study on sloughy venous leg ulcers, the control treatment used was the usual aid of hydrogel. Both groups received compression bandaging to the wound. This study reflected on the reduction of slough, reduction in wound size, and the proportion healed. The mean reduction in slough in 4 weeks was 34% with honey compared to 13% with the control. The mean reduction in wound size in 4 weeks was 67% with honey and 52.6% with the control. The proportion healed in 12 weeks was 24% with honey and 18% with the control. In the microvascular free tissue reconstruction surgery trial, the control...