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Nurse Using Honey for Oncology Treatments

September 10, 2015


Nurse Refers to Honey as a “Game Changer”

While it may be strange to consider spreading sticky honey on an open wound, this is how nurses treated skin ailments before the introduction of penicillin. Hundreds of years ago, honey was widely used and a well-known remedy for treating a number of different skin issues including wounds, cuts, and scrapes. Though this may seem like an ancient remedy, honey is making a comeback as a natural way to treat wounds in hospitals all across the United States.

Honey has been found to be especially effective in treating wounds that may be slow to heal or are more prone to infections. For those patients suffering with cancer, bed sores, surgical wounds, and lesions from radiation can often be a painful, slowly healing problem. For these patients, honey has been known to make a huge impact on how quickly their wounds heal and how the patient feels. According to an article on The EpochTimes.com, one nurse is calling honey a “game changer.”

“Sometimes antibiotics don’t do enough, and you don’t have a good blood supply all the way down to the base wound,” said Patrice Dillow, a registered nurse at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America located in Zion, Illinois, who has been specializing in wound care for almost 20 years. “If arteries are damaged and the wound has a very poor blood supply, I can give them all the antibiotics I want, but it is not going to reach it. So we have to get something topical on top of doing something systemic.”

When it comes to a topical treatment for wounds, Dillow says that honey is her top choice. “I’ve never had a wound that I would have avoided using honey on,” Dillow stated. Honey can help wounds heal on many levels – the high sugar content found in honey can help to move stagnant fluids and reduce swelling. Additionally, honey can soften dead tissue that may be tough as well as pulling out old debris and keeping the area moist which is an ideal environment for tissue to repair itself.

Honey has been most historically noted for its antibacterial properties which can help prevent infection and the wound’s inflammation is also reduced due to the honey’s alkaline chemistry. “Honey lowers the pH of a wound, and when the pH of a wound is lower, we have better wound healing,” Dillow says. “This also makes the patient more comfortable because when the pH is higher, the patient usually has more pain.” While honey is delicious in you morning tea, it may be the new wound care treatment of choice.

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