Manuka Honey Dressing for Wounds: Does It Work?


10 minutes, 30 seconds read

Essential Takeaways

It’s easy to create your own manuka honey dressing for wounds at home, and the results can be rather powerful.

Thanks to its antimicrobial, emollient, and humectant properties, manuka honey cleans, hydrates, and protects wounds. It also stimulates tissue regeneration without the risk of bacterial resistance that other medications have.

Find out how our customers have used manuka honey for wounds with incredible results and what you need to look for when buying your manuka honey.

"In vitro and in vivo evidence shows that honey, particularly manuka honey, eliminates bacteria, resolves chronic inflammation, and promotes faster wound healing.

Its potency against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, makes it a particularly invaluable tool in an age where more strains of resistant bacteria are developing."

Yes, using a manuka honey dressing for wounds can work wonders¹.

Manuka honey's properties make it a fantastic healing agent. It cleans wounds, keeps them hydrated, protects them from bacteria, and even stimulates tissue regeneration.

And all this without worrying about resistant bacteria? Not bad for a pantry staple.

The mānuka tree and honey have both had a long and rich history in health and wellness. So what makes honey from mānuka nectar special for wounds?

How exactly does this natural healer that is perfect for wound dressings work?

In this guide to manuka honey wound dressings:

  • Why use a manuka honey dressing for your wound

  • Choosing the right manuka honey for a wound

  • How to make a honey wound dressing

  • The best medical-grade manuka honey for wounds

NB: Always consult your doctor before using anything on open wounds, even a natural product like honey.

Why Use a Manuka Honey Wound Dressing

Natural wound dressings have been around for thousands of years.

Before we had modern technology and the medicine that came with it, we found our own solutions in the world around us.

And honey was one of these solutions.

Featuring in the world’s oldest medical journals², honey has been passed down the generations for millennia from one side of the globe to the other. And thanks to its enduring reputation for healing, it has since attracted huge scientific interest and research.

What’s truly going on? Is there any scientific basis for this age-old remedy?

“The healing property of honey is due to the fact that it offers antibacterial activity, maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection.”

While many honeys offer this antibacterial activity, one in particular is unique.

“The antimicrobial activity in most honeys is due to the enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide. However, another kind of honey, called non-peroxide honey (manuka honey), displays significant antibacterial effects even when the hydrogen peroxide activity is blocked.”

Manuka honey has a well-earned reputation for offering the most potent antibacterial benefits.

The indigenous Māori people of New Zealand have been using the bark, leaves, and gum from the mānuka tree for many different things, including medicine³, long before the Western honeybee turned up on European ships and began producing honey.

Thanks to many different studies (some of which you’ll find credited here) which have tested manuka honey on a variety of wound types, we now understand the mechanics of how it works⁴.

It turns out that making honey with mānuka nectar takes the best of both to new heights.

Here’s why you should use a manuka honey dressing for wounds:

  • Its antimicrobial properties help to clean and protect wounds as they heal¹. Manuka honey contains a number of compounds that contribute to this antimicrobial activity, but the main one is methylglyoxal (MGO). Manuka honey can contain up to one hundred times more MGO than other honey types⁵.

  • Its humectant properties help to draw in water to the wound and keep it hydrated which is key for healing⁶.

  • Its emollient properties help to seal that water in and keep nasties out⁶.

  • It boosts tissue repair and collagen production which are essential for new healthy skin growth⁷.

  • It’s an immunomodulator which means that it helps the body’s immune system function optimally and heal itself safely⁸.

  • It’s all-natural. If you get UMF™-grade manuka honey, you’ll have a pure, raw product in all its natural glory. Uncontaminated and untampered with, you’ll be using the same honey that has earned a global reputation. We’ll explore this grading system in more detail later.

Just 1 ingredient, 2000+ natural compounds.

How fast does manuka honey heal wounds?

It depends on the type of wound and the type of manuka honey as well as your age, lifestyle, and how you care for the wound.

But many people are shocked at just how quickly their wounds have healed with manuka honey, even when other medications haven’t worked.

Here’s what our customers have found when using manuka honey as a wound dressing:

“My dad's wound in 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 applied on wound, in a span of 2 weeks wound already dried up. Thank you!!!!”

“Used Manuka 1450 mgo on my granddaughter’s MRSA infection and within a week or so it has cleared up the infected abscess [on] her calf. Love this product.”

It’s also an effective fast-acting healing agent for internal wounds.

“It is the only thing that helps keep my intense GI colitis at bay after COVID-19 ripped my GI tract to shreds. Doctors were stumped. Someone mentioned manuka honey & within a week of taking a tsp a day…my Gi tract went back to normal. My mind was blown because I didn’t have high hopes. I really didn’t think it’d work. Superior on many levels!”

Check out this more detailed case study about Rik who was able to keep his foot and avoid amputation thanks to manuka honey.

What type of wounds is honey good for?

Honey is good for any type of open wound.

Its properties make it a versatile healer. It provides the main three things that all wounds need to heal: a clean environment, plenty of hydration, and vitamins and minerals.

Our customers have had great success using a manuka honey wound dressing for abscesses, diabetic ulcers, cuts and scrapes, burns, and even infections like MRSA.

As long as your doctor approves honey for your unique case, you can use it for many different external and internal health problems.

Can you put store-bought honey on a wound?

