How to Heal a Wound Fast, Naturally with Manuka Honey

EDUCATION

13 minutes

Essential Takeaways

Wounds need to be clean, hydrated, and supported by a healthy immune system to heal fast, naturally. Fortunately, manuka honey helps with all these things and more.

When applied topically to a wound, manuka honey clears the area of bacteria, keeps it moist and protected, and even helps the cells regenerate. It tells the immune system to get to work and provides important vitamins and nutrients to keep the body strong.

Manuka honey pairs well with other natural remedies that help wounds heal. So here’s how to heal a wound fast naturally with manuka honey.

There are a number of reasons why the tide is turning towards natural remedies for healing wounds and other ailments.

Aside from possible side effects from medications, antibiotic resistance is on the rise¹.

Using plants and herbs for healing is in our DNA. Researchers have observed primates doing this for years², and as humans, we have a long history with natural remedies.

Fast forward to today, and science can now explain how and why we can heal wounds fast naturally.

Here we’ll take a look at different types of wounds and what they need to heal, the do's and don'ts of healing wounds naturally, why manuka honey comes out on top and how to use it.

In this guide to how to heal a wound fast naturally:

Disclaimer: It is recommended to seek medical advice before using any ingredient on an open or closed wound. Even natural remedies can have side effects depending on age, lifestyle, allergies, and underlying conditions.

Types of Wound: A Quick Overview

Firstly, it’s worth distinguishing between open wounds and closed wounds which require different types of care.

Closed wounds are injuries beneath the surface of the skin, like bruises for example. These wounds might just require pain medication and management rather than targeted interventions³.

Open wounds are injuries that have damaged the surface and are prone to bleeding and infection.

Examples of open wounds include abrasions (cuts and scrapes or rubbing the skin), incisions (clean and straight cuts, usually during surgery), lacerations (deep, irregular cuts), puncture wounds (small, deep wounds) and avulsions (where skin or tissue is torn or missing)³.

Open wounds can be life-threatening. They are vulnerable to bacteria and pathogens, blood loss, and infection.

For this reason, it’s critical to understand how best to treat open wounds and when to get medical attention.

Signs That Your Wound Needs Medical Attention

Managing your wound healing process at home naturally can be very effective. But even the most careful among us might need extra help, and it’s crucial to spot the signs of a bigger problem (and prevent infection) as soon as possible.

Looking for natural remedies for wounds that won’t heal? It may instead be time to seek professional medical advice.

Here are some signs that your wound might need attention from an expert³:

  • You can’t stop the bleeding. You may need surgery to prevent dangerous blood loss.

  • The wound is particularly deep, big, or jagged. You might need stitches or staples to make sure the wound heals properly and to minimise scarring.

  • The wound is swelling, aching, warm, or consistently painful. It may have become infected so it’s best to get medical advice as quickly as possible.

  • The wound isn’t healing. If you notice the wound getting worse with time, it’s best to speak to your doctor.

It’s also important to get professional help if you have any underlying medical conditions like diabetes. People with diabetes can experience complications with wound healing and often require specific measures to keep them safe.

Now that you know the warning signs of a wound that just won’t play ball, let’s look at how to naturally promote healthy and fast wound healing for less serious issues.

The 3 Things Wounds Need to Heal

Wounds only really need three things for faster healing.

  1. A clean environment

Bacteria and pathogens need to be kept away from the wound so that it doesn’t get infected. It’s best to clean the wound and keep the wound covered for optimal healing.

  1. Vitamins and minerals

It’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet, particularly when the body is trying to repair itself. Vitamin C, zinc, and amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are key⁴.

  1. Plenty of water

Staying hydrated is critical for cell repair and regeneration. Without fluids, cells lose their structure and function⁵.

If wounds are kept sterile and the body is strong, the wound should heal quickly and naturally. But there’s nothing wrong with giving them a little boost with some careful preparation (whilst keeping in mind those warning signs mentioned above).

Natural Wound Healing 101

“In some ways, the history of medicine is strictly bound to the care of wounds, especially those injuries caused in battles.

In Mesopotamia (2100 B.C), after cleaning a wound with beer, a bandage with wine and turpentine was applied. In Ancient Egypt, a natural product, such as honey, became common in wound management: after irrigating a wound with wine, physicians would then cover the wound with fat and honey.”

Once upon a time, natural wound healing was the only option.

Thanks to incredible leaps and bounds in science and technology, we now have a plethora of synthetic drugs that keep us healthy and alive for longer than ever before.

Diseases and infections that would have been death sentences just a few decades ago are now manageable and even curable⁶.

Whilst modern medicine is perhaps one of humanity’s greatest achievements, it comes with downsides, too.

Using too many pharmaceuticals too often has led to antibiotic resistance, complicated side effects, and over-reliance on medication⁷.

Natural wound healing remedies may not cure every injury, but they can be very effective, cheaper, more accessible, and have fewer side effects.

For those who can access these ingredients safely, they’re an ideal first resort to healing wounds fast, naturally.

