Why breast milk (and other stuff) is good for wounds
I just read this article, called Slime City
, in the July/August edition of Discover Magazine. I should probably post this in the Health and Healing forums too.
I am excited because I read some information that us moms can use to fight bacterial infections in our kids. The article was all about biofilms, the slimy matrix that bacteria use to protect their colonies. In the biofilm bacteria release chemicals to communicate with each other. For example, when Staphylococcus aureus reach a certain population size they flood the biofilm with chemical information telling every bacteria to release massive amounts of toxins, which turn tissue into soup that is easier for the bacteria to eat, but causing painful stuff like cellulitis, pneumonia, endocarditis, etc.
A scientist named Naomi Balaban discovered a naturally occurring chemical that blocks that chemical communication. The bacteria still try to tell each other to release toxins, but they can't receive the chemical on their cell surface--they can't hear each other. The chemical that does this is called hamamelitannin, an extract of witch hazel bark
! This is especially interesting to me because I have been meaning to buy more witch hazel, as it is one of the only things that cools my nurses when they flare up with insane itchiness at night sometimes. Especially after M has been nursing forever. (Side note, also shea butter seems to be nice for the nips, but waiting for money to fall from the sky, 'til then it's some desert healer salve I got at Native Seed/SEARCH or (gulp) vaseline.)
ANYWAY... back to the bacteria story... a doctor who specializes in wound care (Randall Wolcott, if you want to google) started using the hamamelitannin along with what he was already using, xylitol and lactoferrin
, with amazing results. (To be fair, he also uses antibiotics in the cocktail, but clearly antibiotics alone wouldn't work.) Xylitol is just artificial sweetener (which happens to break down biofilms) and can be easily purchased. And lactoferrin is found in milk and saliva and kills bacteria by trapping the iron that bacteria need to function properly.
SO... witch hazel, xylitol, and breast milk on a bad wound (along with scrubbing it to break up the biofilm) may work wonders if you ever need wonders on a wound.
P.S. I still think colloidal silver was a miracle treatment, along with homeopathic immune booster and probiotics (which I also read can be a major help for people suffering from autoimmune disorders such as celiac's disease--Celiac Disease Insights
article in recent Scientific American).