How to Treat a Wound Infection Naturally


7 minutes, 30 seconds

Essential Takeaways

Recognising a wound infection early is crucial for optimal healing and preventing complications.

While natural approaches can support wound healing, a doctor's diagnosis and treatment are important for confirmed infections to prevent them from spreading.

Manuka honey, with its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, is a natural remedy that can be used alongside conventional treatment for wound infections. It can also be used in the early stages of a wound to prevent issues from compounding.

Our bodies are resilient. Minor cuts, scrapes, and scratches often heal on their own without any intervention. However, sometimes wounds become infected, requiring prompt attention to prevent complications.

While natural approaches and remedies like manuka honey can support wound healing, they should never replace seeking medical advice for a confirmed, serious or worsening infection.

This blog post explores how to recognise the signs of wound infection, outlines basic home care steps, and discusses natural remedies that may complement conventional treatment. We'll also delve into the potential benefits of manuka honey for wound healing.

Keep reading to learn about:

Recognising the Signs of a Wound Infection

Ignoring a wound infection can lead to serious consequences. Recognising the signs early allows for prompt treatment and minimises the risk of complications.

Here are some common signs of a wound infection to watch out for:

  • Increased redness, swelling, and pain around the wound. This is a normal inflammatory response in the initial healing stages. However, if the redness and swelling deteriorates or spreads beyond the wound margins, it could indicate an infection.

  • Pus drainage. Clear or slightly yellow drainage is normal during healing. However, thick pus, particularly if it's yellow, green, or brown, suggests a potential infection.

  • Fever or chills.

  • Red streaks radiating from the wound.

  • Feeling generally unwell.

Wound Care Techniques: How Do You Treat an Infected Wound at Home?

While a doctor's visit is crucial for confirmed infections, certain home care practices can support healing alongside the prescribed treatment from a professional. Here's what you can do:

  • Natural remedies: Use natural treatments, such as applying manuka honey, to help your body’s defences fight the infection.

  • Wound cleaning: Proper wound cleaning is essential to remove bacteria and prevent further infection. Use a sterile saline solution and clean the wound gently following your doctor's instructions.

  • Debridement: In some cases, dead tissue might need to be removed by a medical professional to facilitate healing. This process is called debridement and should only be performed by a healthcare provider.

  • Moist wound environment: Keeping the wound bed moist promotes healing and reduces the risk of bacteria thriving. Your doctor may recommend specific dressings to maintain a moist environment. (For serious infections and issues with antibiotic resistant bacteria, a manuka honey gauze is often applied in hospitals.)

  • Pain management: Over-the-counter pain relievers like paracetamol or ibuprofen can help manage the discomfort associated with wound healing. However, always consult your doctor before taking any medication.

  • Rest: Getting enough sleep allows your body to prioritise healing processes and help you to recover fast.


What Draws Infection Out of a Wound?

Our bodies are equipped with a remarkable defence system to fight infection. Here's how your body naturally combats bacteria in a wound:

  • White blood cells: These are the body's soldiers, attacking and destroying bacteria that enter the wound.

  • Pus formation: Pus is a collection of white blood cells, dead tissue, and bacteria. Whilst it may look unpleasant, pus helps isolate the infection and prevent it from spreading.

  • Scab formation: As the wound heals, a scab forms, creating a barrier that protects the underlying tissue from further infection and promotes healing.

Natural Remedies to Support the Wound Healing Process

Natural remedies can play a complementary role in wound healing alongside conventional treatment. Here are some potential natural approaches to consider:

Manuka Honey

Why not use a natural antibiotic that also tastes delicious?

Manuka honey contains high levels of a powerful naturally occurring compound called methylglyoxal (also known as MG or MGO). This compound has received extensive research over the last 40+ years and has been found to be antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal. It also helps scars to subside, supports the natural healing of wounds, and much more.

If you decide to use manuka honey on your wound, make sure to buy a legitimate product that’s verified to be the real deal (here’s how) - there are many fakes on the market. And be sure to use at least a UMF™ 10+ grade (263mg/kg of MGO or more).

You might be wondering: is manuka honey really that good? And what do all these numbers mean?

