Honey and maggot larvae have been used by nurses at a Somerset hospital to help clean wounds and fight infections such as MRSA.
Staff at the Royal United Hospital in Bath have taken to using medical grade Manuka honey and the sterilised larvae of the common greenbottle fly to clean wounds without relying on modern day medicines.
The honey, derived from the Manuka plant in New Zealand, has an osmotic action that actively draws fluid from the wound helping the body dissolve and remove dead tissue while reducing wound odour.
Kate Purser, tissue viability nurse specialist, said: ‘Honey has been used in healing for centuries but now new products on the market have overcome the problems associated with using conventional honey and bring the use of honey into a modern healthcare setting.
‘As well as having effective antibacterial properties, honey has an osmotic action meaning its high sugar content actively draws fluid from the wound, helping the body to dissolve and remove dead tissue.
‘It also reduces wound odour and maintains a moist wound healing environment.’
Dorothy Yeo, from Bath, has been receiving treatment for an ulcer for the last three years and recently began using honey dressings.
She said: ‘After trying the honey dressings I’m optimistic about the future, I’m able to sleep without sleeping tablets and for the first time new skin is forming over my ulcer.’