A honey of a cure

A cancer hospital in Manchester is importing Manuka honey from New Zealand to treat patients following surgery for mouth and throat cancers.

Dr. Nick Slevin, the specialist leading the program at Christie Hospital in Didsbury, Manchester, says Manuka honey has special anti-inflammatory and anti-infection properties and is believed to reduce the likelihood of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection.

The Manchester Royal Infirmary has been using special honey-coated dressings since May and 60 patients at the hospital are taking part in a study to see if the honey can prevent infections which can be resistant to antibiotics.

The honey is produced by bees which mainly feed on the Manuka bush and the hospital is buying it in bulk.

The practice is not new as honey has been used as a medicine since the Ancient Egyptians, who regarded it as a cure for just about everything.

Manuka honey can cost up to £12 for a jar and the hospital has so far imported 400kg of honey for the clinical trials.

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