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Manuka Honey May Be The Answer To Spider Bite

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 its flagstaff product manuka honey which, it claims, can assist 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 quickly reduces swelling and pain, and heals the wound faster.

"Manuka honey is being used increasingly by health professionals here and abroad to treat a range of medical problems including minor wounds, burns and other skin conditions," 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 bite.

"The infection did not respond to antibiotics. It disappeared very quickly following the application of WoundCare Manuka Honey, a product that is finding increasing favour among healthcare professionals.

"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."

Dr Davy says one of manuka honey's most important roles in wound care may prove to be in the treatment of wounds infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. She points to laboratory testing which shows its success in combating certain bacterial infection.

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.

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