How Do I Use Manuka Honey for Wounds?

Manuka honey.
Piece of a honeycomb with manuka honey.
Manuka honey, which is secreted by bees that feed on the manuka bush, may help heal wounds.
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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Images By: n/a, n/a, Pasi Välkkynen
  • Last Modified Date: 29 June 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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If you have a wound such as a cut, burn, or abscess, you may want to try manuka honey to help it heal. Make sure to use plenty of honey so that the wound is completely covered and also fills any deep cuts or ulcers, particularly if there is a large amount of drainage. When using manuka honey for wounds, keep a clean dressing such as a bandage or pad over the area, preferably one that is waterproof so the honey is not absorbed by the bandage. The area should be kept clean, and sterile instruments should always be used to apply the honey before a sterile dressing is placed over it.

When using manuka honey for wounds, you need to use a sufficient amount of it for healing. Manuka honey promotes healing because it destroys bacteria with its acidity and ability to absorb fluid within the wound. In order to do this, it needs to cover your entire wound, and also get inside of deep wounds so that it covers all of the open area to the bottom. You may need to apply it more thickly and frequently if the wound is seeping heavily, as more will be needed to absorb all of the fluid. As you heal and the wound exudes less fluid, you should have to apply less honey, less frequently.

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In order to keep the honey in contact with your wound, you will likely want to cover it with a dressing of some type. You may even want to apply honey to the dressing and then press it to the wound, or buy dressings infused with honey; this can be less messy and also help you prevent additional damage to the wound. Use a pad or bandage large enough to cover the whole injured and infected area to keep the honey in contact everywhere it is needed. It is best when using manuka honey for wounds to keep as much of it directly against the injuries as possible, so a waterproof bandage that will not absorb the honey and draw it away is usually best.

Cleanliness is critical both before and while using manuka honey for wounds. Before you apply the dressing, make sure the wound is thoroughly cleaned. In the case of burns, run cool water over the area first as well. Use a sterile spatula or other instrument to apply the honey generously to the wound, then cover it with a sterile pad or bandage. Follow the same procedure each time you change the dressing, and always make sure your hands are washed first.

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