Healing Wounds With Manuka Honey
This just in: You can heal yourself with honey. Manuka honey is a specific kind of honey hailed for its healing, antibacterial properties that go back thousands of years. It has been a part of New Zealand’s indigenous cultures for decades thanks to its many uses. These include dressing wounds, enhancing the digestive tract, and healing almost any type of infection, cut, or bite.
(Fun fact: Did you know that in New Zealand, manuka honey is called “jellybush?“)
A huge part of self-care of course is healing the body — paying attention to what the body needs and giving it that extra care it craves, needs, and deserves. I recently delved into manuka honey and its antibacterial and healing properties completely by accident. I sustained an annoying (yet unavoidable) injury which left me with several big lacerations on each of my legs.
I didn’t want these lacerations to turn into scars.
So on a trip to my local pharmacy, I decided to go the wellness route I was brought up with: Bacitracin. I was going to slather on the Bacitracin, then cover each wound with a bandage. Only when I was perusing my bandage aisle at the pharmacy, I found something new, something that felt more holistic: bandages infused with manuka honey.
There, my obsession with this miraculous honey was born.
Prior to this discovery, I didn’t use honey much. Rarely do I use it in cooking or baking. (I’m more of a maple syrup gal as I eat a mostly plant-based diet.) But from time to time, I used honey in my at-home cashew milk recipe and at-home almond milk recipe.
Now I’m a total manuka honey convert.
Mostly, I use it topically for healing various parts of my body. (Like the lacerations for example, which are still not yet completely healed; it’s only been three or four days since the injury occurred and according to the bandage packaging, you can leave each one on for up to seven days.)
And I have every intention of milking these manuka honey bandages for all their worth.
I opted to use manuka honey on my wounds because it is a holistic approach to healing my lacerations. Manuka is able to do this — heal wounds — thanks to a unique antibacterial component that not all other honey has. It’s effective against many strains of bacteria including Heliobacter pylori (known to cause stomach ulcers), Escherichia coli (common cause of infections in wounds) and Streptococcus pyogenes (known as Strep for short and causes a nasty sore throat).
Keep reading to find out how you can use manuka honey at home to holistically heal yourself!
Manuka honey can be used to dress wounds.
People have been using manuka honey to dress wounds for thousands of years, way before antibiotics were invented. Because honey is low in moisture and comparatively high in sugar and acidity, it successfully draws the fluid out of a wound. As bacteria needs water to survive, honey speeds up the healing process by removing bacteria’s needs and providing a more hospitable environment for the body to heal.
According to a study published in the Australian Veterinary Journal, researchers who treated horse injuries with high concentrations of manuka honey determined the higher the UMF (unique manuka factor), “the greater the antibacterial properties.”
“The wound treated daily with UMF 20 honey showed a nice pink, even and healthy bed of granulation of tissue, whereas our control had a rough, unhealthy bed of granulation tissue with a necrotic centre with poor blood supply,” researchers said.
Apply it topically to heal bites, infections, or cuts.
Manuka honey can be applied topically to almost any kind of sore — bites, cuts, lacerations, infections. You name it.
Did you know manuka honey is also a natural antihistamine? That means it has the power to reduce inflammation and the urge to itch associated with an allergic reaction. For this reason, you can apply manuka honey topically to just about anything that makes you scratch — from poison ivy to mosquito bites, from bee stings to eczema.
Ingest it orally to enhance digestion.
It is generally safe to ingest manuka honey orally. If you are looking to use manuka honey as way to holistically treat ailments of the digestive system, you can take 1 to 2 tablespoons of manuka honey daily, according to Healthline. Either eat it straight of the spoon or add it into your breakfast.
When taken orally, manuka honey does a lot more than just aiding the digestive system. The magic honey is also known to overall improve and boost the immune system. Because it is also classified as an antioxidant, it is thought to increase energy levels as well.