Natural germ fighters - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Natural germ fighters

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Madison (WKOW) -- They say everything old is new again -- and that applies to medicine, too.

  Janet Vasil reports on the natural germ-fighter used centuries ago that's making a comeback.

  Among other health problems, Lou Bernstein has diabetes.

  When he stepped on a nail last year, he knew it meant trouble.

  Bernstein said, "I was like. 'oh great here it goes again,' cause that's happened to me before."

  It's tough getting a wound to heal when you're diabetic and this one was no different, even after ten months of treatment.

  Bernstein added, "they were scheduling another surgery and that's when they decided while I was waiting for surgery, they decided to try the medihoney."

  Medihoney is the new wound dressing getting a lot of buzz.

  More potent than regular honey, it's made by bees in New Zealand.

  Doctor John Steinberg said, "the honey has some pretty basic properties and principals to it, in that it's not strong enough to cause damage to the healthy cells, yet it's effective enough to remove the bacterial load on the surface of the wound."

  It's a natural antibacterial that draws moisture out of the wound to keep it clean.

  Medihoney is not resistance-prone like other antibiotics and the side effects are practically nil.

  Doctor Steinberg added, "we've used medihoney in wounds ranging from surgical complications where patients have an incision made and it breaks open and used to help heal that complication. We've used it in diabetic foot ulcerations. We've used it in venous leg ulcerations and persons who have a lot of swelling in their legs. We've used it in a wide variety of wounds."

  On average, chronic wound healing time is 10 to 15 percent a week.

  For medihoney patients, it's much faster.

  "We saw an improvement within the first week. The first two... Week to two weeks. The first month, it probably healed 75%," Doctor Steinberg said.

  With help from mother nature, Lou will soon be back on his feet.

  This is Janet Vasil reporting.

  Select hospitals are using medihoney, which is made from the nectar of manuka flowers.

  Researchers are now testing its antibacterial power against the superbug MRSA.

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