One question we get often is could/ should I use Manuka honey on open wounds?
Not to be taken out of context, any major wound or surgery should follow the medial advice of your Dr. However for scrapes and minor wounds Manuka Honey is an amazing natural option as a topical wound option.
We overview the history of Manuka Honey used as a healing solution, as well as dig into some of the specifics of why it works!
Not until recently, the world was oblivious of the healing properties of Manuka honey, especially in the treatment of open wounds. Honey has been used in treating and dressing open wounds for centuries. However, with over 8000 types of honey, and no extensive study on how it works, some people are really skeptical. Now, you cannot just go around squirting honey on every open cuts and gash, you have to choose the right honey.
Manuka honey and wound healing
Only recently has the potency and efficacy of this honey on open wounds gained recognition. Manuka honey, unlike other types of honey, is a sweet syrup with incredible healing and antibacterial properties. These qualities not only make it an excellent dressing for open wounds but a bioactive and bacteria assassin, that expedites the healing process of the lesion.
So to the question, the answer is YES, and this is why.
Manuka honey is extracted from the bees that pollinate the manuka bush plant native to New Zealand. In its undiluted, natural, and unadulterated form, it has an acid pH between 3.2 and 4.5. When you have a cut, bacteria can invade and disintegrate the surrounding skin due to the alkaline nature of the surface.
By applying honey, the immediate wound surface becomes acidified and inhabitable for bacteria to multiply. So they die off, but the wound still needs to be healed. Manuka honey prompts the release of oxygen from hemoglobin that enhances the tissues around the wound for repair.
Secondly, because manuka honey has a higher concentration that the wound surface, there is an osmotic movement of molecules taking place. Water molecules move from the wound, and bacteria cells drying them, boosting blood circulation but keeping the surrounding permeable enough to effect quick healing. This action occurs because manuka honey is not affected by the catalase enzymatic reactions happening in the wounds.
How to use manuka honey on open wounds?
Now spreading the honey over the wound will not do it. It is not a magic wand. It is honey.
- First of all, clean the wound. Some people use manuka honey and sterile cotton wool to do this.
- Next, apply the required amount generously to the surface and into the wound.
- To avoid a messy and sticky situation, and warp the wound tight with a bandage
Why does manuka honey work so well?
- Its anti-inflammatory action enables cells to reduce in size and expel their juices improving healing, lessen pains, and hastening the drying up process.
- The antibacterial action comes from a lot of components found in manuka honey. However, one evident reason is the high sugar content makes the wound surrounding inactive for bacteria to grow or multiply.
- Wound healing with honey prevents itchiness and soothes any caused by the wound.
- Manuka honey reduces scarring and eliminates odours that could arise from open wounds.
Honey, maybe a healing balm from nature, but Manuka honey have all the properties and can be applied to open wounds.