Honey as a Wound Treatment

Beekeeper checking a hive

Beekeeper checking a hive

The ancients managed bees and used honey as a salve or poultice on wounds and boils to prevent infection and speed healing. Doctors and healers around the world use honey or even table sugar in open wounds to lower the risks of infection and speeds healing.

Dr. Allen Dennison of Hasbro Children’s Hospital has worked with honey in medicine for many years. At a RI Beekeepers Association (RIBA) meeting, he offered a peak at modern medicine’s approach to these techniques and shared his experiences in “Healing Wounds with Honey.”  Nearly 80 RIBA members made treatment ointments to bring home after the lecture.

Honey has numerous properties, biological and chemical, that make it uniquely suited for healing. Applying honey straight to wounds soothes raw nerves and helps cuts, gashes, burns and some skin infections to heal faster, according to Dr. Dennison. Applying honey to wounds encourages patient cooperation by soothing raw nerves immediately. Honey pulls fluids and moisture from the injured tissue and reduces swelling/edema. This can reduce pressure on capillaries, increase blood flow and speed healing. The glucose in honey provides energy to the cells generating new tissue and skin. [Learn more here.]


About Sanne Kure-Jensen

Sanne Kure-Jensen is a frequent contributor to Country Folks, Country Folks Grower and Wine & Grape Grower bringing regional and national attention to agriculture in RI and across southern New England. She has also written for newsletters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Holistic Management International (HMI), RI Beekeepers Association and RI Tree Council. Read Sanne’s work at her Sustainable Living page at examiner.com. Sanne has written successful grant applications for alternative energy projects, staff and board training, products and services. Clients include agricultural businesses, farm stand/markets and non-profit organizations. Recent successful grant projects include a $90,000 USDA Rural Development‘s Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), $10,000 Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer and $20,000 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). Sanne is the part-time Administrator for NOFA/RI, a Rhode Island Certified Horticulturist and beekeeper. She is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and has lectured across southern New England on Beekeeping, Native Pollinators and Ecological Landscape Design. Learn more about the NOFA’s Land Care programs or contact Sanne for a garden consultation through the NOFA/RI website.
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2 Responses to Honey as a Wound Treatment

  1. I find this very interesting. My cousins were in a serious motorcycle accident in Spain. When the wounds on their legs did not appear to be healing the doctor there prescribed sugar directly on the open wounds. They both swear by its healing effects. I like the sound of honey for the same thing. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Reblogged this on carmencomments and commented:
    My cousin and her husband were in a serious motorcycle accident in Spain and both were in danger of losing a leg. When their leg wounds did not heal as a last resort their doctor treated the wounds with table sugar. They are up and walking today.

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