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Miel

¿Qué es?

La miel es una sustancia producida por las abejas a partir del néctar de las plantas. Se utiliza como un medicamento.

La miel puede contaminarse con los gérmenes de las plantas, de las abejas y del polvo durante la producción y también durante la recolección y el procesamiento. Afortunadamente, las propiedades que tiene la miel para luchar contra los gérmenes hacen que los organismos más dañinos no puedan sobrevivir o reproducirse. Sin embargo, las bacterias que se reproducen mediante esporas, incluyendo la bacteria que causa el botulismo, pueden permanecer. Esto explica por qué se han reportado casos de botulismo en los lactantes que han recibido miel por vía oral. Para resolver este problema, la miel de calidad medicinal (Medihoney, por ejemplo) se irradia para inactivar las esporas bacterianas. La miel de calidad medicinal también se estandariza para que tenga una actividad consistente para combatir los gérmenes. Algunos expertos también sugieren que la miel de grado medicinal debe ser recogida de las colmenas que están libres de gérmenes y no han sido tratadas con antibióticos y que el néctar debe se de plantas que no han sido tratadas con pesticidas.

La miel se utiliza para la tos, el asma y la fiebre del heno. También se utiliza para la diarrea y las úlceras de estómago causada por la infección con la bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). La miel también se utiliza como una fuente de hidratos de carbono durante el ejercicio vigoroso.

Algunas personas aplican miel directamente sobre la piel para la cicatrización de las heridas, las quemaduras, las quemaduras de sol, las cataratas y las úlceras del pie debido a la diabetes. El uso tópico de la miel tiene una larga historia. De hecho, se considera como el apósito más antiguo que se conoce. La miel fue utilizada por el antiguo médico griego Dioscórides en el siglo 50 DC para las quemaduras y heridas infectadas. Las propiedades curativas de la miel se mencionan en la Biblia, el Corán y el Torah.

En los alimentos, la miel se utiliza como agente edulcorante.

En la industria manufacturera, la miel se usa como un perfume y una crema hidratante en los jabones y cosméticos.

No se debe confundir la miel con el polen de abeja, el veneno de abeja y la jalea real.

¿Qué tan efectivo es?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (La Base Exhaustiva de Datos de Medicamentos Naturales) clasifica la eficacia, basada en evidencia científica, de acuerdo a la siguiente escala: Eficaz, Probablemente Eficaz, Posiblemente Eficaz, Posiblemente Ineficaz, Probablemente Ineficaz, Ineficaz, e Insuficiente Evidencia para Hacer una Determinación.

La clasificación de la eficacia para este producto es la siguiente:

Posiblemente eficaz para...

  • Quemaduras. Aplicar directamente miel en las quemaduras parece mejorar la cicatrización .
  • Tos. El tomar una pequeña cantidad de miel antes de acostarse parece reducir el número de ataques de tos en los niños de 2 años y mayores. La miel parece ser tan eficaz como una dosis del antitusivo dextrometorfano que se usa en los medicamentos de venta libre (sin receta médica) Algunos investigadores creen que el sabor dulce de la miel provoca salivación. Esto, a su vez, promueve la secreción de mucus, que humedece las vías aéreas y calma la tos.
  • Diabetes. Cierta evidencia sugiere que la ingesta diría de miel causa una leve disminución de los niveles de azúcar en la sangre, los niveles de colesterol y el peso en personas con diabetes.
  • Llagas en la boca causadas por el tratamiento con radiación (mucositis). Los resultados de estudios médicos sugieren que la miel reduce el riesgo de desarrollar llagas en la boca causadas por el tratamiento con radiación. Otra investigación muestra que la ingesta de 20 mL de miel o la aplicación de gaza con miel (HoneySoft) reduce la gravedad de las llagas en la boca, la inflamación dolorosa y la pérdida de peso, asociados con el tratamiento con radiación debido al cáncer de cerebro de garganta.
  • Cicatrización de heridas. La aplicación de preparaciones de miel directamente sobre las heridas o el uso de apósitos que contienen miel parece mejorar la cicatrización. Varios informes y ensayos clínicos pequeños describen el uso de la miel o vendajes empapados de miel para tratar diversos tipos de heridas, incluyendo las heridas después de una cirugía, las úlceras crónicas en las piernas, los abscesos, las quemaduras, las abrasiones y, los cortes. También se usa sobre la parte del cuerpo de donde se ha sacado piel para hacer un injerto. La miel parece reducir los olores y el pus, ayuda a limpiar las heridas, reduce la infección, reduce el dolor y disminuye el tiempo de curación. Se han reportado casos en que la miel ha curado las heridas aún después de que otros tratamientos han fallado.

