Licking promotes wound healing, say Nigel Benjamin and his colleagues of Clinical Pharmacology Department at the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK. Saliva contains anti-microbial substances and concentrated nitrate that are converted to nitrite by bacteria present on the tongue. As the surface of the skin is acidic, the salivary nitrite in contact with skin is converted to nitric oxide that contributes to the anti-microbial effects of wound licking. Saliva also contains regulatory peptides that are considered important in wound repair ( The Lancet , Vol 349, No 9067).
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.