When it comes to treating hard-to-heal wounds, some hospitals are turning to an age-old remedy: honey. But it's not your typical grocery store variety - this honey comes from New Zealand and is known for its ability to kill bacteria, even MRSA. A new study finds it can help treat slow-healing leg ulcers.
Even congestive heart failure can't slow down 91-year-old Dorothy Farley, but a tiny leg sore threatened to be her undoing.
"I say that it just sort of sprung a leak," she said.
It doesn't take much. A little scratch or anything can start these ulcerations. Nothing seemed to work to heal it. Worse yet, Farley had severe allergic reactions to some of the drugs.
"I even thought about having my leg cut off, you know, anything, to get rid of this," she said.
The wound kept getting bigger and more painful.
"It just spread and the more it spread I thought, 'Oh, my goodness,'" said Farley.
That's when she was referred to Group Health Wound Care nurse Arthur Harris who, recommended a new approach based on an age-old remedy.
"You can smell it and it smells like honey," he said.
That's because it is honey - medical grade manuka honey.
"You put her on the honey and within 24 hours, I noticed a difference," said Sheila, Dorothy Farley's daughter.
It's still been a long road back, but Farley and her daughter are relieved that something finally is working.
"Look at that. It looks so much better," said Farley.
Medihoney might not work on every person because we're like a fingerprint. There's no cookie-cutter approach to wound care, but in Farley's case, there's no doubt it was the right choice.
Medihoney is FDA approved. You can also find manuka honey online. Just be sure it is the active-kind to promote healing of small cuts and minor burns.