Honey helps wounds heal faster

Really Raw

We have some new Thanksgiving traditions in our modern era.

For instance, every year around this time, hospital emergency room personnel pile up extra supplies to handle severe burns. This is in response to another modern tradition: deep-frying the turkey.

This popular cooking method combines an open flame with boiling oil and backyard cooks who may have thrown a few back already. In other words: the perfect ingredients for disaster.

Two tips:
1) Make sure someone has a video camera rolling. You don’t want to miss your chance to be a star on YouTube.
2) Keep some raw honey on hand. It might come in handy in the days following a trip to the ER.

Rapid healing

In the introduction to a study titled “Honey as a Topical Treatment for Wounds,” University of Auckland (New Zealand) researchers write, “Honey has been used since ancient times as a remedy in wound care. Evidence from animal studies and some trials has suggested honey may accelerate wound healing.”

To determine if honey actually speeds healing in acute and chronic wounds, the Auckland team searched several databases and found 19 studies that tested honey as a wound treatment. More than 2,500 subjects participated in these trials.


  • The use of honey in chronic wounds (diabetic ulcers, arterial and venous ulcers, pressure ulcers, and infected surgical wounds) did not significantly increase healing time compared to conventional treatments.
  • In acute wounds (burns, lacerations) honey had a significant effect. In some moderate wounds where damage to nerves and blood vessels occurred, healing time was reduced by as much as five days compared to conventional treatments.

But not just any honey will do.

Here’s what HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., had to say about honey in a previous e-Alert: “In the raw state (and the word ‘raw’ is vital here…’uncooked’ does not qualify) honey contains enzymes and nutrients that can be very useful to the body. Unfortunately, heat destroys many of them, and commercial honey is heated to keep it from crystallizing inside processing machinery.”

You can find more information about raw honey at the website for Really Raw Honey (reallyrawhoney.com).

To Your Good Health,
Jenny Thompson

“Honey as a Topical Treatment for Wounds” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2008, Issue 4, 10/8/08, mrw.interscience.wiley.com

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