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Honey for healing wounds - Natural Horse World

Honey for healing wounds

More than 4,000 years after Egyptians began applying honey to wounds, it is now being sold for regular wound care all over the world.
Called Medihoney, it is made from a highly absorbent seaweed-based material, saturated with manuka honey, a particularly potent type that experts say kills germs and speeds healing. Also called Leptospermum honey, manuka honey comes from hives of bees that collect nectar from manuka and jelly bushes in Australia and New Zealand.

Honey dressings and gels, as well as tubes of manuka honey, have been gaining in popularity with scientific reports on their medical benefits and occasional news accounts of the dramatic recovery of a patient with a longtime wound that suddenly healed.
Regular honey can even have mild medicinal benefits but manuka honey is far more potent, research shows.
The most important factor in any honey used for medicinal purposes is that it should not have been heat treated like the honey we buy for eating – people prefer it to be runny but heat treating to keep it that way kills the active ingredients.

“It’s been used on wounds where nothing else will work,” said biochemist Peter Molan, PhD, a professor at the University of Waikato in New Zealand who has researched honey and other natural antibiotics for 25 years.
He’s found manuka honey can kill the toughest bacteria even when diluted 10 times and recommends it especially for people with weak immune systems.

“There’s more evidence, clinical evidence, by far for honey in wound treatment than for any of the pharmaceutical products” for infection, Molan said.

Honeyheal1
2 week old graze wound before applying honey.

Honey has been used for healing wounds on horses with great results. It is easy to apply (sticks well) and doesn’t sting so horses tolerate treatment better.
It can be plastered on an open wound or bandaged on more severe cuts and burns. It has proven to be especially helpful at reducing the proud flesh that grows out of control as the flesh over-populates and stops the skin from covering properly.

As you can see from the photos above and below, honey heals quickly – this knee injury which was a couple of weeks old and hadn’t responded to other treatments, went from the size in the top photo to less than half the size in ten days of daily treatment.

Honeyheal2
After 10 days of treatment with honey the wound has reduced a lot in size.

More recently, hoof care professionals have discovered honey is excellent for treating thrush. Here is an outline of treatment provided by Chrisann Ware of Equethy:
Wash the hoof first with vinegar and water and use the same syringe and tube to flush the gunk out of the hoof sulcus.
Then warm the honey in a tub or hot water and put it in the syringe (cattle syringe where the needle would attach works best as they are large).

We get the tubing from pet shops that sell supplies for fish tanks – the small tube that they sell for air hoses is ideal but don’t reuse it in case you are spreading thrush from foot to foot.

Pass the tube as deep into the sulcus as you can. You will be surprised how far it can go in some horses with contracted frogs and heels it seems to go very deep indeed. I think this is why most treatments don’t work as they don’t get to the anaerobic bacteria in there.

You will know when you have gotten the honey in deep and filled the sulcus as it often comes out the back near the heels.Just wipe this excess that dribbles out all over the frog and sole and put the horse in a boot for a while, or if you don’t have boots just tie it up on a clean concrete area with some feed for 20 mins until the honey does its job. Its gets absorbed quickly and doesn’t remain sticky.

You can buy Manuka honey in large supermarkets and it’s much cheaper to do this than to buy it from a specialty health food store. If you buy it from the “medical” supplies it costs double what you pay for it in the supermarket. If you can’t get Medi honey or its equivalent, then any honey from a local bee keeper will work provided it hasn’t been heat treated.

Heel wound healed with honey - When my quarter horse mare injured her heel (probably from a wire cut) it wasn’t possible to stitch this constantly moving and flexing part, so here’s the treatment process I followed to completely heal this wound. Honey treatment started 2 days after the initial treatment with hydrogen peroxide to flush it clean twice daily as [...]
Leg wound Healed with Honey - This foal fell over a fence and tore the skin, leaving a wound difficult to stitch. With the application of honey under a bandage fro the first 10 days, then without the bandage, it healed nicely. Arabian foal’s foreleg wound day 2 (left), then one week after being bandaged with honey (right). The would has [...]
THE HEALING POWER OF HONEY on Severe Wounds - by Cynthia Cooper I’m always looking for natural alternatives when it comes to treating horses and I believe they can work well in conjunction with modern medicine. A while ago now, I had a yearling filly (Ruby) badly injured from wire cuts. She had severed the flexor (front) tendons on her off fore and near [...]
Honey for healing wounds - More than 4,000 years after Egyptians began applying honey to wounds, it is now being sold for regular wound care all over the world. Called Medihoney, it is made from a highly absorbent seaweed-based material, saturated with manuka honey, a particularly potent type that experts say kills germs and speeds healing. Also called Leptospermum honey, [...]

4 thoughts on “Honey for healing wounds

  1. Sue Mitchell says:

    I’ve used honey with injuries on my horses for years. It’s wonderful. Why put expensive chemicals on them when natural is so much better.

  2. Pingback: Raw Honey — A Holistic Pet Treatment - The Alternative Daily

  3. Lorraine Svenson says:

    Hi Cynthia,
    Our horse had a altercation with a star picket a couple of years ago. It went into his chest about a foot (Old measurements) It luckily missed all of his major organs & vessels & the wound was seen to by the vet & stapled. Being on his chest, the staples fell out the next day leaving a deep gaping wound. It was about 10inches long & 3 inches wide & deep.
    We turned to Manuka honey & over approximately 3 months it had healed.
    I have some pictures if you are interested, they are quiet dramatic to start with & show the healing process.
    Just brilliant stuff!
    Kind regards
    Lorraine

    • Cynthia says:

      Hi Lorraine,
      I’m so glad to hear your horse recovered from such a horrible injury, and thanks to honey too 🙂 I’d love to see some pics as its good to share things like that to give other people hope if it ever happens to them.
      Please email the pics to ccnaturally@yahoo.com.au
      Thanks,
      Cynthia.

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