Saliva can't be licked as antiseptic

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Licking one's wounds makes scientific sense, researchers have discovered. The instinctive reaction, shared by man and animals, to slobber over the injured part, aids healing because saliva is a natural antiseptic.

Scientists in the department of clinical pharmacology at St Bartholomew's hospital asked volunteers to lick both surfaces of their hands and found levels of nitric oxide on the licked skin was massively increased. Nitric Oxide is a powerful antimicrobial substance formed from nitrite present in saliva, which is oxidised on contact with the acidic surface of the skin. The reaction is aided by a second substance, ascorbate, in saliva.

Allowing your pet to administer the cure may also be good for you. The researchers report that Fijian fishermen encourage their dogs to lick their wounds to promote rapid healing. SECURITY