To many, honey is a natural sweetener that people embarking on a healthy lifestyle use to implement all sorts of changes in their lives. It is interesting to think about where honey comes from and the long process it undergoes before becoming actual honey. Fun fact, did you know that before the honeybees deposits the partially digested nectar in the honeycomb, they first regurgitate the nectar into other bees mouth? In layman’s language, one bee throws up into another bee’s mouth, digesting the nectar is a tedious team effort.
Honey is high in nutrients and is revered for its many health benefits, some which include easing coughs, helping to control weight and some even claim that the fructose properties in honey help to speed up the oxidization of alcohol in the liver thus helping to cure a hangover!! Imagine that. Today, however, we will look at how honey can be used to clean and heal wounds.
For many years, honey has been used to clean and speed up the healing process of a wound. With modern medicine and research, new medication has been invented but honey remains a top alternative when treating wounds. Research on honey indicates that though it might not be effective on all types of wounds, it is very effective on boils, burns and wounds that result from diabetes.
The way you clean a wound is of great importance in order to reduce the probability of it getting infected. Infections are caused by bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE). Honey has been found to have an antibacterial effect which kills these bacteria that may later cause the wound to get infected.
Besides having an anti-bacteria effect, the sugar in the honey has osmotic properties. This means that the sugar draws the water out of the damaged tissues, reducing the occurrence of swelling and also making sure that the bacteria doesn’t multiply.
Another factor that makes honey a good option when exploring ways to heal a wound, is its acidity. Honey has an acidic pH of between 3.2 and 4.5. When applied to wounds, the acidic pH encourages the blood to release oxygen, which is important to wound healing. An acidic pH also reduces the presence of substances called proteases that impair the wound healing process.
That being said, it is important to note that not all honey should be used to treat a wound. Honey straight from the beehive may have impurities that may lead to infections, attract flies and other insects leading to more damage. Medical grade honey that has been sterilized and refined is what you should use to treat and clean a wound.