The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Honey to treat wounds

     In some cases, it might speed healing, according to this review from The Cochrane Library.

    First, the details.

    • 19 studies in 2554 people were worth including in this review.
    • 9 studies of burns (all from 1 group of researchers)
    • Fewer than 3 studies of the other types of wounds
      • Acute lacerations (tears or deep cuts), abrasions (scraping) or minor surgical wounds
      • Venous leg ulcers
      • Pressure ulcers
      • Infected post-surgery wounds
      • Fournier’s gangrene (a severe bacterial infection that affects the genitals and perineum)

    And, the results.

    • Honey may improve healing times in mild to moderate superficial and partial thickness burns compared with some conventional dressings (4 vs 5 days).
    • Honey dressings combined with compression therapy does not significantly increase leg ulcer healing at 12 weeks.
    • There is insufficient evidence for other wound types.

    The bottom line?
    Honey draws moisture out of cells and contains hydrogen peroxide, both of which help kill off infectious bacteria. Some varieties of honey have other antibacterial properties as well, explained the Cochrane reviewers.

    However, the “poor quality of most of the studies means the results should be interpreted with caution.” Venous leg ulcers are a possible exception.

    Be smart, before smearing yourself with honey, check with your doctor.

    10/9/08 10:31 JR

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