You’ve probably heard about using honey for medicinal purposes. That’s because honey and healing go way back - in fact, honey is mentioned in some of the world’s oldest medical journals⁸.

“Human use of honey is traced to some 8000 years ago as depicted by Stone Age paintings. In addition to [the] important role of natural honey in traditional medicine, during the past few decades, it was subjected to laboratory and clinical investigations by several research groups and it has found a place in modern medicine.”

Honey is a brilliant home remedy for healing wounds quickly and naturally because it provides those three key things that wounds need: a clean environment, vitamins and minerals, and hydration.

And there’s one type of honey in particular that outshines them all.

This 1 ingredient contains 2000 natural compounds. Can you guess what it is?

What can I put on a wound to draw out infection?

Manuka honey is effective on wounds thanks to its high sugar content and antibacterial activity. The sugar draws water out from the bacteria and damaged cells via osmosis, reducing the inflammation and helping the wound heal naturally⁹.

Why Manuka Honey Is Best for Natural Wound Healing

Monofloral manuka honey has been found to contain much more antibacterial activity than other types of honey¹⁰.

This mostly comes from its methylglyoxal (MGO) content which is up to 100 times higher.

What does this mean in practice?

It means that, at the chemical level, manuka honey is the best type of honey to heal your wound fast, without synthetic ingredients or additives.

Here’s how manuka honey can make a wound heal faster when applied topically:

  • Manuka honey has humectant properties. This means it forms a protective moisture barrier around the wound, holding water in and keeping bacteria out¹¹.

  • Manuka honey draws out infection. Its high sugar content pulls water from the damaged cells and bacteria to break them down and clear the area⁹.

  • Manuka honey is an immunomodulator. This means it can influence the body’s immune system to react faster and fight bacteria or boost cell renewal around a wound¹².

  • Manuka honey helps stimulate lymphatic flow. This flushing out of toxins from the body helps to keep wounds clean, clear, and protected¹³.

  • Manuka honey boosts cell growth and renewal. Not only does manuka honey protect the wound and keep it hydrated, but it also promotes the building of new cells to replace those damaged¹⁴.

Here’s how manuka honey can help wounds heal faster when eaten:

  • Manuka honey contains vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. These are crucial for a strong immune response to wound repair and fast natural healing¹⁵.

  • Manuka honey keeps you full. It’s important to eat a healthy, natural diet in general - but particularly when your body is healing. Honey releases energy slowly to the body, keeping you fuelled and less likely to snack¹⁶.

  • Manuka honey helps you sleep. A well-rested body is more likely to heal faster. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in honey can help relax the body, whilst its slow release of natural sugars will tell your brain you don’t need to wake up to refuel¹⁷.

Manuka honey is also best for wound healing because it is the most regulated honey in the world.

Unfortunately, honey’s amazing reputation for healing has led to a lot of imposters on the shelves.

The last thing you want when treating wounds is a contaminated or diluted product.

By sticking to UMF™-grade manuka honey, you have a certified product that has been officially tested and verified to be 100% pure, monofloral, authentic, and fresh.

Otherwise known as Unique Manuka Factor, the UMF™ grading system is the strictest and most robust honey testing programme in the world. Buying a UMF™-graded manuka honey guarantees that you’re getting the real deal.

One of our customers, Rik, had incredible results using manuka honey on his foot wound.

He thought it would need to be amputated, but manuka honey sped up his wound healing naturally and now he’s back to living a normal life.

Read Rik’s story here.

Which manuka honey to use for wound care

The higher the UMF™ grade, the more antibacterial the manuka honey. So if you want manuka honey for medical purposes, opt for the highest grades.

Anything from UMF™ 15+ | MGO 514+ upwards is generally considered medical-grade manuka honey. But if you can go higher, you’re more likely to get great results fast.

Here’s what our customers have to say:

“I am not one to write reviews but can't pass this review up. I recently injured my toe and was losing the toenail and it caused an abscess. They were worried it was going into cellulitis and with an autoimmune disease, that was not good. I can't take steroids or antibiotics due to severe reactions, and that was what was prescribed.

I had purchased this honey and used it on some abrasions which healed quickly. I decided to try it on my toe. I wrapped it up with this honey and literally in two days it looked like a normal toe. My toenail has even reattached.

Dr. is amazed I didn't use steroids or antibiotics. I am so thankful and so glad I had some on hand! We keep it on hand all the time now. Great stuff!”

“My dad's wound on his legs already dried up in a span of 2 weeks. Been treating that wound for already 2 months and there is no progress. Now when [we] applied [honey] on the wound, in a span of 2 weeks [it] already dried up. Thank you!!!!”

“Fantastic honey. I was using some Simple Truth monofloral manuka honey to help treat an infected surgical wound in my toe. It was doing okay, but I could tell the quality wasn't that great.

Bought some of this stuff and after a single application my wound had significantly improved. The local infection was resolved within 48 hours. This is the real thing.”

Shop the range.

How to Heal Wounds Fast Naturally (5 Ways)

To get the best results from your manuka honey at home, you can make a very quick and easy manuka honey wound dressing.

All you need is high grade manuka honey and gauze. This alone will give you a safe and powerful wound healer.