Yes, you can put store-bought honey on a wound. But depending on the honey, you might get mixed results or none at all.

Unfortunately, due to its amazing global reputation for health and wellness, honey is one of the most faked foods in the world.

Many of the cheaper honeys you find on grocery store shelves are ultra-filtered to look clearer and more commercial, are laced with extra sugars, and are really of no health or nutritional value at all.

You’ll get the best results using honey as a wound dressing if you get a pure, raw product with the highest levels of antimicrobial activity.

Manuka honey has its own grading system, UMF™, to protect authentic products and to help customers find the real deal.

This system certifies that a jar of honey is genuine, pure, raw, and fresh, so you can be sure that you’re getting the best manuka honey for your wound.

When should you not use manuka honey?

You should always check with your doctor before using any product for medical purposes - even something all-natural like honey.

That’s because it’s not safe for everyone. People who are allergic to bees or pollen should avoid eating or using honey.

It’s also best to avoid putting honey on the wounds of infants under one year old. It’s well-documented that feeding babies honey can be dangerous⁹, but we’re still not sure about using it topically on their wounds.

Is honey safe for diabetic wounds?

Diabetic wounds can be more difficult to treat than other wounds and much slower to heal¹⁰. As a result, studies have found honey to be even more effective on diabetic wounds¹⁰.

A number of case studies have shown that honey speeds up wound recovery in diabetic patients, reduces their pain and even the length of hospital stays¹¹.

What honey is better than manuka?

The best honey for you all depends on what you want to use it for.

If you’re after a delicious food that can be eaten straight off the spoon, added to sauces and marinades, or to sweeten up your morning brew, any honey will probably do.

But if you want the best honey for fast and safe wound healing, that can also be used for skin complaints, hormone imbalance, colds and flu, fungal infections, sexual health, allergies, stomach problems, weight loss and more, it’s manuka honey all the way.

“Best honey I’ve tried in my 50 years. I would tell anyone looking for a 100% pure honey that this is the one. The benefits of this product are endless. Look no further.”

Anonymous, verified buyer | UMF™ 24+ | MGO 1122+

Choosing The Best Manuka Honey for Wound Healing

The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF™) grading system was developed to protect genuine manuka honey products and help consumers feel safe and secure in their purchase.

It tests each batch of manuka honey to determine that it is monofloral (only made with manuka nectar), raw, and fresh.

It also tests the methylglyoxal (MGO) content which relates to the antibacterial potency of the honey. This number is also on manuka honey jars and the higher the MGO number, the higher the UMF™ grade.

For example, a jar of UMF™ 10+ manuka honey has the MGO number 263+. This indicates that there is at least 83mg of MGO per kilogram of that batch of manuka honey.

At the other end of the spectrum, UMF™ 28+ has an MGO number of 1450+.

So the higher UMF™ grade manuka honeys are the most medically potent. They offer the greatest concentration of antimicrobial properties.

For this reason, we recommend at least the UMF™ 15+ | MGO 514+ or higher for medical use.

The highest grades are likely to produce the best results in healing open wounds, particularly those that are infected or chronic.

It’s important to opt for UMF™ graded manuka honey because it is an independent and rigorous testing system. Only the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) can test and certify batches to this standard, making it the most regulated type of honey in the world.

By opting for UMF™, you can be sure that you’re getting the real deal.

And we only deal with real.

Shop all our UMF™ manuka honeys here.

Or take our quick quiz to discover which grade is right for you.

How to Make and Apply Your Manuka Honey Dressing on Wounds

You’ll find plenty of manuka honey products ready-made for applying to wounds or using for medical purposes.

But if you have a jar of high-grade (UMF™ 15+ or higher) manuka honey, you can use it for your wound dressing.

So with that being said, all you need is:

  • A jar of high-grade UMF™ manuka honey.

  • A sterile medical gauze.

  • A clean bandage.

  • A clean spoon or applicator.

  • Medical tape or fasteners.

Here are the steps.

  1. Prepare your hands, wound, and equipment

Make sure you have everything on hand so that once you’ve washed your hands and wound, you don’t need to open packets or make contact with too many other surfaces. This prevents introducing potential contamination.

Don’t make your manuka honey work harder than it needs to! Clean everything before you do anything else - including the wound.

  1. Apply manuka honey directly onto the wound

Pack the wound with manuka honey. You don’t need to go overboard here, but enough to cover the abrasions or opening will be fine.

  1. Lay a gauze over the wound and hold in place with a bandage

The gauze should hold the honey onto the wound and soak it up as it warms and melts a little from your skin. The bandage should wrap carefully and firmly around your gauze to hold it in place. Wrap a few times and either tie or cut the end.

If you cut the end, use medical tape or fasteners to hold the bandage in place.

  1. Change the gauze and honey regularly

How regularly you do this will depend on what’s coming from your wound. If it’s pretty oozy and messy, change it enough to stay dry and comfortable. If not, once or twice a day is sufficient.

Ensure that you cover the same hygiene bases every time your wound is exposed.

Have you had success using our manuka honey this way?

We’d love to hear about it!

The Best Medical Grade Manuka Honey for Your Wound Dressing

Every batch of our premium and monofloral manuka honey is independently tested, UMF™ graded and traceable.

It’s also non-GMO, glyphosate-free, Halal, and Kosher.

Check out all our accreditations here.

Shop the range.

Your wellness journey starts with a spoonful a day.


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