Honey and Mayo May Heal Sea Turtles

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Gobs of mayo and honey may help revive this Grand Terre Island sea turtle. (Photo: Lee Celano/Reuters)

If a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down—then what about honey? 

At the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, medical staffers are using “medical honey” called MediHoney to heal wounds inflicted by human activities.

The active ingredient of MediHoney is a medical grade honey indigenous to New Zealand. The sweet goop has already revived a turtle that had its intestines and one lung exposed after being hit by a boat.

Moist and absorbent with the potential to lower a wound's pH to promote healing, MediHoney has also helped rehabilitate Emma, whose shell was severely damaged after an encounter with a boat propeller. 

Meanwhile, workers at the only listed turtle hospital in the U.S. brace themselves—with massive amounts of mayonnaise—for the arrival of turtles that have been injured by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

"[The mayonnaise] will actually bond to the oil on the turtle. You put it on there, bond it, wipe it a few times, and you can actually wipe it off," said Ryan Butts, of The Turtle Hospital.

In anticipation of the turtles’ arrival, eager donors are showing up at the hospital with mayonnaise.

Savory or sweet—take your pick—these kitchen cures are feeding the effort at recovery.  


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