It’s amazing how many items in our kitchen can also be utilised in the bathroom and first aid kit. Honey comes out on top for a vast array of treatments for common ailments and illnesses. Honey contains numerous vitamins and minerals including vitamins A to E, calcium, iron, manganese and many more. Aside from reaping in the health benefits of using honey in your diet, it also works wonders when applied topically to soothe many skin problems including infections and burns.
In an extensive clinical trial carried out in 2011 by the National Institutes of Health, it was found that honey assisted in the healing process of mild to moderate burns, four to five days more rapidly than modern dressings used such as gauze. Honey is said to miraculously remove dead skin tissue and reduce painful swelling.
It still remains a mystery how honey actually works in the healing process, but as it is a natural antimicrobial and antibiotic it is effective in killing micro-organisms and bacteria. Honey has been widely used in Chinese Medicine and remains a favourite due to its valuable properties. The use of honey in medical treatment dates back to 2400BC in Egypt and was popular amongst Greek physicians in ancient history. The British Military use honey in present day treatment for burns.
Aside from assisting in the healing process of burns, raw honey is found to also reduce scarring that occurs after the wound has healed. The beauty industry profits in millions of consumer dollars from expensive scarring creams and gels. Unfortunately many of these products contain chemicals, which are doing more harm than good to your body and can be quite harsh when applied directly to the wound. It’s a relief to know there is a 100% natural alternative that has been effective for 100s of years.
How to use honey in burn treatment
The risk of infection is always quite high in open wounds and especially in severe burns. It’s important to take caution in any self treatment of burns. If the burn is severe, you should present to hospital for professional medical attention. The very first thing to do when you get a burn is to apply cold water directly to the affected area, for a minimum of 15-30 minutes. Honey can then be gently applied to the wound once the skin temperature has been brought back down and washed clean by the water. The honey will prevent infection and assist in the healing process. Keep the area clean and do not apply any plasters or dressings to the area incase it sticks to the skin. Honey acts as a barrier, the same way in which a bandage is utilised, therefore preventing scab formation which delays healing time.
Medical honey specifically is the best type to use for the treatment of burns, but if this is unavailable it’s best to use organic, raw unfiltered honey.
Resources: Retrospective study: Honey vs dressing http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263128/