I currently see a patient that has been struggling with an ankle wound which will not heal. She has been seeing a doctor once every two weeks for nearly 3 1/2 years, and has tried numerous types of treatments and therapies. The newest, and to me, the simplest thus far, is by using supermarket honey (yes, the kind you eat). This golden liquid was reportedly used in ancient Egypt to treat wounds over 3500 years ago. My client’s wound is actually showing some early signs of healing, but it’s too soon to tell if it will actually cure it.

There is a type of honey from pollen of the manuka shrub in New Zealand that is showing great promise in treating MRSA, the superbug that is antibiotic resistant. All honey varieties contain the antibacterial qualities of hydrogen peroxide.

A recent study showed that buckwheat honey performed better than dextromethorphan (a common over-the-counter cough suppressant) to calm nighttime cough and improve sleep (as quoted from Dr. Weil, 3/09).

Another use for honey? It, along with molasses and maple syrup, are great ways to sweeten foods. All are chock-full of antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds (food is medicine).

There has been a lot of buzz lately on detox and diets as a way to cleanse yourself and lose weight. The idea sounds great but there is scant scientific data to back up the claims by overzealous marketers. However, there are actually foods that help your body target unwanted compounds and get them out of your system. Woodson Merrill, MD, offers advice for detoxing your body in his recent book, The Source (Free Press, 2008). He suggests buying local, organic foods when possible, keep your gut flora healthy (see prebiotic blog 8/12), stay well-hydrated, and eat foods which help your body purify. These foods are the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. These foods help the liver breakdown harmful forms of estrogen. Onions, garlic (slightly cooked or raw), chives, leeks, and shallots, are rich in sulfur, which helps to strengthen detox pathways in the liver. The thistle family; artichokes, dandelion, and burdock, aid the liver by increasing bile flow.

PS: Heat causes garlic to lose its health qualities, so when cooking, add at the last-minute. If eating raw, chop fine and swallow-if you don’t chew, you won’t get the odoriferous breath.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.