One of the Properties of Honey in Wound Healing Is Prevention of Autolysis

By Godwin Avwioro, Julius Bankole, Sina Iyiola, Temidayo Avwioro, Gift Akinola


The preservative property of honey on animal tissues in histological techniques was investigated in order to establish a relationship with its wound healing property and to determine if the wound healing property is as a result of prevention of autolysis or prevention of putrefaction. Tissues taken from the heart, kidney and brain were preserved in undiluted pure honey for between one to thirty days. The tissues were then processed by the paraffin wax method, sections cut at 4µ with the rotary microtome and stained with haematoxylin and eosin. The sections were compared with formalin fixed tissues taken from the same source with the experimental tissues. Autolysis and putrefaction were not seen in tissues preserved in honey for up to 30 days. The tissues became hard between the second and third days of preservation in honey. Microscopically, nuclear and cell sizes as well as the overall tissue architecture were similar to tissue sections preserved in 10% formol saline for the same period. The staining reactions were also similar to those fixed in 10% formol saline. We conclude that the wound healing property of honey does not depend on its antibiotic property alone, but also on the ability of honey to prevent autolysis and its ability to harden tissue.


Key Words : Honey, preservation, tissue processing.

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