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The Uses For Honey In The Treatment Of Diabetes
The terms diabetes and honey are generally used together when referring to a diabetic’s diet. Honey can be substituted for sugar to sweeten foods and since it does tend to taste sweeter than regular sugar, an individual will generally not require as much of it to sweeten their foods.
When honey is used, health providers and nutritionists recommend that it be natural, unprocessed honey and it should always be factored into the daily caloric counts for someone with diabetes.
Honey also contains pretty high carbohydrates, so this needs to be taken into consideration as well. Honey has been shown to have some antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory effects and has been linked to reduced weight and improved blood lipid profiles.
Another more recently studied use for honey is as a healing agent for sores and wounds on diabetic patients.
If you suffer with diabetes, this is great news!
Although recently studied, this is not a recent use of honey. The use of honey to treat open sores and wounds is thousands of years old, going back to the ancient Egyptians. Even Aristotle writes of using a honey salve to treat wounds as early as 350 B.C.
Researchers in New Zealand have been studying the use of Manuka Honey, produced primarily in New Zealand, which is a dark, potent, antimicrobial strain of honey. It’s very interesting what they discovered about this honey and diabetes.
News Video About Honey and Diabetes
What Researchers Discovered About Honey and Diabetes
What the researchers discovered is that honey is effective at killing microbes because it is very acidic and dehydrates bacteria. Not all honey strains are not alike, though, with some varying up to one hundred times in potency from others. The most potent strain does seem to be the Manuka Honey which is more than 100 times more potent than any other strain of natural honey.
What is even more amazing is what the honey does when applied to open sores or wounds on patients with diabetes.
Results of the Study
In one study, ulcerated wounds applied with honey dressings for twelve weeks decreased in size by thirty four percent. In contrast, ulcerated wounds applied with hydrogel dressings, a transparent gel commonly used on wounds, decreased their size by only thirteen percent.
Studies also show that honey dressings are less painful than traditional wound dressings and cause less scarring. There is even evidence that certain potent strains of honey dressings are effective against MRSA, the staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Honey bandages are also easier for the patient and caregiver to apply and are less expensive than many of the other diabetes wound care options.
How To Use Honey
It is easiest to apply the honey directly onto the dressing and then place the dressing over the wound. If the wound has a great deal of drainage, it will require more honey than a wound with little or no drainage. There are wound dressing bandages which are pretreated with honey available for purchase at health food stores. Always have your diabetes doctor examine any wound or sore before treating it with a honey dressing.
Those who may be allergic to airborne pollens could experience an allergic reaction to a honey dressing because bees gather pollen in the production of honey. The honey could trigger an allergic reaction because the honey could still contain those pollens.
Bees sometimes make honey using poisonous flowers, so it is very important to know where the honey in any wound dressing comes from. Do not heat the honey to be used in wound dressings because heating it can destroy the honey’s antibacterial capabilities.
Using natural honey in wound dressings for diabetes wounds or sores may help heal them more quickly than traditional wound dressings. Honey, especially Manuka Honey has been shown to be effective in killing microbes and bacteria and in helping with the healing of wounds. Be very sure of where the honey originated and what it contains and do not heat the honey before applying it to the wound.