Having just had a lousy chest infection, I finally got rid of it by taking honey. Manuka honey, actually.
Don’t be fooled by the supermarket trash, which is mostly from China and is dyed sugar and water (no bees in sight!). But real honey has great health properties.
I wrote a section about its ability to heal MRSA wounds in my comprehensive guide to antibiotic alternatives: How To Survive In A World Without Antibiotics (antibiotics are done)
In addition to burns, raw honey has been used effectively in the treatment of abrasions, acne, amputations, bacterial infections (including MRSA, as I said), eczema, gunshot wounds, leg ulcers, puncture wounds, psoriasis, septic wounds, and surgical wounds. For abscesses or deep wounds that have been cleaned, honey can be packed into the cavity, after which an adhesive dressing is applied
Honey is a magnificent wound healer. Ancient Ayurvedic (Indian) medical practitioners used honey as dressing aids to purify sores and promote wound healing.1 The Egyptian Edwin Smith Papyrus dating to 1500 B.C. recommended the use of honey in the treatment of burns. During WWI, Chinese and Russian soldiers used honey as a wound-healing agent.2
According to an article recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology3, honey provides a moist healing environment, deodorizes, rapidly clears infection, and reduces inflammation, edema and exudation (oozing).
Many clinical studies have demonstrated honey’s effectiveness in treating burns. An article in the British Journal of Surgery compared the topical use of honey with silver sulfadiazine (SSD)— one of the most widely-used, common treatments for burns—in 104 cases of superficial burn injuries. In the honey-treated group of 52 patients, 91% of the burns were infection free within 7 days, compared to only 7% of the 52 patients in the SSD group. Pain was also significantly reduced.4
Manuka is recognized as the best medicinal honey. This is derived from bees which forage the flowers of the New Zealand manuka shrub, Leptospermum scoparium (Tea Tree). It’s potency is measured by its content of methylglyoxal, believed to be the active ingredient. A trademarked system for testing MGO levels suggests a minimum of 100 mg/kg but strengths range up to 500mg/kg and even 700mg/kg.
The older and vaguer UMF rating (unique manuka factor), should be 10 or greater.
Oh, and I forgot to say… Honey tastes great!
1. Grover, S.K, and Prasad, C.S. “Use of Madhu in Ayurveda.” Journal of the National Indian Medical Association, 10: 7-10, 1985.
3. Molan, P.C., “Potential of honey in the treatment of wounds and burns.” American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2(1):13-9, 2001.
4. Subrahmanyam, M. “Topical application of honey in treatment of burns.” British Journal of Surgery, 78(4):497-8, April 1991.
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