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July 30, 2014  
WOUND NEWS: Feature Story

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  • Honey: A Sweet Remedy for Healing

    Honey: A Sweet Remedy for Healing


    November 14, 2006

    By: Elaine Gottlieb for Wounds1

    Thick, golden and sweet, honey is a popular remedy for soothing sore throats. Now, new evidence has shown that it’s as beneficial on the outside of the body as on the inside. Physicians at the University of Bonn, Germany have found that honey helps heal wounds and prevent infection.

    For the past few years, pediatricians at Bonn University Children’s Clinic have been experimenting with a special variety of the sweet substance, known as “medihoney,” which is tested for quality and has stronger antibacterial effects than the liquid you spoon into tea. The results have been impressive: chronic wounds infected with multi-resistant bacteria often healed in just a few weeks. Even skin injuries in children with leukemia, whose healing process is significantly impaired, healed faster with honey.
    Take Action
  • Honey is one of many natural remedies that are cheaper and safer than many commercial products, and have no unpleasant side effects. Check out www.myhome remedies.com to exchange ideas and learn more about remedies using everyday products. For instance, chapstick has been known to relieve the irritation of paper cuts and a wet tea bag can help staunch bleeding from a deep cut.
  • Read books about honey’s health benefits and history. Honey: The Gourmet Medicine by Joe Traynor (Kovak Books); Honey, Garlic and Vinegar: Home Remedies and Recipes: The People’s Guide to Nature’s Wonder Medicines by Patrick Quillin.
  • Most health food markets have a wealth of natural products to treat just about anything that ails you.


  • As antibiotics become more resistant to bacteria, the medicinal use of honey could become an attractive alternative, reports Dr. Arne Simon of Bonn University Children’s Clinic. Honey has proved a more potent antibacterial than an antibiotic drug, mupirocin, in tackling one highly resistant bacteria known as MRSA.

    A Healer Since Ancient Times

    Honey’s healing properties are hardly a new discovery: the Ancient Egyptians applied a wound dressing of honey and grease thousands of years ago. It’s been a folk remedy for wounds in many parts of the world. In the last two world wars, honey poultices were used to heal soldiers’ wounds.

    Today, modern science can pinpoint the reasons for honey’s antiseptic effect. An enzyme, glucose-oxidase, added by bees while producing honey, ensures that hydrogen peroxide is constantly being formed from the sugar in the honey. It is more effective in smaller concentrated doses than pure liquid hydrogen peroxide because of the constant production. Also, unlike hydrogen peroxide, honey doesn’t damage skin cells.

    Studies Underway Will Put Honey To The Test

    Honey’s healing benefits are mostly anecdotal with few reliable studies of its effectiveness. One University of Wales study found that honey is an antioxidant and produces free radicals, both factors in reducing inflammation in wounds. A study is currently underway in Germany to evaluate and record honey’s healing effects. It will be followed by a comparative study with other therapeutic methods, such as costly cationic silver dressings.

    Do Try It At Home

    You can test honey’s healing effectiveness for yourself. The next time you get a cut or scrape, first gently clean the wound with soap and water. Then, apply a thin film of honey over the affected area. It’s best not to cover the wound with a bandage; exposure to air speeds the formation of scabs.

    Last updated: 14-Nov-06

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