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MRSA and Its Treatment, Part 7 Continued and Conclusion

By Ronald D. Whitmont, MD
May 19, 2008

HONEY: An old food for treating new diseases (Photos.com)
HONEY: An old food for treating new diseases (Photos.com)


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- MRSA and Its Treatment, Part 1 Saturday, April 12, 2008
- MRSA and Its Treatment, Part 2 Saturday, April 19, 2008
- MRSA and Its Treatment, Part 3 Friday, April 25, 2008
- MRSA and Its Treatment, Part 4 Sunday, May 04, 2008
- MRSA and Its Treatment, Parts 5 and 6 Thursday, May 08, 2008


Topical Treatment (Continued)

Pure, raw, unfiltered honey is an extremely effective and safe topical therapy against many dermatologic bacterial and fungal infections. When this material is applied to any skin surface that demonstrates a break in its integrity, it is effective in preventing and treating superficial bacterial infection. [1] Use of food grade filtered honey may also be effective.

Superficial wounds, lacerations, and abrasions can be effectively treated using a poultice of raw unfiltered honey. The topical application of honey is extremely simple and effective in treating and preventing minor infections caused by staphylococcal and other bacteria. [2] The U.S. FDA recently approved a skin care product containing Leptospermum honey from the Manuka bush in an absorbent dressing [3] for this purpose.

Honey has been used extensively in Europe and New Zealand where it has undergone side-by-side testing with conventional antibiotic-based applications. Data from studies indicates that honey is just as effective against MRSA as it is against MSSA. [4] Honey does not seem to act primarily by toxic means, but by forming a disruptive mechanical barrier that overwhelms the bacteria. It exerts no toxic pressure on the bacteria and poses no environmental or toxic risk to the host. There is no evidence that it selects for any resistance.

Honey appears to act by inhibiting the growth of bacteria through several different mechanisms. Honey's high sugar concentration exerts an osmotic effect, which draws moisture and foreign particles (including bacteria) out of wounds and abrasions. This osmotic effect appears to exert a bacteriostatic effect directly on bacterial organisms, by dehydrating them, thus preventing their growth. Honey contains enzymatic peroxidases that work against a wide range of organisms including fungi, anaerobic, aerobic, gram-negative, and gram-positive bacteria.

Applications of medicinal clay have proven to be quite helpful inhibiting bacterial activity. [5] Certain clays have bacteriostatic activities against a wide range of bacteria. Clay also appears to act primarily by establishing an impermeable barrier, but more investigative work needs to be accomplished in this area. At present it appears that at least some bacteriostatic activity is due to ionic charges associated with the clay molecules.

Auto urine therapy is currently utilized across Asia and many parts of Europe. [6] It involves the topical application, (in some cases also the ingestion or injection) of one's own fresh urine. Auto urine therapy has been exhaustively investigated and found to be highly effective and safe in the treatment of many superficial infections. Urine has been shown to have many antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal characteristics both in vitro [7] and in vivo [8]. The proposed mechanism of action is based upon several of the components of urine, which include urea, antibodies, and various amino acids. Investigators have failed to find any adverse or toxic reactions from this form of therapy.

Urine also makes an effective irrigation solution that is safe for topical application anywhere on the body. [9] It may be applied directly to wounds, burns, and abrasions. It's activity appears to be bacteriostatic, bacteriocidal and fungicidal. [10]

Internal Treatments

Homeopathy is a system of medicine that has been in worldwide use for over two hundred years. It is currently used in many clinics, both on its own and side by side with conventional medical treatment. The mechanism by which homeopathy works is unknown. [11] It appears to support the immune system by accenting intrinsic mechanisms, thereby enabling it to improve overall efficiency. This may, in turn, assist in the return to homeostasis in the body. Homeopathy has a long anecdotal track record of successful cure, but a much more limited history of successful scientific inquiry into its use. [12]

A limited number of well-designed studies have demonstrated marked therapeutic effectiveness of homeopathic treatment over placebo. [13] These inquiries have shown benefit in many areas, including, acute infectious diarrhea [14], sinusitis, and acute otitis media [15].

