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What Is Medicinal Honey?

By B. Koch
Updated May 17, 2024
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Medicinal honey is often recommended for its antibacterial qualities. It can be used to treat both wounds and acne and has been shown to be an effective cough suppressant. When using honey for medicinal purposes, raw honey should always be used instead of processed, commercial honey and should never be heated in a microwave.

Traditionally, medicinal honey has been used as a wound dressing as it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These characteristics are said to help wounds to heal faster with little scarring. Many claim that medicinal honey reduces the pain that accompanies burns and that, unlike other wound dressings, it causes little to no pain when it is applied.

In order to apply medicinal honey to a wound, the area should first be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water. The honey can then be applied in a number of ways. Some choose to soak the area in honey while others apply it directly to the area and then cover it with a dry bandage, applying more honey several times a day. This can be done with small wounds that can be dressed at home, but a doctor should be consulted for more serious wounds.

Some find that using honey to treat acne is effective. Medicinal honey can be rubbed into the face and left on the skin for about 15 minutes. The honey mask can be then be washed away with warm water. Washing the skin with honey is thought to destroy many of the bacteria that cause acne.

It is also not unusual for honey to be given to an individual suffering from a cold. Medicinal honey is thought to soothe sore throats, and evidence shows that it works as a cough suppressant. Research has also shown that taking honey can be just as successful at reducing the severity of a cough as many over the counter remedies.

Ideally, medical-grade honey should be used for these purposes, but it is often difficult to find. Raw, all natural honey can be used in its place, however. This kind of honey still retains most of its antimicrobal, healing properties, and pieces of honeycomb are often found in jars of raw honey. Though raw honey can become stiff and difficult to use, it softens when heated in a bowl of warm water for several minutes. Heating raw honey in the microwave destroys many of its antibacterial properties and should be avoided.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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