Manuka Honey in the Fight against Canker Sores

I should have thought and or known, as I have grown up using Manuka honey for scrapes and cuts, enjoying it on toast or in my tea as well as taking the higher level activity Manuka Honey to help fight off colds and flu, but never once did I think to apply Manuka Honey to Canker sores! In doing research for our next topic we (at Pacific Resources) came across a few articles in regards to the use of honey on mouth ulcers/Canker sores. Using Manuka Honey to fight pesky Canker sores is now on my list of amazing things Manuka honey works for in my medicine cabinet! Maybe after reading some of what we discovered just maybe it will become part of your list as well!

From “Honey Heals Canker Sores” by Caroline Praderio from Prevention News….

” “Canker sores have plagued mankind throughout recorded history.” That’s the opening line to a new study published in latest issue of Quintessence International. Dramatic? Sure, a little—but if you’ve ever felt the mind-boggling sting of a canker sore in contact with a hot swig of coffee, “plague” doesn’t seem like such an exaggeration after all. (We could probably come up with a few more choice words, too, come to think of it). Docs still don’t know exactly what causes these painful oral lesions—it could be anything from stress to food allergies to genetic predisposition—but this new study suggests that a fast, effective canker sore treatment is hiding in our kitchen cabinets.

Researchers at Saudi Arabia’s Salman bin AbdulAziz University gathered a group of 94 people suffering from canker sores and randomly separated them into three groups. The first treated their sores with plain old commercial honey, the second used an oral corticosteroid cream, and the third got an over-the-counter product that forms a protective paste to cover sores while they heal. Participants applied their respective treatments three times daily while researchers observed the effects…..

…Get this: In just 4 days, all sores in the honey group had disappeared completely—but the number of sores in groups 2 and 3 hadn’t budged. Honey even helped to soothe pain. After day 1, honey users reported a 95.5% decrease in pain, with total pain elimination by day 2. Groups 2 and 3 were not so lucky: It took them 8 days to reach the same pain-free state.

The results only reinforce honey’s well-documented healing powers—and it’s no surprise to experts that those benefits can work inside the human mouth, too. “In the treatment of mouth ulcers, the main action would be from the anti-inflammatory property of honey,” says Peter Molan, founder of the Honey Research Unit at New Zealand’s University of Waikato. “The potency of this can be seen if honey is used as first aid on a burn or scald—it takes away the pain within about 10 minutes, and redness and blistering do not develop.”

Other potential factors at work: some honeys (like manuka and thyme varieties) have strong anti-bacterial qualities, and many are shown to promote growth of tissues in wound healing. But, Dr. Molan explains, these effects vary greatly depending on where and how the honey is harvested, and some types can be up to 100 times more potent than others. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what about this commercial honey made it so effective—but it’s hard to ignore the impressive results.

Next time the plague descends upon your mouth, try the same method employed in the study. After each meal, wet a sterile cotton ball and wipe the sore clean. Then, apply a small amount of honey using a cotton swab. Canker sores, meet our (very) sweet revenge.”

As referenced above Apitherapy News reported the Researchers findings:

” Honey Beats Traditional Medication in Reducing Canker Sores

Efficacy of honey in comparison to topical corticosteroid for treatment of recurrent minor aphthous ulceration: A randomized, blind, controlled, parallel, double-center clinical trial
Quintessence Int, 2014 Jul 10
Background: Recurrent aphthous ulceration represents a very common mucosal disorder that general dentists may encounter on a daily basis, and for which there is no curative treatment. The best treatment that can be achieved is to avoid local traumatic precipitants, lessen the pain and duration of ulceration by suppressing the local immune response, and prevent secondary infection.
Objective: The objective of this study was to clinically determine the efficacy of honey as a topical treatment of recurrent minor aphthous ulceration in a Saudi cohort.
Method and Materials: A randomized, blind, controlled, parallel, double-center clinical trial was carried out. Honey was applied by patients four times a day for 5 days. Clinical parameters (ulcer size, pain scale, and degree of erythema and healing) were recorded both at baseline and during the follow-up period.
Results: There were 94 subjects, with 180 minor recurrent aphthous ulcerations. The ulcers were distributed as 67, 57, and 56 ulcers for honey, topical corticosteroid, and Orabase treatment, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference between the honey group and the other two groups in terms of reduction of ulcer size, days of pain, and degree of erythema. No side effects were reported in any group.
Conclusion: Honey was found to be effective and safe in reducing minor aphthous ulcer pain, size, and erythema in a Saudi cohort.”

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