Honey was used in the Bible and Talmud ‘as a remedy’ (Shabbath 77b‐78a) and to treat bulimia ‘so the eyes sparkle again’ (Baba Kamma 85a). The acidic hyperosmotic milieu and the presence of the enzyme inhibin confer unique antimicrobial properties to honey. Honey was mentioned in the Talmud as having a propitious effect on the eyes: ‘Honey enlightens the eyes of man’ (Yoma 83b). This prompted a prospective study of topical honey as a hyperosmotic agent in the therapy of epithelial corneal oedema. Prospectively, 16 consecutive patients with epithelial corneal oedema who were not surgical candidates and who attended a private clinic from January 2000 to June 2000 formed the study population. Honey was applied to the cornea after informed consent. The 16 patients were not candidates for any surgical intervention (systemic contraindication, uniocular, multiple ocular conditions, poor candidate for penetrating keratoplasty, unreliable for follow‐up or drug therapy, refusal for surgery). A drop of honey was applied using a sterile cotton applicator. The documentation of corneal clearing was performed over several visits (mean two visits). Patients were given the option of using topical honey outside the clinic, if tolerated, 4−5 times daily. All corneas had an immediate complete
Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 2002
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