So What DOES honey heal?

by Arline on May 7, 2009

Yesterday I only gave you one example of using honey as a healing substance.  But there’s more.  In fact, honey has been used for over 4,000 years to treat dozens of ailments.  Did you know that?

Besides being great for soothing throat tissues, here are a couple of other uses for honey that might surprise you. 

 (Both of these are mentioned in the direct mail piece I recently received, telling about a book for natural, old-fashioned cures and home remedies.  And yes……  I did order the book!  I’ll have even more great tips to share with you after it arrives.)

Tip #1:  A little girl was visiting her great-grandma in the Appalachian mountains years ago.  When she fell and scraped herself up pretty badly, Gramma didn’t whisk her off to the doctor.  Instead, she just smeared honey all over the cuts and scratches.  The honey prevented infection and helped heal the wounds.

That’s the story told in the letter I just received.  But I’ve  personally used honey on wounds, too, because I had read about it years ago.  And it works. 

I even included honey in a homemade concoction I created for my son Tommy after he had been thrown through a windshield!  His face had multiple massive lacerations, and I don’t know how many stitches.  Lots of them.   

Being a teenager at the time, he was devastated, thinking he would be horribly disfigured for life.  So I did some reading, coupled with what I already knew, and invented a concoction that we smeared over his stitches every day, several times a day. 

I wish I had recorded all the ingredients, because fourteen or fifteen years later I can’t recall exactly what was included.  But I remember these items for sure:  honey, vitamin C powder, a tiny bit of purified water, mashed up aloe vera pulp (from our aloe plants), and a small amount of unbleached flour to make it sort of pasty. 

I’m not sure if that’s the whole list, or if there was something else.  I think if I was making it today, with what I know now, I might also include cayenne pepper.  That’s because cayenne increases circulation, which transports nutrients more quickly to the new cells that are being formed. 

And I might include a couple drops of pure peppermint extract to cool and soothe.  In fact, it seems like maybe I did add peppermint.

Anyway, I mashed up everything in a ceramic bowl, using a wooden spoon to pound and stir it… my own version of a mortar and pestle.  I made a fresh batch every day, of course, and kept it refrigerated between applications. 

Now, I’d better mention that we didn’t start this treatment the day Tommy came home from the hospital.  We waited until the cuts were already starting to heal.  I think it was about a week after the injuries, but not much longer than that because he still had the stitches. 

Tommy - softball team's MVP

Tommy - softball team's MVP

Obviously, you’d want to keep everything totally clean and dry at first to prevent infection and allow the healing to start.  Maybe it’s the best plan to wait until after the stitches are removed.

Well,  it paid off.  Tommy’s scars are there, but not nearly as noticeable as you would expect.  He’s a rather good-looking young man.   (Can you tell this Mama is proud?)

You can’t even see the scars in the photo, from that distance.


Tip #2:  This one is short, because the sales flyer only gives us a teaser.  We know honey is part of this remedy.  Here’s what it says:

Quick relief for constipation:  Mix a tablespoon of honey with (named on page 75.)  Tastes good and works FAST!

Well, stay tuned to this website.  When I find out what the other ingredient is, I’ll let you know!

Mixing honey with something reminds me of another popular use of honey in my childhood.  (I’m sure I did the same thing with my own kids, too.) 

Did your Mom do this? 

Medicines didn’t always come in yummy liquid form, and us kids couldn’t swallow pills… especially if we were feeling yucky and barfy anyhow!  So Mom would put a medicine tablet in a spoon, and put another spoon on top, and squeeze the spoons together until the pill was crushed into powder and small chunks.  Then she’s add a drop or two of water, and a squeeze of honey, and mix it all up…. and that’s how we took our medicine.

See?  It’s really hard for me to imagine a home without honey!  It’s just useful for so many things… and besides, it tastes great.

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