The Healing Power of Bees… yes bees. How Sweet it Is!

Once again I am reminded of how simple, and how readily available some of nature’s greatest medicines are.  My Aussie-Chow mix was diagnosed with insulinoma; and insulin-producing malignancy that robs the body of glucose, leaving my poor girl tired, weak and prone to seizures unless I keep her blood glucose levels up through frequent feeding of small portion meals every four hours.  This is a tough disease that I will undoubtedly write more about later, but today I want to share something else that has transpired in the course of keeping Sasha comfortable. As if her insulinoma wasn’t enough, she developed an abscess on her right elbow, presumably from a cactus spine or other foreign body that became infected, maybe because of her depressed immunity, but definitely in a big way.  Hot compresses and a dose of belladonna 30c (homeopathic) followed by merc 30c (another homeopathic) brought the abscess quickly to a head.  It broke loose and started draining within just a few hours.  Now, her swelling is down and draining appears complete, but my beloved companion was left with a gaping hole, one inch wide and DEEP, with the elbow joint visible.  This is an area that simply cannot be sutured— healing must occur from the inside out, and may take months.  The protocol:  keep the wound well irrigated, clean and draining.  But healing is S-L-O-W.   Naturally,being what some call an “herbalist guru”, I started looking for the best approach, in addition to the antibiotic my vet prescribed.

Sasha has limited time left in this world, and I want to see her dabble in a creek just one more time, so I want the wound to heal as fast as possible, without added risk of sealing bacteria into the wound— something we must be careful with when addressing wounds with vulnerary (speed healing) herbs like calendula or aloe.  What have I come up with?  An exotic herb from the far reaches of an aboriginal rainforest?  Nope.  With help of friend and advisor Evelyn Kass-Williamson DVM,  I came up with honey.  That’s right— the delicious bee vomit that we love on our toast, cereal, and anywhere else one wants to put it to cure a sweet tooth!

There are accounts of using honey for open wound management as early as 2000 B.C.  Honey is a widely recognized treatment in human medicine, but has arguably not been used to its fullest potential in veterinary medicine. I’m putting some on my girl as soon as find a good raw, preferably Manuka honey (the best; from New Zealand), or one that I am certain is not contaminated with herbicides or other contaminants.  Ill keep you posted on my progress, but for now read this fascinating article by Phil Zeltzman, DVM, published in Veterinary Practice News, March 2015.   Read Article

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