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Manuka Honey Research Extracts

Below you can find information on some of the scientific research that has been done into manuka honey and its use for various things. Some of these will be summaries, and some extracts of the research.

These are presented for your information only. Your own judgement should be used, and you are encouraged to refer to the full published articles where appropriate.

Improved Wound Healing, Lower Incidence of Infection with Manuka Honey

Manuka honey vs. hydrogel – a prospective, open label, multicentre, randomised controlled trial to compare desloughing efficacy and healing outcomes in venous ulcers. Authors: Georgina Gethin, PhD, RGN, Dip HE wound care, Dip Anatomy, Dip Applied Physiology, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland; Seamus Cowman, MSc, PhD, RNT, RGN, RPN, FFNMRCSI, PG Cert (Adults), Dip N (London), Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland

Journal of Clinical Nursing , published online 25 August 2008

Objective. Comparison of desloughing efficacy after four weeks and healing outcomes after 12 weeks in sloughy venous leg ulcers treated with Manuka honey (Woundcare 18+) vs. standard hydrogel therapy (IntraSite Gel).

Background. Expert opinion suggests that Manuka honey is effective as a desloughing agent but clinical evidence in the form of a randomised controlled trial is not available. There is a paucity of research which uses Manuka honey in venous ulcers.

Design. Prospective, multicentre, open label randomised controlled trial.

Method. Randomisation was via remote telephone. One hundred and eight patients with venous leg ulcers having ≥50% wound area covered in slough, not taking antibiotics or immunosuppressant therapy were recruited from vascular centres, acute and community care hospitals and leg ulcer clinics. The efficacy of WoundCare 18+ to deslough the wounds after four weeks and its impact on healing after 12 weeks when compared with IntraSite Gel control was determined. Treatment was applied weekly for four weeks and follow-up was made at week 12.

Results. At week 4, mean % reduction in slough was 67% WoundCare 18+ vs. 52·9% IntraSite Gel (p = 0·054). Mean wound area covered in slough reduced to 29% and 43%, respectively (p = 0·065). Median reduction in wound size was 34% vs. 13% (p = 0·001). At 12 weeks, 44% vs. 33% healed (p = 0·037). Wounds having >50% reduction in slough had greater probability of healing at week 12 (95% confidence interval 1·12, 9·7; risk ratio 3·3; p = 0·029). Infection developed in 6 of the WoundCare 18+ group vs. 12 in the IntraSite Gel group.

Conclusion. The WoundCare 18+ group had increased incidence of healing, effective desloughing and a lower incidence of infection than the control. Manuka honey has therapeutic value and further research is required to examine its use in other wound aetiologies.

Relevance to clinical practice. This study confirms that Manuka honey may be considered by clinicians for use in sloughy venous ulcers. Additionally, effective desloughing significantly improves healing outcomes.

Boosted Healing of Colitis with Manuka Honey

Effect of Manuka honey and sulfasalazine in combination to promote antioxidant defense system in experimentally induced ulcerative colitis model in rats. B Medhi, A Prakash, P K Avti, U N Saikia, P Pandhi  & K L Khanduja.

Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 46, August 2008, pp. 591-598

Extract: Manuka honey (MH, 5g/kg) provided protection against trinitro-benzo-sulphonic acid induced colonic damage. Combination therapy (MH+sulfasalazine) also reduced colonic inflammation and all the biochemical parameters were significant compared to control and MH alone treated group. Combination therapy showed additive effect of the MH which restored lipid peroxidation and improvement of antioxidant parameters. Morphological and histological scores were significantly reduced in combination groups. In inflammatory model of colitis, oral administration of MH (5g/kg) and combination with sulfasalazine (360 mg/kg) with MH (5g/kg) significantly reduced the colonic inflammation. The results indicate the additive effect of Manuka honey with sulfasalazine in colitis.

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