There’s a type of honey that is not only deliciously sweet to eat, but also has antibacterial properties that have been found to help heal many types of wounds and skin problems. Manuka honey comes from bees feeding on the manuka bush in New Zealand—and is available at health-food stores and online. Mark Stengler, NMD, a naturopathic medical doctor who is founder and medical director of the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine in Encinitas, California, explains how to use this special honey.
Using honey to heal wounds is an ancient practice. Recently, researchers have observed that when used as a wound dressing, manuka honey helps clear infection…reduce inflammation…aid in shedding dead tissue…and induce healing by stimulating the growth of new tissue and capillaries. Manuka honey does not damage surrounding tissue, which can occur with topical antibiotics after several days of use. It is useful in treating skin ulcers, cuts, scrapes, burns and infections and can help with acne, eczema and cracked skin.
Manuka honey is one of the few honeys that has been tested for its antibacterial properties. Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) is the term used by manufacturers to determine whether a manuka honey product has enough of the antibacterial component. A rating of 10 or more indicates that the honey can be used medicinally. To use, clean the area. Then apply a dab of honey and cover with a bandage.