How Manuka Honey Saved Rik’s Ankle [Case Study]


6 minutes, 30 seconds.

Essential Takeaways

The application of UMF™26+ manuka honey to wounds can be very effective. This story is an example of how manuka honey can speed up healing, and leave almost no trace of scars or damage.

The higher the UMF™ grading, the better results you’re likely to see in wound care.

Warning: This article contains graphic images of a foot wound.

“I started crying, I thought they were going to amputate my foot when I saw the state of it. It was horrific after 10 days in the cast.”

- Rik

This is the story of how New Zealand Honey Co. manuka honey helped our friend Rik, who was suffering from a hospital cast gone wrong and a severely swollen foot wound.

Thankfully, today, Rik is completely healed and back to his normal life.

Since he’s fully recovered and very grateful, he was happy to share his manuka honey success story with us all.

“More people should pay attention to manuka honey and have a jar in the pantry - you never know when you’ll need it!”

- Rik

Let’s dig into the story of what happened.

The accident: Rik on his farm

Rik was out on his farm at Pukehina, New Zealand, when he jumped a fence and sprained his ankle. A simple mistake, not too serious you’d think? Well, you’d be very wrong.

When Rik went to Accident and Emergency (A&E) for treatment, the triage doctor said it was the worst Grade 3 Sprain he’d seen in over 20 years on the job.

A Grade 3 sprain is the worst type of sprain. It typically means the ligament is completely torn or ruptured.

Rik’s ankle was bandaged, put in a lower leg cast, and he was sent home to rest up.

But the pain didn’t subside.

“The pain was so intense that we cut the cast off at home.”

- Rik

When Rik went back to the hospital for a second cast to be applied, the pain was still so intense that when the nurses rebandaged his ankle, they had to do it again, looser this time.

Rik was sent home to rest again.

Resting up in a cast at home

Rik kept this second cast on for 9 or 10 days (he can’t remember exactly), resting at home, but didn’t feel like he was recovering.

“I was in quite intense pain for the whole ten days.”

- Rik

Rik didn’t know at the time, but his foot was turning purple.

His ankle had been bandaged, but during this process a triangle of skin had been left uncovered.

Because the swelling in Rik’s foot was so bad, it started to expand into the only space it had - the triangle.

The result of this was a big sloshy blood blister, only to be discovered when the cast was removed.

Back to hospital for a purple surprise

“When the cast came off, my foot looked worse than what it was when it went in there.”

- Rik

When Rik saw his ankle for the first time in over a week, he couldn’t believe it.

He quite literally thought that they’d have to amputate his foot, because of the colour of it. It looked so much worse than the initial sprain.

“[The bandage] created this massive blood blister that had quite a bit of blood swishing around in it.”

- Rik

The nurses were also shocked, and apologetic, and said that it had been poorly bandaged.

The nurses applied hospital-grade cream and gauze, and recommended he do the same at home when re-dressing it.


[Image: This is Rik’s foot after the second cast came off.]


Enter: Good friend Marc from New Zealand Honey Co.

Over the next few days, the blood blister burst.

At this point, Rik was talking to a few friends about his foot and how he’d had a rough time and was resting at home.

Luckily, one of the people he told was Marc from New Zealand Honey Co.

An advocate for manuka honey and its incredible wound healing properties, Marc advised Rik to put manuka honey on it. Rik had a jar of our UMF™ 15+ in the pantry, so started using that.

Using manuka on the open wound was also approved by RIk’s mother-in-law, a nurse.

However, as soon as we physically saw Rik’s foot, we were absolutely shocked.

[Image: After the blood blister burst. This is the middle of the healing process, after five days of applying UMF™ 15+.]

It was a lot worse than we’d imagined and needed some serious help healing.

We practically threw a jar of UMF™ 26+ at him, our strongest grade of honey (because the higher the UMF™ value, the more potent the honey and its effects).

Read more: How much UMF™ is enough?


Healed in record time with UMF™ 26+ manuka honey

Having seen some positive results with the UMF™ 15+, Rik started religiously applying the UMF™ 26+ to his foot, forsaking the hospital cream.

“I was literally doing it twice a day, morning and night - the honey, then the gauze, and the bandage, and changed it twice a day.”

- Rik

[Image: This photo was taken 5 days after the previous photo, in the midst of the UMF™ 26+ treatment.]

After a while, Rik went back to the hospital to have the top layer of skin scraped off, as is usual with blisters.

The doctor was amazed at the result of using manuka honey. Although, working in medicine, he was already aware of its qualities.

“I kept putting the honey on and it got better.”

- Rik

Within a few weeks of applying UMF™ 26+ manuka honey, Rik’s foot was almost back to normal.

[Image: Rik’s foot weeks after the initial accident, after religiously applying UMF™ 26+ manuka honey]

Rik now: Living the good life with manuka honey

Rik has fully healed and recovered from his sprained ankle and the wound that followed.

“I’m stoked that you guys gave me manuka honey at that critical time, I couldn’t believe how well it worked. Amazing!”

- Rik

Since recovering, Rik has chosen to incorporate manuka honey into his daily routine for both immunity and vitality.

Why did manuka honey work?

Manuka honey has potent antibacterial properties.

This means it's great at killing bacteria and preventing more from cultivating.

But that’s not all. On a wound, it does a few specific things, such as:

  • Creating a protective barrier. The high viscosity of the honey puts a vital distance between the wound and the external environment, strictly keeping bacteria out.

  • Drawing liquid to the surface and keeping it hydrated. Its high concentration of sugars activate osmosis, effectively pulling fluid up through the subdermal tissue.

  • Flushing bacteria and debris from the wound. The low water content of honey results in ‘fluid flow’, clearing away the bad stuff and carrying nutrients and oxygen from deep tissue to the wound area.

The results are quite amazing. There’s little to no scabbing or scarring involved.

And we’re not the only ones promoting the use of it - the US FDA approved manuka honey as a possible wound treatment in 2007.

It’s attracted some attention from researchers and medical companies alike.

“[Manuka honey] contains the components of other honey varieties, but its unique component, methylglyoxal, acts as an additional antibacterial agent. Several companies collect, pool, filter, and sterilize Manuka honey for clinical use, including ManukaGuard (located in New Zealand) and Medihoney (a subsidiary of Derma Sciences, Princeton, NJ, based in the United States).”

But there’s nothing pure than manuka honey straight out of the jar. Just like it can help with acne and rosacea, it can also help with wounds and scarring.

Read more: Manuka honey wound care: Will it help you to recover?

Do you want results like this?

If you’re thinking about all the times you could have applied manuka honey to a wound, don’t stop there!

We strongly recommend you keep a jar of at least UMF™ 15+ at home, but if you’re a family household (or accident prone), having UMF™ 26+ on hand will do you wonders.

Whether you’re recovering from serious hospital treatment, or you’re tending to your own small cuts and scrapes at home, apply manuka honey and see the results for yourself.

We have a whole range of potencies of manuka honey, but for wound care you want to be using the higher UMF™ values.

Shop your manuka honey now!

Show me the whole range.

I want to stock up on UMF™ 15+.

Take me straight to UMF™ 26+.

We do not recommend the use of manuka honey as a replacement for seeking professional medical help. Always consult medical professionals in an emergency.


Your wellness journey starts with a spoonful a day.


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