Treating wounds with honey
Honey has been used as a dressing for wounds and burns for centuries, even going as far back into history as ancient Egypt. Now the effectiveness of the tradition wound dressing is being supported by modern research. What makes honey the perfect wound dressing is a combination of many things.
- Keeps the wound clean and kills germs- It’s antibacterial, acidic, and contains small amounts of hydrogen peroxide that slowly release over time that kills germs, fights infections, and also creates an antibacterial barrier that doesn’t lose strength over time.
- Stimulates tissue growth- Honey keeps the wound moist so the surrounding tissue doesn’t dry out and die, letting the wound instead focus on the healing process. It’s nutritional and antioxidant content also reduces inflammation and help speed up new tissues growth. It also minimizes scaring.
- Widely and easily available- One of the best parts of honey is that it’s cheap, available almost everywhere you go, and because of it being acidic and antibacterial, it doesn’t go bad. They’ve even found honey in Egyptian tombs that were still good. Plus since it’s has many other uses around the house there’s no reason you shouldn’t always have some on hand.
How to use honey on wounds.
- Clean the wound with soap or other cleaning solutions.
- Apply honey to the wound. You can do this a number of different ways; you can pour the honey directly on the wound, put it on a clean object and smear it on, or apply it to the wound covering before putting it on the wound.
- Cover with a clean wound covering, and change the dressing once a day.
- You will feel a slight burning sensation when the honey is freshly applied to the wound, but it will fade in about 30 minutes.
- Be sure to find raw, unheated, unprocessed honey to maintain all of its healing properties. If you can’t find raw honey, processed honey still makes a good wound dressing because it keeps the wound moist and the high sugar contain makes it acidic and thus making it an unsuitable environment for bacteria.
- Manuka honey is the best honey for wound dressing, because it is produced from the blossoms of the Tea Tree which is also antibacterial, but this does not take away from the antibacterial properties of other forms of honey.
Here is my own experience with using honey as a wound dressing. In 2012, I cut my foot on a piece of steel building a chicken pen. I know, why the hell was I working with steel barefoot… I don’t know. Anyways, I tripped over a piece of steel, leaving a large gash in my foot. I applied pressure to it with a clean towel until the bleeding stop. Then I cleaned it up, put a glob of honey on it, and covered it with some gauze. I did this for a week, changing the dressing and reapplying honey every night. After a week it healed enough for me to let it air out. In other words, I got lazy and after a week it healed up enough for me to feel comfortable not putting honey on it anymore. I should have continued putting honey on it after a week, and if I did I probably would have a less noticeable scar, but like I said…I got lazy.
Here are the day by day photos of the wound’s healing progress while using honey as a wound dressing every day.
Day it happened. I was fully expecting the loose flap of skin on top to die and fall off, but I put the honey underneath it and put it back in place anyways.
Day one of honey dressing, even with one day the flap of skin is healed pretty well in place.
Day two. Ignore my nasty ass toe nails.
Day five. Aww, finally clean them toenails out.
Day seven, after letting it dry out a bit.
Day it happened next to one week of honey dressing.