Friday, July 29, 2011

How Sweet It Is: Use Medicinal Honey For Wound Care

Since ancient times, honey has been used to treat infected wounds, burns, skin ulcers and scrapes.

But honey fell out favor as a wound dressing when antibiotic dressings were developed during World War II. New research, along with the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, is introducing a new generation to honey’s many medicinal uses.

Twenty-first century laboratory tests show that honey has a strong anti-microbial action against a broad spectrum of bacteria and fungi. This is good news for anyone suffering from diabetic ulcers or hard-to-heal wounds such as pressure ulcers (bed sores) as well as boils, abscesses or necrotising faciitis (flesh eating bacteria syndrome).


Honey helps wounds by providing a thick protective barrier. It also contains hydrogen peroxide that is slowly released to kill germs in wounds. Honey has a natural capacity to hold water and attract water and is acidic in nature. Thus it prevents bacteria from colonizing and helps to dry up wounds.  Most microorganisms won’t not grow in pure honey because of its low water activity.

And honey even makes wounds smell better, possibly because when bacteria in wounds eat honey's sugars, they give off sweeter-smelling gases.


In the past decade, several companies have developed and marketed wound products such as honey-based dressings. In 2007, the FDA approved Derma Sciences Inc., to produce Medihoney, a dressing saturated with manuka honey, a potent type of honey from Australia and New Zealand.

But you needn’t buy specialized products. Anyone can use organic honey to treat simple wounds such as cuts, scrapes and other non-critical injuries.

Here's how:

*Spread a light coating of organic honey over a sterile dressing (a typical proportion is 1 oz./25 grams of honey on a 4"x4" dressing) and apply to affected area.

*Cover the initial dressing with a sterile waterproof secondary dressing to prevent honey from oozing out. You can also use adhesive tape to hold the dressing in place if you do not apply a secondary dressing.

*If applying honey to abscesses, cavities or depressions, fill the depression with honey first before applying the dressing.

For more information about medicinal honey, visit

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our Bodies Are Hardwired to Move...At Any Age!

Children need to run, jump and play not only to burn off energy but to enable their brains to grow. If children don’t get enough locomotor play, it affects not just their coordination, but also their ability to learn.

Physical movement is the basis of a great amount of academic, social and emotional intelligence. Renowned neuroscientist Dr. Rodolfo Llinas, author of “I of the Vortex: From Neurons to Self,” tells the story of the lowly sea squirt. These primitive organisms contain just 300 brain cells. On the first day of its life, the organism swims until it finds a permanent place to attach itself. Once it’s anchored, it does not move for the rest of its short life.

Here’s the fascinating part: the sea squirt has a primitive nervous system while it’s in motion. Once it finds its permanent anchor, it eats up its brain since it no longer needs it once movement has ceased. According to Dr. Llinas, the reason we have brains is so we can move, grow and develop.

In short, our bodies are hardwired to move.

Movement is critical for brain health at all stages of life. Even in old age, the brain can grow new neurons. Most age-related losses in memory or motor skills result from inactivity and a lack of mental and physical exercise and stimulation.

It's important to challenge your brain to learn new and novel tasks, especially processes that you've never done before. Examples include square-dancing, chess, tai chi, yoga, sculpting, making pottery or any other tactile process.

Working with modeling clay is an especially good way for seniors to grow new brain connections. It helps develop agility and hand-brain coordination, (like controlling the computer mouse with your opposite hand).


Neurobics is a unique system of brain exercises using your five physical senses and your emotional sense in unexpected ways that encourage you to shake up your everyday routines. They are designed to help your brain manufacture its own nutrients that strengthen, preserve, and grow brain cells.

Created by Lawrence C. Katz, Ph.D., a professor of neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center, Neurobics exercises are simple and can be performed by older adults of all abilities.

Here are some examples of Neurobics:

Try to include one or more of your senses in an every day task:
*Get dressed with your eyes closed

*Wash your hair with your eyes closed

*Share a meal and use only visual cues to communicate. No talking.

Combine two senses:

*Listen to music and smell flowers

*Listen to the rain and tap your fingers

*Watch clouds and play with modeling clay at the same time

Break routines:
Go to work on a new route

*Eat with your opposite hand

*Shop at new grocery store

For more information about Neurobics and other brain exercises visit:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Zinc-based Denture Creams Linked to Neurological Damage

Did you know that many denture creams contain zinc? 

While zinc is an important essential trace element, in excess it can cause numbness, gait disturbances, tingling in hands, metallic taste in the mouth, low blood pressure, yellow eyes and skin, nausea and vomiting.

A study published in 2008 in the journal Neurology found that excessive use of denure creams containing zinc could result in serious neurologic disease

These symptoms occur because denture adhesive users swallow small amounts of zinc during the course of a day (this is especially true for people who use large amounts of adhesive). When zinc levels reach 40mg a day or higher, zinc begins to displace copper (another essential trace element), and central nervous systems dysfunction occurs.

Zinc also interacts with medications some antibiotics (such as Cipro and tetracycline).

Zinc can reduce the absorption and action of penicillamine, a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. And zinc can also interfere with diuretics such as chlorthalidone (Hygroton).

Manufacturers are not required to list zinc or zinc toxicity on product lables. So it is up to health care providers, family members and concerned individuals who wear dentures to pay attention to unexplained neurologic symptoms or abnormal blood test levels or zinc or copper.

Some zinc-free denture adhesives include:

*Secure Denture Bonding Cream
*Secure Denture Adhesive Cushion Strips
*Sea-Bond Denture Adhesive Wafers

For more options visit