Posiblemente ineficaz para...

  • Infección de la piel causada por parásitos (Leishmania lesions). La investigación limitada sugiere que el uso de un vendaje empapado con miel dos veces por día durante 6 semanas además del medicamento por vía inyectable retrasó la cicatrización que cuando se usó solo el medicamento.

Insuficiente evidencia para hacer una determinación para...

  • Fiebre del heno. Las investigaciones que se han llevado a cabo hasta el momento, sugieren que el tomar una cucharada de miel todos los días, además del tratamiento estándar, no mejora en forma significativa los síntomas.
  • Rendimiento deportivo. Algunos datos clínicos preliminares sugieren que la miel podría bajar el azúcar en la sangre a niveles normales después de hacer ejercicio y mejorar el rendimiento deportivo cuando se da durante el ejercicio.
  • Infecciones causadas por los catéteres utilizados para la diálisis renal. Investigaciones preliminares indican que la aplicación de miel de manuka (Medihoney) tres veces por semana a los lugares de salida de ciertos tipos de catéteres - implantados para la hemodiálisis - es tan eficaz como el tratamiento estándar que usa mupirocina para reducir la incidencia de las infecciones asociadas con el uso de catéteres y las infecciones de la sangre.
  • Úlceras de pie debidas a la diabetes. Algunos informes sugieren que la aplicación tópica de miel en bruto puede acelerar la curación de las úlceras de pie que no han cicatrizado. Esto parece ser cierto incluso si la herida está infectada con Staphylococcus aureus resistente a la meticilina (MRSA), con enterococo resistente a la vancomicina (VRE) o infectada con Pseudomonas. Hay un informe de un caso en que una herida cicatrizó por completo después de la aplicación de miel de supermercado bajo el vendaje durante 6-12 meses. Se evitó así la amputación de la pierna de este paciente.
  • Dolor en la boca debido a la radioterapia (mucositis). Investigaciones preliminares sugieren que la miel de néctar del árbol de té (Camellia sinensis) que se toma por vía oral puede reducir la gravedad de las llagas en la boca, el dolor al tragar y la pérdida de peso asociada con el tratamiento de radioterapia para el cáncer de cabeza y cuello.
  • Cirugía ocular. Un pequeño estudio informó que no se observaron diferencias entre los efectos de gotas para ojos (Uniflox) y gotas para ojos con miel (Abies spp.) cuando se administró 5 veces por día durante 7 días antes y 5 días después de la cirugía ocular.
  • Gangrena de Fournier. La investigación preliminar ha demostrado resultados contradictorios sobre los efectos de los vendajes empapados en miel cuando se los usa junto con antibióticos, como tratamiento para la gangrena de Fournier.
  • Gingivitis. La investigación preliminar sugiere que el cuero masticable hecho de miel de manuka reduce levemente la placa y el sangrado de las encías en comparación con la goma de mascar sin azúcar.
  • Hemorroides. La investigación preliminar sugiere que una mezcla con miel, aceite de oliva y cera de cabeza alivia el dolor, el sangrado y la picazón, producido por las hemorroides.
  • Herpes labial (herpes simple). La investigación preliminar sugiere que aplicar un vendaje empapado con miel 4 veces por día mejora los síntomas y el tiempo de cicatrización del herpes labial, pero no del herpes genital.
  • Colesterol alto. Un estudio muestra que la ingesta de 75 gr de miel por día durante 14 días disminuye el colesterol de lipoproteína (LDL o “malo”) de baja densidad en mujeres con colesterol alto. Otros estudios muestran que la ingesta de un producto específico de levadura roja durante hasta 6 meses puede disminuir el colesterol total, los niveles de colesterol de lipoproteína (LDL o “malo”) de baja densidad, y los triglicéridos. No obstante, en otro estudio, la ingesta diaria de 70 gramos de miel durante 30 días no afectó los niveles de colesterol.
  • Diarrea. Cierta investigación muestra que agregar miel a una solución ayuda a disminuir los vómitos y la diarrea y puede mejorar la recuperación en niños y bebes con diarrea. No obstante, otros estudio muestra que agregar miel no produce ningún efectos positivo.
  • Infertilidad. La investigación preliminar sugiere que aplicar una combinación de miel de abeja egipcia y jalea real en la vagina mejora la tasa de embarazo.
  • Dieta desequilibrada. La evidencia preliminar sugiere que la miel mejora el peso y otros síntomas en bebes y niños con una dieta desequilibrada.
  • Picazón (prurito). La investigación preliminar muestra que aplicar crema de miel sobre la piel durante 21 días reduce la picazón mucho que si se usa un ungüento a base de óxido de zinc en personas con irritación de la piel causada por la fricción.
  • Quemaduras de sol.
  • Asma.
  • Alergias.
  • Rotura y dispersión de las mucosidades espesas.
  • Diarrea.
  • Úlceras en el tracto digestivo.
  • Cataratas.
  • Otras afecciones.
Se necesitan más pruebas para evaluar la eficacia de la miel para estos usos.

