There are many items around the home that can be utilised in our first aid kits and honey is one of them. In fact, honey has plenty of useful ways that it could be used from curing a hangover to getting a better night’s sleep and dealing with anxiety.
For thousands of years, it has been valued for the many nutritional and health benefits that it offers. The Ancient Egyptians used medicinal honey as an ingredient in embalming fluid, as a sweetener and as a gift to the gods. The British Military use honey in present day treatment for burns.
Today we want to take a look at using honey for treating burn wounds. In 2011, extensive trials were carried out by the National Institutes of Health where it was found that honey assisted in the healing process of mild to moderate burns.
Those that were treated with honey healed around five days faster than those that used modern dressings such as gauze. Wound swabs taken before and after honey treatment and conventional treatment have shown significantly reduced rates of infection, indicating that honey sterilizes wounds and promotes early granulation.
During another study published in the International Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds, researchers discovered a wide range of treatment qualities found in honey that are almost unparalleled to other forms of treatment. After conducting 22 trials involving 2,062 patients who were subjected with honey as a wound dressing, the following properties were found:
- Infections were not only cleared, but wounds were protected from spreading bacteria
- Honey was able to control and eliminate strong odors from wounds
- Permanent scarring was dramatically reduced
- Honey promoted anti-inflammatory activity
Using Honey for Treating Burn Wounds
In minor burns, it is recommended that you reduce the temperature by pouring cold tap water straight onto the burn area for around 20 minutes. Afterwards, honey can be gently applied to the area.
Don’t use any dressings to the area as you don’t want them to stick to the skin. The honey is all that is needed and will act as a barrier which will prevent scab formation. This is important as it would delay the healing time. Manuka honey is the best type of honey for treating burns but studies have shown that there is very little difference in the effectiveness between different types of honey so use what you have in the kitchen.
Apply 15-30ml of honey directly onto the burn wound or if needed you can soak a gauze in honey before application. Occlusive or absorbent secondary dressings are applied to prevent honey from oozing out.