hospital care, honey care

Medical-Grade Honey Being Used at Kaiser Permanente Fresno

Patients being treated for wounds at the Kaiser Permanente Fresno medical center have experienced first-hand the healing power of Manuka honey. In an interview with ABC 30, Marsha Cortes from Visalia was happy to discuss her recovery from a spill she took on her bike not long ago. “I got tangled up and went over my handle bars; ended up with some good road rash,” Cortes explained.

Her leg took the brunt of the injury and when she went to Kaiser Permanente Fresno for treatment, she was surprised by what the doctor was using – medical-grade honey. The medical center began offering honey therapy two years ago as one of their many wound care options. Unlike some of the other medical treatments the center offers for wound care, honey is considered to be a “natural” antibiotic.

Nancy Jameson, a registered nurse at Kaiser Permanente Fresno, stated that, “It seemed to keep the bacteria away so wounds were not getting infected.” Additionally, medical professionals believe using honey can help speed up the healing process. Cortes can also attest to the speedy recovery honey offers – she had to take photos of her wounds because she couldn’t believe how quickly they were healing.

“The wound was healing quickly, more quickly than the other road rash I had on my elbow,” said Cortes. But, it is important to note that medical-grade honey is not the same sticky substance you get off grocery store shelves. This type of honey is created using Manuka honey, which is exclusively harvested in New Zealand and Australia where honeybees pollinate the tea tree bush.

Honey has been used for more than 2,000 years and often praised for its high medicinal properties. Medical-grade Manuka honey does not only have more antibiotic properties than regular honey but it has also gone through a serious sterilization process. Kaiser Permanente Fresno advises patients to seek medical advice before using over the counter Manuka honey to treat wounds or skin ailments.

A common question that patients receiving this treatment have is if they can eat the honey being used to heal their wounds. “People can taste it. It doesn’t have the best sweet taste as honey does,” said Jameson. Medical-grade honey has been known to be used for wounds related to ulcers, diabetes, surgery, and most types of lacerations. More research is being done to see if consuming medical-grade honey can have any effect on fighting off or preventing bacterial infections.

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