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Unpasteurized Manuka Honey for Scars, Burns, Wrinkles: A Skin Panacea

 

honey-bee

Honey, the sweet treat made from bees, has been used for thousands of years as an antibacterial ointment and topical wound healer. I’m a big fan of Manuka, and I’ll mention why below. Also, not all honey is created equally. While you can use the regular ol’ honey purchased in grocery stores, research has shown that the best honey to use for healing purposes is natural unpasteurized honey, because it maintains numerous antibacterial properties. Some brands of honey have very little antibacterial properties. So, what honey should you use? The good news is you can test them. A quick experiment to gage the bacteriacidal capability of  honey is to add a uniform amount to a cup of milk and observe how long it takes for the milk to sour. It can be fun to do this with multiple brans of honey and compare. The milk that sours the fastest is the honey with the least antibacterial properties.

Manuka honey has been shown to be effective against common bacteria and fungi infections including:

E. coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella,  Staph aureus, Strep pyogenes, and Candida albicans.  Many of those bugs cause common GI illnesses, pneumonia, bronchitis, and of course, Candida albicans is responsible for those nagging yeast infections. Staph aureus is notorious for complicating wound healing and skin infections, and there’s supporting research from one New Zealand researcher that suggests wound gels which contain antibacterial, raw honey have been helpful against MRSA ( or methicillin-Resistant Staph aureus.)  

What are the healing properties of honey?

It has a high osmolality, which means when applied to wounds, it draws fluid and lymph from the underlying tissue to the wound area. The fluid helps provide nourishment to the healing wound.

It has a very low pH, in the acidic range, which decreases bacteria growth, since bugs aren’t fond of acidic environments. The acidic environment has also been shown to promote fibroblasts activity. Fibroblasts are cells heavily involved in connective tissue production, antiaging and wound healing process.

Honey also contains the enzyme glucose oxidase, which produces hydrogen peroxide and gluconic acid, two substances that are responsible for honey’s biggest antibacterial activity. Hydrogen peroxide also promotes angiogenesis, or new blood vessel formation, which allows for more oxygen delivery to wounds and helps with healing.

Keep in mind that only unpasteurized honey will provide glucose oxidase, as pasteurized honey, which is heated, will cause proteins (enzymes) to denature (change shape)  and lose their effectiveness.

You can also apply honey not only on your cuts or wounds, but your pet’s too, and there’s even some research indicating that honey can speed up the healing process of burns and diabetic ulcers.

 Other potentially medicinal properties of honey are:  

It functions as a soothing cough agent

It may exhibit antioxidant effects that reduce symptoms of colitis

It decreases foul odors from poor wound healing

It may alleviate seasonal allergies, although more research is needed in these areas.  On that note, when isn’t more research needed? 😉

 

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