Maggots are already used to heal wounds, while the Ancient Egyptians believed in pouring honey into cuts.And now doctors in Indonesia have revealed another unusual way of treating gashes to the skin – pouring coffee powder onto them.
Ground beans were used to treat a 63-year-old man with three diabetic foot ulcers after he refused to have an amputation.Medics rubbed powdered arabica coffee into the man’s open sores, bandaged his foot and, three months later, the injuries had completely healed.
Doctors at the Universitas Padjadjaran in West Java, Indonesia, poured 100g (3.5oz) of coffee onto the suffering man’s swollen foot.The team, led by Hendro Sudjono Yuwono, called it a ‘cost-effective’ way of treating the infected abscess on the top of the man’s right foot.
After pouring the coffee powder into the wound and wrapping it in a dressing, the medics replaced it once per week.A thin layer of powder was left on the broken flesh at all times, in order to stop the new growing cells from being disturbed.
“The coffee solution is reliable because coffee has the ability as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and strong antibacterial,” Yuwono said.He said various chemicals in the coffee, among them caffeine, could keep the wound cells healthy and help them to heal faster.
“The powdered coffee is a perfect wound dressing for any wound,” Yuwono claimed.An added benefit of using coffee, Yuwono said, was that it could quickly cover up the smell of an infected wound with a much more pleasant aroma.
“Ground coffee directly put into the wound [was] the most appropriate for countering the smell,” he wrote in the report.“The coffee powder has a unique aromatic scent that eliminates the stinking wound in a second.”
To sum up, the medics suggested it was preferable to use coffee over modern dressings which needed ‘repeated soaking and rubbing’ and agitated the wound to lead to a longer, more painful and more expensive healing process.Diabetic foot ulcers, which develop when nerve damage and poor blood supply stop cuts from healing, are common but can lead to severe complications.
If they become too large or deep people may need to have their foot amputated to prevent a deadly infection spreading through their body.Mr. Yuwono’s paper was published in the American Journal of Medical Case Reports.
How could coffee powder heal a wound? Doctors at the surgery department at the Universitas Padjadjaran in West Java, Indonesia, claim coffee powder is the ‘perfect wound dressing’.They said there have been more than 200 recorded cases of coffee powder successfully healing wounds without complications since 2004.
One doctor, Hendro Sudjono Yuwono, said coffee contains chemicals, which act as antioxidants and antibacterial agents.He listed caffeine, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, cafestol, kahweol, trigonelline. He also said a layer of coffee which turns into a film over the exposed flesh can protect it from further damage from friction or washing, helping the cells to heal faster without being disturbed.
And the powdered beans may also be able to protect against common hospital infections including Methycillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and Escherichia coli, he added, by producing hydrogen peroxide when it reacts with fluid in the wound – this could impair bacteria’s ability to reproduce.
Meanwhile, a study published PLoS One has concluded, there are no significant relationship between coffee consumption and the four major acid-related upper gastrointestinal disorders.
The researchers evaluated the effect of coffee consumption on four major acid-related diseases: gastric ulcer (GU), duodenal ulcer (DU), reflux esophagitis (RE), and non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) based on the large-scale multivariate analysis.
Coffee consumption has been reported to be associated with several diseases including peptic ulcer (PU) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), both of which are very common esophago-gastro-duodenal disorders worldwide. PU is comprised of gastric ulcer (GU) and duodenal ulcer (DU), and GERD is comprised of reflux esophagitis (RE) and non-erosive reflux disease (NERD); these four are the most frequent upper gastrointestinal disorders considered to be acid-related. It is generally thought that coffee intake should influence on these disorders probably due to gastric acid secretion induced by coffee containing caffeine. However, results of many previous reports were still controversial: some studies denoted that PU has no association with coffee consumption, other studies reported the correlation between PU and coffee intake.
For GERD, non-epidemiological studies have reported that coffee causes a relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, which could increase the risk of both RE and NERD. Two epidemiological studies also implied that coffee consumption might affect the risk of GERD, but the numbers of studies investigating the relation of coffee with GERD are at present very small. Totally, the effects of coffee consumption upon these four upper gastrointestinal disorders are still disputable matters.
To evaluate the effect of coffee consumption on four upper gastrointestinal disorders precisely, effects of many causative factors such as Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection, obesity, smoking, alcohol drinking, etc. should be taken into consideration. Among the most important is thought to be HP infection, which is an evident risk factor for peptic ulcer diseases, and also an apparent preventive marker for reflux esophagitis. From the standpoint of confounding variables, effects of coffee consumption upon the four upper gastrointestinal disorders should be carefully evaluated, as some reports denoted that coffee intake presents considerable association with HP infection, obesity, smoking, or alcohol drinking. As the subjects of our present study mostly composed of Japanese, who are known to be very high prevalence of HP infection and also known to be considerably high rate of smokers, a detailed investigation considering the effects of these confounding factors should be conducted.
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