Honey may offer a safe and natural alternative

NATURAL HEALING: Topical kanuka honey is being trialled as a treatment for rosacea, acne and nappy rash.
NATURAL HEALING: Topical kanuka honey is being trialled as a treatment for rosacea, acne and nappy rash.

The healing power of kanuka honey will be investigated in a new study.

Grafton-based Optimal Clinical Trials is looking for people suffering from rosacea and acne and children with nappy rash to take part in trials testing the effectiveness of the honey compared with standard treatments.

Optimal Clinical Trials director Barney Montgomery is leading the Auckland trial which is being replicated in Wellington and Tauranga.

Kanuka honey is thought to have as good or better antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects than other kinds of honey.

More than 80 per cent of participants using a kanuka honey product for acne in a recent pilot study reported improvement.

Topical medical kanuka honey used for the treatment of nappy rash in another pilot study showed it to be an acceptable and potentially effective treatment with a reduction in severity in 60 per cent of participants, Dr Montgomery says.

Larger studies are needed to draw further conclusions on its effectiveness and acceptability.

"There are a lot of treatments available at the moment but a lot of people don't like taking drugs and would prefer a natural option," Mr Montgomery says.

"If this research shows that the honey works, then that would be a nice option for people to have."

The New Zealand produced kanuka honey product Honevo will be used in the study.

It is filtered and sterilised to produce medical-grade honey and then mixed with glycerin to make it into a cream which is easier to apply.

Participants in the rosacea and nappy rash study will be randomly allocated either a standard cream or kanuka honey to use.

For the acne study half of participants will use a standard cleansing routine while the other half will use kanuka honey before standard cleansing for 12 weeks.

If the trials find kanuka to be more effective than standard treatments further studies may be done before a product can hit the shelves, Mr Montgomery says.

Call 0800 RESEARCH or email info@optimalclinical trials.com for details or to see if you are eligible to take part.

East And Bays Courier