A guide to using Mānuka Honey for your wound!
Mānuak honey is a great natural alternative to help aid the healthing process of wounds. You don't need to buy any fancy gels, you can use UMF Mānuka honey straight from the jar, with its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties it's prefect for the job!
Already know about the benefits of Manuka honey on wounds? Just want a to learn how apply Mānuka honey to wounds and cuts skip ahead to our step by step guide.
We always recommend talking to your doctor/ health care professional before taking and steps.
Can you put honey on a wound?
Yes you can put honey on wounds, honey has been used for century's as a wound care method. And ever since 2007 a range of honey-based wound, cut, burns and ulcer products have been approved by the FDA .
Research shows that while regular honeys have been effective in providing a protective barrier in wound care, Mānuka honey, specially UMF 20+ Mānuka honey is a step above the rest.
According to Professor Dar "If a wound is heavily contaminated or at risk of infection using a high UMF manuka honey is warranted but if the wound is not heavily contaminated then using a lower and less expensive manuka honey may be beneficial. Store-bought generic honey probably has no beneficial effect over no treatment”. The study found that UMF 20+ was by far more effective then generic honey or lower UMF Mānuka honey like UMF 5+.
So when it comes to using honey on wounds, choose Mānuka and choose at least UMF 15+ or higher, UMF 20+ Mānuka honey being the optimal honey you could use.
Is it okay to put manuka honey on open wounds/broken skin?
Yes it is okay it put Mānuka honey straight on open wounds and broken skin. However there are few complaints of Mānuka creating a stinging feeling ( mostly on infected wounds). This is most likely due to the acidity in the honey, when wounds are inflamed they are most sensitive to acidity, hence the stinging sensation.
To combat this using a gel is often suggested to help slowly release the honey into the wound, There are lots of premade Mānuka Gel based products on the market, while this is great for practicality, we highly recommend you do your research, to make sure you are getting the full benefits of Mānuka honey.
Remember when it comes to honey in wound care you want a high UMF Mānuka honey like UMF 20+. Lots of these Mānuka healing gels may not be UMF rated.
But overall when it comes to the side effects of using Mānuka honey for healthing cuts there are no significant side effects recorded. Of course if you have a record of reacting/being allergic to honey or pollen we suggest staying away from Mānuka honey as a wound care or consult your doctor be for use.
Mānuka honey doesn't just have to be applied to open wounds it has great benefits at any stage of wound healing.
How long should you use Manuka honey on a wound?
It is often suggested by healthcare professionals that you should to keep your wound moist, for example with Mānuka honey, for at least five days.
Keeping your wound moist and covered up helps the blood vessels regenerate faster and reduces the cells that cause inflammation faster compared with a wound that is left open (aired out).
Of course the severity of your wounds really does have an effect on how long you should be covering and using Mānuka honey on it, so if you are feeling lost here please do talk to your health provider.
Who should not use Manuka honey on wounds?
Now you may have heard that consuming Mānuka honey or any honey, is not suggested for diabetics and for children under the age of one. But this doesn't apply to Mānuka honey and wound care.
While Mānuka honey and honey products are suggested by health professional to be treated with the same caution as with sugar, when it comes to diabetics. But when it comes to diabetic ulcers Mānuka honey to is often suggested as an effective dressing.
According to a 2012 study,"Manuka honey dressings significantly reduced the healing time and provided rapid disinfection of neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers in type 2 diabetic patients when compared to conventional dressing".
As for babies and children, one study suggests that medical grade Mānuka honey is "...an attractive, cost-effective approach to treat different wound types in pediatric patients, including severe wounds." If you're looking for a natural way to treat your children's cuts and wounds Mānuka honey may just be it!
Again if you or the person you are treating have a history of reactions to, or being allergic to honey or pollen we suggest staying away honey as a wound care or consult your doctor be for use.
Tips for applying honey on wounds
How to apply Mānuka honey effectively on wounds at home. For the Happy Valley team UMF 20+ is a stable in our medical cabinets, having young children means lots of accidents and we are always leaning towards natural and effective ways to help their delicate skin heal well.
Here is some of the tips our team use when dressing wounds with Mānuka honey at home:
Step 1 - Sterilize:
Making sure to have clean hands, clean working surfaces, clean applicators etc. when before dressing any wound, cut or burn.
Step 2 - Honey on dressing:
Honey is sticky and messy, a great way to avoid a messiness is applying the Mānuka honey to the dressing first!
When honey is applied to the skin first it tends to heat the Mānuka honey fast and if your not speedy enough, or have just a child that loves to move around ( join the club) then the best way to avoid a sticky patient is to apply it to the honey to the wound dressings first.
According to www.healthline.com "An exception [to this rule] is, if you have a deep wound bed, such as an abscess. The honey should fill the wound bed before a dressing is applied".
An occlusive dressings are the ideal dressing for Mānuka honey wound care as they are air and water tight, so almost guaranteed no stickiness. These can be expensive so if you have little ones and are going through plaster like we do, instead use a larger plaster on the wound.
We often try to use a bigger plaster then necessary so if the Mānuka honey heats and try to run, then the plaster will likely soak it up before it escapes.
Step 3 - Replacing the Dressing:
Refresh the dressing on the wound when its weeping saturates the dressing. There is no need to clean the wound from the previous application of Mānuka honey, just add more fresh Mānuka honey to the new dressing.
As the wound heals you should be able to decrease how frequently you change the dressing.
Don't forget to wash your hands after dealing with any wound, cut or burn!