From sore throats to minor burns and even speeding up the healing of wounds, home remedies have cited the powers of honey for thousands of years. Thankfully, today modern science has a lot to offer in safe and effective treatments, but there is still something to note regarding the powerful medicinal magic of honey.
Honey has antibacterial properties and a unique pH balance that has been shown to promote oxygen and healing compounds to a wound. A with any non-nutritional application of honey, especially when it comes to wounds, is important to consult your doctor. Many physicians are now rallying behind honey and advocating for easier marketability of medical-grade honey.
Is honey effective for healing?
Honey is a sugary, syrupy substance that has been shown to have bioactive components that can help heal wounds.
According to a literature review published in the journal Wounds, honey offers the following benefits in healing wounds:
Acidic pH promotes healing. Honey has an acidic pH of between 3.2 and 4.5. When applied to wounds, the acidic pH encourages the blood to release oxygen, which is important to wound healing. An acidic pH also reduces the presence of substances called proteases that impair the wound healing process.
Sugar has an osmotic effect. The sugar naturally present in honey has the effect of drawing water out of damaged tissues (known as an osmotic effect). This reduces swelling and encourages the flow of lymph to heal the wound. Sugar also draws water out of bacterial cells, which can help keep them from multiplying.
Antibacterial effect. Honey has been shown to have an antibacterial effect on bacteria commonly present in wounds, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE). Part of this resistance may be through its osmotic effects.
For severe wounds, it’s best a doctor or wound-care nurse shows you how to apply the honey the first time. This is because the amount of honey and the way the dressing is applied can impact how effective the wound-healing will be.
Always start with clean hands and applicators, such as sterile gauze and cotton tips.
Apply the honey to a dressing first, then apply the dressing to the skin. This helps to cut down on the messiness of honey when applied directly to the skin. An exception is, if you have a deep wound bed, such as an abscess. The honey should fill the wound bed before a dressing is applied.
Place a clean, dry dressing over the honey. This can be sterile gauze pads or an adhesive bandage. An occlusive dressing is best over honey because it keeps the honey from seeping out.
Replace the dressing when drainage from the wound saturates the dressing. As honey starts to heal the wound, the dressing changes will likely be less frequent.
Wash your hands after dressing the wound.
If you experience any of the following, consult your doctor immediately:
stinging or burning after topical application
The kind of honey you use can make a difference. We do not recommend our Datil Sting for wound care, but for minor burns, you can try our raw honey with the comb found in our store!