Homeopathy appears to work well when utilized across a wide variety of methodologies including the "classical" and the "pluralist" approach. Homeopathy is environmentally sound, with no known negative environmental impact. Further work is definitely needed to support the initial hypothesis that homeopathy is effective as a treatment of infectious illness, but enough data already supports its efficacy across a wide range of conditions to merit its immediate application without further delay.

Conclusion

The emergence of MRSA and other antibiotic resistant organisms reflects widespread ubiquitous over-use of antibiotics on a global scale. MRSA and other resistant bacteria have been unwittingly and selectively favored by our society's over-reliance on and overuse of antibiotic drugs. This process has taken place over several decades and is the combined result of activities in medicine, agriculture, and the cosmetic-hygiene industries.

Not only do antibiotics fail to eliminate resistant bacteria, but also they actually encourage their growth. Infectious organisms are impelled into more aggressive and virulent states as a direct result of, and in direct proportion to the frequency and duration of antibiotic exposure. The medical profession, the agricultural, and the beauty-cosmetic industries as well as the general public must face the fact that current antibiotic strategies are leading to a widespread environmental and public health disaster. Failure to interpret the current trend and make appropriate changes is a serious mistake.

The use of antibiotic agents should be severely curtailed in health, agriculture, and the hygiene industries. Their use in medicine should be reserved for the most serious and life-threatening circumstances only. CAM measures should be utilized on a broad scale to treat day-to-day infections, to support immunity and to protect against the occurrence of infections.

To avert catastrophe the medical profession must recognize that the current antibiotic system has failed and that a new approach based upon rational, scientific validated therapies must be implemented. The agricultural industries must abandon their harmful antibiotic approach in favor of more natural, self-sustaining methods. The beauty and hygiene industries must cease and desist in their strategy of marketing unnecessary products on the basis of fear.

The new course in these industries should focus on sound environmentally sustainable strategies that work within the natural systems rather than against them. Proper hygiene, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle factors must be thoroughly emphasized holistically and bacteriologically. The use of CAM modalities, including homeopathy and other natural products should be more broadly instituted.

References:

1. Lusby PE, Coombes AL, Wilkinson JM, Bactericidal activity of different honeys against pathogenic bacteria, Arch Med Res. 2005 Sept-Oct; 36(5): 464-7.

2. Blaser G, Bode U, et al, Effect of medical honey on wounds colonized or infected with MRSA. J Wound Care. 2007 Sept; 16(8): 328-8.

3. Mechcatie E, Medihoney Dressings, Int Med News, Nov 1, 2007:5

4. Cooper RA, Molan PC, Harding K G, The sensitivity to honey of Gram-positive cocci of clinical significance isolated from wounds, J App Micro, 2002,93: 857 863.

5. Geological Society of America (2007, October 26). French Clay Can Kill MRSA And 'Flesh-Eating' Bacteria. Science Daily. Retrieved

6. Christy MM, Your own Perfect Medicine. Wishland Publishing, Inc., Scottsdale, AZ, 1994.

7. Bjornesjo KB, On the Effect of Human Urine on Tubercle Bacilli II: The tuberculostatic Effect on Various Urine Constituents, Acta Scandinavica, 25(5) 1951F: 447-455.

8. Kaye D, Antibacterial Activity of Human Urine, J Clin Invest, 47, 1968:2374-90.

9. Herman JR Autourotherapy, NYSJ of Med, 80(7), June 1980:1149-1154.

10. Van der Kroon C, The Golden Fountain. Wishland Publishing, Inc., Scottsdale, AZ, 1993.

11. Vithoulkas G, The Science of Homeopathy, Grove Atlantic, New York, 1980.

12. Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G, Clinical Trials of Homeopathy, British Medical Journal, 1991, 302(6782): 316-23.

13. Linde, K., et al "Are the Clinical Effects of Homeopathy Placebo Effects? A Meta-Analysis of Placebo-Controlled Trials." Lancet. 1997. 350(9081): 834-43.

14. Jacobs, J., et al. "Homeopathic Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhea: Results from a Clinical Trial in Nepal." Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2000. 6(2): 131-9.

15. Jacobs J, et al. Homeopathic treatment of acute otitis media in children: a preliminary randomized placebo-controlled trial. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal Feb 2001; 20(2): 177.

Ronald D. Whitmont, M.D., is a board-certified internist with a private practice of classical homeopathy in New York.
Dr. Whitmont's Web site

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