Honey has been used in homeopathic treatments for light wounds like burns, abrasions and pressure ulcers for generations, but until recently there wasn’t scientific evidence to support the healing properties of honey. Now, however, scientists have conducted a number of independent studies that have all concluded that honey can in fact serve as an effective biologic wound dressing. Manuka Honey has proven to be a particularly effective topical treatment for wounds. You can even find bandages at your local pharmacy that feature manuka honey to aid in the healing process.
So how exactly does honey accelerate wound healing?
Well, honey has a number of different properties that contribute to the healing process. To begin with, honey’s acidity can facilitate the release of oxygen from the hemoglobin in our blood. This makes the wound environment less favorable for destructive enzymes. Honey is also a humectant, which helps it to maintain a moist environment that’s conducive to quick and complete healing.
Some honeys such as manuka honey also have powerful antiseptic properties that keep wounds free of harmful bacteria during the healing process. When used in wound dressings, manuka honey triggers the release of hydrogen peroxide which helps to eliminate harmful bacteria. This can help to prevent infections that impede wound healing.
It’s important to remember that not all honey is created equal. While some types like manuka honey can be used as effective topical treatments, others are not as well-suited to the job. Processed honeys should be avoided, as high-fructose corn syrup can actually spread infection rather than prevent it. And remember, you can always find wound dressings at your local pharmacy that include honey if you’re not comfortable making your own topical treatment at home.