¿Cómo funciona?

Algunas de las sustancias químicas en la miel podrían matar ciertas bacterias y hongos. Cuando se aplica a la piel, la miel puede servir como una barrera a la humedad e impedir que los vendajes se peguen a la piel. La miel también puede proporcionar los nutrientes y otras sustancias químicas que aceleran la cicatrización de las heridas.

¿Hay preocupación por la seguridad de su uso?

La miel ES POSIBLEMENTE SEGURA para la mayoría de los adultos y los niños mayores cuando se toma por vía oral o se aplica a la piel.

La miel es NO ES POSIBLEMENTE SEGURA cuando la ingieren los bebes y los niños pequeños. No utilice miel en bruto en los lactantes y niños pequeños menores de 12 meses de edad debido a la posibilidad de envenenamiento por botulismo. Esto no es un peligro para los niños mayores o para los adultos.

La miel NO ES POSIBLEMENTE SEGURA cuando se fabrica del néctar del rododendro y se ingiere por boca. Este tipo de miel contiene una toxina que podría causar problemas cardiacos, hipotensión arterial, dolor e el pecho, además de otros problemas graves de corazón.

Advertencias y precauciones especiales:

Embarazo y lactancia: La miel ES POSIBLEMENTE SEGURA cuando se toma en las cantidades que se usan en los alimentos. La preocupación sobre el botulismo se refiere a los lactantes y niños pequeños y no a los adultos o a las mujeres embarazadas. No obstante, no se tiene suficiente información acerca de la seguridad de la miel cuando se utiliza con fines medicinales en las mujeres que están embarazadas o amamantando. Sea precavida y evite usarla en cantidades medicinales y evite aplicarla tópicamente.

Alergias al polen: Evite la miel si usted es alérgico al polen. La miel, que se hace de polen, pueden causar reacciones alérgicas.

¿Existen interacciones con medicamentos?