Yes, manuka honey is really that good at treating wounds naturally. We regularly receive customer feedback saying how quickly it helped to heal their injuries.

Case study: How Manuka Honey Saved Rik’s Ankle

The numbers you see on a jar of honey can indicate different things, depending on the letters next to them. ‘MGO’ refers to the concentration of MGO in the product. The higher the MGO level, the more potent and powerful the manuka honey’s activity is.

UMF™ is a complete grading system that takes a number of different factors (including MGO) into account to ensure that you’re getting fresh, authentic, pure, monofloral manuka honey.

However, you may also see other numbers like NPA, MGS, and K-Factor. It can get quite confusing. If you’d like to get a better understanding of what these numbers mean (and which ones actually matter), check out this article.

Other Potential Natural Wound Infection Remedies

Here are some other natural remedies that you may want to consider:

  • Curcumin (from turmeric): Exhibits anti-inflammatory and potentially antibacterial properties. Curcumin is best absorbed when taken with black pepper.

  • Aloe vera gel: May help soothe pain and inflammation, and promote healing. Look for aloe vera gel with minimal added ingredients, as many products on the shelves are filled with additives.

  • Calendula cream: Offers possible anti-inflammatory and wound healing effects. Patch test for allergies before applying to a wound.

  • Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has shown promise in fighting bacteria. However, it can cause skin irritation, so a dilution with a carrier oil (such as coconut or sweet almond oil) is essential. Make sure to do a patch test before applying it to the wound to help avoid allergic reactions.

These natural remedies can be helpful, but they are not a replacement for sound medical advice. If your wound worsens after using these remedies, go to the doctor.


What Should You Not Do With an Infected Wound?

Some actions can worsen a wound infection and hinder healing. Here's what to avoid:

  • Picking at the scab: This can disrupt the healing process and increase the risk of infection.

  • Using dirty bandages or dressings: Regularly change dressings with clean ones to prevent bacteria build-up.

  • Applying harsh chemicals or irritants to the wound: These can damage healthy tissues and slow healing.

  • Delaying medical attention for a worsening infection: If symptoms worsen or persist, contact your doctor straight away to prevent complications

Should You Cover an Open Wound or Let it Breathe?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Both covering and leaving a wound open can be beneficial depending on the stage of healing:

Benefits of Covering a Wound

  • Protects the wound from dirt, debris, and further contamination.

  • Helps maintain a moist wound environment, which is essential for optimal healing - especially in the earlier stages.

  • Reduces pain and discomfort.

Benefits of Letting a Wound Breathe

  • May promote faster drying of the wound surface, especially in the later stages of healing where scab formation naturally takes place.

  • Allows for better monitoring of the wound for signs of infection.

Your doctor will advise you on whether to cover your wound and what type of dressing to use based on the specific situation (and whether it’s a minor wound or a more significant injury). In general, it’s best to cover the wound in the earlier stages to promote faster healing.

How to Make a Wound Heal Faster

While there's no magic bullet to accelerate wound healing, you can take some holistic actions to support your body’s natural functions. These include:

  • Proper wound care: As previously mentioned, proper cleaning, maintaining a moist environment, and following your doctor's instructions are crucial for optimal healing and to prevent infection.

  • Balanced diet: Ensure you're getting enough essential nutrients like protein, vitamin C, and zinc, which are vital for tissue repair.

  • Adequate sleep: When you sleep, your body focuses on healing and repair processes. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night.

  • Stress management: Chronic stress can hinder healing. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation can be beneficial.

  • Consider natural remedies: As previously mentioned, manuka honey, with its potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, is a great natural addition to your wound healing routine alongside conventional treatment.

Naturally Heal Your Wound Infection With Pure, Medical Grade Manuka Honey

Applying manuka honey to your wounds is a great way to help them naturally heal faster. However, it’s important that you buy the right grade of honey.

It’s best to select a product with at least a UMF™ 10+ rating. The higher the grade, the better the effects.

Shop our range here.

Unsure which honey is right for you? Take our quiz.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for general knowledge and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional regarding any concerns you may have about a wound or its healing process.

Your wellness journey starts with a spoonful a day.


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