Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Honey--What I Just Learned

UPDATE: Yesterday, Tuesday Aug. 5th, my son went to see a doctor at our group of family doctors, to have his wound checked. The doctor who was here, at home, for my son's birth so many years ago was on vacation, so we saw another doctor. Guess what! My son's injury is healing perfectly--no infection, no discoloration, no inflammation, no ooze of any kind. It's almost as if something is helping it to heal...hmmmm...

It's looking good for the honey treatment, isn't it?

UPDATE II: Yesterday, Tuesday Aug. 12, my son got his stitches out. His wound is perfectly healed and he's fine. He didn't take any antibiotics, just loads of Vitamin C every day, to support his own body's ability to fight infection, and raw honey topically on his wound every time we changed his bandage--twice a day.

I would say that the honey treatment was a huge success. It's also nice to know we didn't contribute to the support of any superbugs by needlessly administering an antibiotic to my son that he didn't need. There was no infection--why prescribe a strong antibiotic when that would knock out my son's healthy gut flora, which would therefore increase the risk of future infections and sickness, and would possibly kill off some bacteria, but give the stronger ones a niche to grow in and multiply and flourish and cause some real problems down the road?

Do doctors not know about this stuff? The Mayo Clinic does. The mainstream medical literature does. The alternative medical literature does.

I'm glad we questioned and researched and made a decision for my son that helped him have such a healthy outcome.

My son had a bike accident yesterday (Fri. Aug. 1st) He plowed into a fire hydrant and the fire hydrant won. His cut on his leg wasn't too bad, but it still did require a trip to the emergency room and 6 stitches. He was brave, but it's never fun going to the emergency room. Poor kid. Well, he did get to watch Bonanza and Leave it to Beaver on a retro TV station and he liked that. Also, the nurse let him bring home the giant syringe that she used to irrigate the wound. My son has discovered that he can shoot water across the yard with this thing. He's mightily impressed with its power, and can't wait to try it out at the pool.

My friend Unnamed took my daughter for a playdate so I could help my son. Her daughters made my son very sweet get well cards. He was very touched by their concern.

After we got home from the hospital, as is my way, I got online to investigate and do some research. What was the recommended prescribed antibiotic? What are the side effects? What is the risk of infection for this very clean, well cared for wound? Does my son really need to take a very strong antibiotic prophylactically? Are there other options? What are they? What is their efficacy? What is their risk?

I found out a lot about honey. I had some idea, but didn't realize fully the healing powers of honey, raw especially. Honey cures wounds and fights infection, internally and topically. I didn't realize that honey on a wound could help heal it.

Sure, alternative medicine sites were singing the praises of honey for wound care, but so were a couple of mainstream sites. OK. It's known across the board. Sounds reasonable.

Here's a quote from one of the articles I read,

Using honey to treat wounds is nothing new; even ancient civilizations used it in this manner. However, this is the sort of thing that usually gets relegated to "folk healing". It seems scientifically obvious: honey is very acidic (antibacterial), and it produces its own hydrogen peroxide when combined with the fluid which drains from a wound! The extremely high sugar content of honey means it contains very little water. So, it draws the pus and fluid from the wound, thereby speeding the healing process. Furthermore, the honey contains powerful germ-fighting phytochemicals from the plants that produced the pollen harvested by the honeybees. Having already been accepted by the overseas mainstream medical community for some time, North America finally caught on.


Honey has a number of properties that make it effective against bacterial growth, including its high sugar content, low moisture content, gluconic acid - which creates an acidic environment - and hydrogen peroxide. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling.


Honey has been used for centuries to aid in the healing of persistent wounds and burns. Documentation regarding its use dates as far back as 1700 BC. Several characteristics are likely to contribute to honey’s effectiveness as a wound-healer: it is rich in sugar, which allows it to draw infection and fluid from wounds by a process called osmosis; its acidic pH, and the presence of an enzyme that stimulates small amounts of hydrogen peroxide to form, prevent bacterial infections; and, it can promote healing by maintaining a protective barrier and by holding in moisture. Furthermore, antibacterial and wound-healing components from the plants used by the bees in the production of honey might contribute to its effectiveness. To date, more than 500 reports, including several controlled trials, of successful wound healing with honey have been published.

That sounds good to me and much better than antibiotics whose overuse have increased germ resistance to the point of creating scary superbugs like MRSA.

I'll let you know how our honey treatment works for my son.

We'll bee seeing you!


DoulaMomma said...

Sorry to hear about the showdown with the hydrant - we've been through that too.
I know some midwives who suggest honey (&/or garlic) to sooth a sore bum (hemerroids) after having a baby.
You might look in to giving Arnica to your boy.

Laura said...

He's melting arnica on his tongue right now!

Interesting about the honey for the bum.


ashpags said...

That's really interesting - thanks for sharing! =)

Natalie said...

Excellent info! I had read about the benefits of honey before, but have never tried it. Can't wait to hear the results!

I'm a big fan of arnica, too.

Holly said...

Wow, all of that and it tastes good, too:) I hope he's back on his bike in no time...

DoulaMomma said...

Hooray for you all (& those hard-working bees!). Have you also tried astragalus for immune support?

I'm totally going to try honey next time (there is always a next time with 3 boys)!

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