Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


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.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

International Art Centre: Rare Goldie Landscape Expected To Fetch $150,000

When Evening Shadows Fall is one of four works by Goldie included in a sale of Important and Rare Art at the International Art Centre in Parnell on November 28. Goldie painted only a handful of landscapes, concentrating mainly on indigenous portraits, which earned him a global reputation as NZ’s finest painter of respected Māori elders (kaumātua). More

Mark Stocker: History Spurned - The Arrival Of Abel Tasman In New Zealand

On the face of it, Everhardus Koster's exceptional genre painting The Arrival of Abel Tasman in New Zealand should have immense appeal. It cannot find a buyer, however, not because of any aesthetic defects, but because of its subject matter and the fate of the Māori it depicts. More



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.