Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, biosynthetic dressings, negative pressure wound therapy … and honey?
Yes. It turns out that modern medical science has something to learn from the ancient Egyptians, who found that certain types of honey contain anti-bacterial agents that can help in wound healing.
But before you go and swap that tube of Neosporin in your medicine cabinet for a plastic honey bear bottle, keep in mind that we're talking about a specific type of the sweet stuff. (Outliers advises against squeezing honey onto your infected finger after you're done putting it in your cafe con miel.)
Wound-care centers around the world, including the Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital Wound Healing Center, have begun using a new product called Medihoney, made by a company called Derma Sciences, in Princeton, N.J.
The product, which passed muster with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, consists of wound dressings treated with a “medical-grade honey” produced by special bees in Australia and New Zealand. Called leptospermum honey, it contains concentrated doses of anti-bacterial agents that help keep a wound moist while killing bacteria.
However, to reiterate: This is medicinal honey we're talking about. Although most types of honey start out with at least some medical properties, they can be destroyed in the process of harvesting and stuffing it into plastic bears. And Outliers will not pay your medical bills if you show up at the doctor's office with an infected wound dripping with dinner-table-grade honey.