Honey: Nutritional and Medicinal Value

F. R. Khan; Z. Ul. Abadin; N. Rauf


Int J Clin Pract. 2007;61(10):1705-1707. 

In This Article

Other Substances Used for Wound Healing

In different eras, different regimes and substances were used for wound healing. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. One prescription, found on clay table that dated back to 2100 BC and thought to be the world's oldest model manuscript, says to pound together dried wine dregs, juniper prunes, pour beer, then bind on wound after rubbing with oil. The oil might have served to prevent from sticking and the ingredients might have antibacterial properties.

Historically, maggots have been known for centuries to help heal wounds. Many military surgeons noted that soldiers whose wounds became infested with maggots did better and had a much lower mortality rate than did soldiers with similar wounds not infested. Maggot debridement therapy (MDT) was successfully and routinely performed by thousands of physicians until the mid-1940s, when its use was supplanted by the new antibiotics and surgical techniques that came out of World War II. But, emergence of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, such as methycilin resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA), and the curiosity of researchers has promoted a resurgence of interest in larval therapy.[11] One study showed that the use of larval therapy had reduced amputation to 62%.[12]

On the other hand, there is paucity of large-scale trials, showing importance of maggots in wound healing. Furthermore, no one knows the exact mechanism of action of maggots in healing. Some patients have complained of pain and in some, inflammation of surrounding tissue is noticed. A case history has suggested not using maggots with fistulae connecting to vital organs.[13]

Naturally occurring myiasis can be beneficial, but sometimes it can be harmful, depending upon the type of maggot and the circumstances surrounding the infestation.

In short, large-scale clinical trials should be conducted to prove the efficacy of maggots for healing wounds; furthermore more information should be given to patients.


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