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Manuka Honey May Be The Answer To The White-tail

Amended News Release December 5, 2002

Manuka Honey May Be The Answer To The White-tail Spider Bite

This week's well-publicised case of the Northland man who lost a finger following a white-tail spider bite has prompted honey producer Comvita New Zealand to draw attention to manuka honey, which it claims can assist natural healing.

Comvita's natural health consultant Dr Caroline Davy said today the company's own case studies showed that active manuka honey applied to the wound following a white-tail spider bite helps in the natural reduction of pain and swelling and supports fast natural healing.

"Manuka honey is being increasingly used here and abroad for its beneficial effects on minor skin ailments," says Dr Davy.

"Infections resulting from the bite of the white-tail spider have been documented to respond well to the application of active manuka honey." She cites the example of a Whakatane man who developed a dangerous infection within hours of complaining of an itchy hand after being bitten by a white-tail spider.

"The infection did not respond to antibiotics. It disappeared very quickly following the application of manuka honey, a product that is being increasingly used by a large number of people." "The interesting thing is white-tail spiders are not venomous," says Dr Davy. "It is believed infections are caused by contamination by the spider's fangs." An Australian immigrant, the white-tail spider prefers the dry Australian bush, but in New Zealand finds the dryness of our homes preferable to the damper bush. It is often found in dry, warm confined spaces such as piles of clothing.

The white-tail spider is about one-and-a-half to two centimetres long and is dark brown or black with a distinctive white mark on the end of its abdomen.

Note: For further information contact your own healthcare professional.

Antibiotic treatment is still important in such situations where there is the chance of infection.


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