Moderadas
Tenga cuidado con esta combinación
Fenitoina (Dilantin)
La miel podría aumentar o disminuir la cantidad de fenitoína (Dilantin) que el cuerpo absorbe. La ingesta de romero junto con aspirina podría aumentar los efectos y los efectos secundarios de la aspirina.
Medicamentos que disminuyen la coagulación de la sangre (Anticoagulante / Antiplaquetarios)
La miel podría disminuir la coagulación de la sangre. En teoría, la ingesta de miel junto con medicamentos que también disminuyen la coagulación podría aumentar las probabilidades de sufrir hematomas y hemorragia.

Algunos medicamentos que disminuyen la coagulación de la sangre incluyen aspirina, pidogrel (Plavix), antinflamatorios no esteroides (AINE), como diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam entre otros), ibuprofeno (Advil, Motrin y otros), naproxeno (Anaprox, Naprosyn y otros), dalteparina (Fragmin), enoxaparina (Lovenox), heparina, warfarina (Coumadin), entre otros.
Menores
Preste atención a esta combinación
Medicamentos modificados por el hígado (Sustratos del citocromo P450 3A4 (CYP3A4))
Algunos medicamentos son alterados y descompuestos por el hígado. La miel podría disminuir la velocidad con la que hígado descompone ciertos medicamentos. La ingesta de miel junto con algunos medicamentos que son modificados por el hígado podría aumentar los efectos y los efectos secundarios de estos medicamentos. Antes de ingerir miel, consulte con su proveedor de salud si toma medicamentos que son alterados por el hígado.

Algunos medicamentos transportados por el hígado incluyen bloqueadores del canal de calcio (diltiazem, nicardipina, verapamilo), agentes quimioterapéuticos (etopósido, paclitaxel, vinblastina, vincristina, vindesina), antimicóticos (ketoconazol, itraconazol), glucocorticoides, cisaprida (Propulsid), alfentanil (Sublimaze), losartán (Cozaar), fluoxetina (Prozac), midazolam (Versed), omeprazol (Prilosec), ondansetron (Zofran), propranolol (Inderal), fexofenadina (Allegra), entro muchos otros medicamentos más.

¿Existen interacciones con hierbas y suplementos?

Hierbas y suplementos que podrían disminuir la coagulación de la sangre
La ingesta de hierbas y suplementos que disminuyen la coagulación de la sangre junto con miel podría disminuir el riesgo de sufrir hemorragia en algunas personas. Esto se debe a que la miel podría disminuir la coagulación de la sangre. Algunas otras hierbas que podrían disminuir la coagulación de la sangre incluyen angélica, clavo de olor, danshen, ajo, jengibre, ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), Panax ginseng y entre otros.

¿Existen interacciones con alimentos?

No se conoce ninguna interacción con alimentos.

¿Qué dosis se utiliza?

Las siguientes dosis han sido estudiadas en investigaciones científicas:

POR VÍA ORAL:
  • Para la tos: 2,5-10 ml (0,5-2 cucharadas) de miel antes de acostarse.
APLICADA A LA PIEL:
  • Para el tratamiento de las quemaduras y las heridas: La miel se aplica directamente o en un vendaje. Los apósitos generalmente se cambian cada 24-48 horas, pero a veces se dejan en el lugar por hasta 25 días. La herida debe ser inspeccionada cada 2 días. Cuando se aplica directamente, sin vendaje, se aplica 15 ml a 30 ml de miel cada 12-48 horas y se cubre con una gasa estéril y vendas o un apósito de poliuretano.

Otros nombres

Apis mellifera, Buckwheat Honey, Chestnut Honey, Clarified Honey, Honig, Jellybush Honey, Madhu, Manuka Honey, Mel, Miel Blanc, Miel Clarifié, Miel de Châtaignier, Miel de Manuka, Miel de Sarrasin, Miel Filtré, Purified Honey, Strained Honey.

Metodología

Para saber más sobre cómo este artículo fue escrito, refiérase a la metodología de la Base exhaustiva de datos de medicamentos naturales.

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Documento revisado - 02/14/2015