But if you’re interested in using manuka honey with other natural wound healing ingredients to get the best results as quickly as possible, here are a few science-backed options to try.

NB: Remember to check with your doctor before using any of these combinations and to wash your hands, wound, and any gauze or equipment that will come into contact with it thoroughly.

Manuka honey and garlic extract

Garlic contains allicin, a compound with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties¹⁸. Like honey, garlic has been used by many cultures throughout history for topical wound healing¹⁹.

Studies have found that mixing honey and garlic can be effective, particularly on burn wounds²⁰.

Manuka honey and vinegar

“Honey and vinegar, a traditional medicinal combination known as oxymel, dates to the ancient world. Apothecaries in the Middle Ages sold it, Hippocrates prescribed it and the physician-philosopher Ibn-Sīnā extolled its virtues.”

The antibacterial activity of manuka honey pairs well with the active component in vinegar, acetic acid, which is a natural antiseptic that breaks down bacteria²¹.

The combination is called oxymel and has been found particularly effective for chronic wounds. Doctors in the US have celebrated this, saying that chronic wounds are a real burden on the healthcare system²².

Manuka honey and ghee

“Ghee and honey has been advocated and used as dressing for infected wounds by Sushruta (600BC) and since 1991 in four Mumbai Hospitals. 

There is substantial evidence that ghee and honey dressing has at least comparable results to other modes of treatment. The easy availability and low cost of this treatment makes it significant in developing countries.”

Ghee is clarified butter, which originated in the Indian subcontinent. It has been used in cooking and medicine for centuries²³.

Studies have found that mixing honey and ghee is an effective solution for chronic wounds, and ghee can now be found in grocery stores throughout the world.

However, it’s important to get the quantities right with this combination. Some reports claim that getting this wrong may cause more harm than good.

Make sure you check with your doctor before applying manuka honey with ghee to a wound.

Manuka honey and coconut oil

Coconut oil contains monolaurin, a fatty acid substance with its own antibacterial properties²⁴. It has been found to help speed up wound healing by boosting collagen levels and providing antioxidant benefits²⁵.

Try mixing manuka honey with coconut oil for an extra boost to heal your wound naturally²⁶.

Manuka honey, aloe vera and turmeric

Famed for its sunburn benefits, aloe vera is an item you may already have in your cupboard at home.

Studies have found it to also be effective on open wounds²⁷, particularly when mixed with honey and turmeric²⁸.

This great combination can supercharge your wound healing with the best that nature has to offer, without needing to source exotic ingredients.

Heal Wounds Faster with Our Premium, Raw, All-Natural Manuka Honey

Our UMF™ certified manuka honey is 100% monofloral, authentic, fresh, and pure.

It’s also non-GMO, glyphosate-free, and fully traceable, so you can be sure you’re getting a safe, quality, responsible product for your wound-healing journey.

“New Zealand Honey Co - the best on the market in my opinion.”

“I am truly enjoying my honey from the New Zealand Honey Co. Their honey is not only delicious, but has wonderful healing properties. I also appreciate the outstanding customer service experience I received. Thank you!!!”

Shop our premium manuka honey range. 

Still unsure which grade is right for you?

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Sources:

¹ About antibiotic resistance, CDC.gov.

² The use of medicinal plants by primates, National Library of Medicine.

³ How to help open wounds heal faster, Westcoast Wound.

Foods to help healing, Cleveland Clinic.

What is hydration on a cellular level, Nutrition News.

Five deadly diseases that modern science has cured, Viva Communications.

Are we overdependent on pharmacotherapy? National Library of Medicine.

Traditional and modern uses of honey in human diseases, National Library of Medicine.

Honey on wounds, Healthline.

¹⁰ Manuka honey vs regular honey, New Zealand Honey Co.

¹¹ Manuka honey: a promising wound dressing material, National Library of Medicine.

¹² Honey: an immunomodulator in wound healing, National Library of Medicine.

¹³ Debridement of wounds with honey, University of Waikato.

¹⁴ Role of honey in advanced wound care, National Library of Medicine.

¹⁵ Benefits of honey, Healthline.

¹⁶ Is honey good for weight loss? New Zealand Honey Co.

¹⁷ Why a teaspoon of honey before bed helps you sleep, Elizabeth Rider.

¹⁸ How to make a wound heal faster, Medical News Today.

¹⁹ Mechanism of action of topical garlic on wound healing, National Library of Medicine.

²⁰ Euphorbia honey and garlic, Science Direct.

²¹ Vinegar and medical-grade honeys, National Library of Medicine.

²² Ancient honey and vinegar combo could treat infected wounds, Scientific American.

²³ Ghee and honey dressing for infected wounds, National Library of Medicine.

²⁴ How to make a wound heal faster, Medical News Today.

²⁵ Coconut oil and skin, Healthline.

²⁶ Accelerated wound healing, ResearchGate.

²⁷ Anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties of aloe vera, National Library of Medicine.

²⁸ Wound-healing efficacy of honey, aloe vera and turmeric, ResearchGate.

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