The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

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    Maggots, and leeches, and honey, oh my!

    In this time of MRSA (methacillin-resistant Staph aureus) skin infections, Medscape reviews 3 CAM wound treatment options.

    Here are the highlights.

    Medicinal maggot therapy

    • Sterilized larvae of the green bottle fly Lucilia sericata.
    • Don’t reproduce nor feed on live tissue.
    • They ingest and degrade bacteria in their intestinal tract.
    • Also secrete an enzyme that disinfects the wound, dissolves necrotic tissue, and stimulates wound healing.
    • Approved by the FDA in 2004 as the first live organism marketed in the US.
    • Reimbursable by Medicare.

    Medicinal leeches (Hirudo medicinalis)

    • FDA-approved as a medical device in 2004 (after maggots received clearance).
    • Works by several mechanisms: inhibit blood clotting and promote local bleeding, antibiotic properties, and local anesthetic.

    Medicinal honey to treat wounds

    • Honey is comprised of glucose (35%), fructose (40%), sucrose (5%), and water (20%).
    • Works by several mechanisms: nutrition to promote healing, kills bacteria by drawing away water (hyperosmotic), contains an enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide (antibacterial).
    • Supported by human and animal studies.
    • Available as Medihoney.

    Read more here about Medihoney, maggot therapy, and medicinal leeches.

    A more technical review is here.

    11/25/07

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