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Sunday, September 25, 2011
Honey in Your Medicine Cabinet
Many of you may already be aware of using honey as a remedy for sore throats, or seasonal allergies but did you know you can use it to treat skin conditions?
Treating Skin Conditions
A little confession here. I happen to suffer from Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis. I am always looking for new, safe and effective ways to deal with flair ups. Since I have psoriasis on my foot, among other places, it can be quite a nuisance. After reading on some of the history of the use of honey I decided I would give it a try why not? I already have organic and natural honeys in the house, and since I use honey to wash my face I figured what can it hurt to try?
History of Honey’s Use in Medicine
Using honey to heal wounds is not new medicine. Ancient Egyptians used honey several thousand years ago to heal wounds. In fact honey has been found in ancient tombs. This is how we know that honey NEVER goes bad. And as recently as World War II honey was used on soldiers to speed healing. It was only with the advent of antibiotics did honey fall out of favor as a home remedy. Seems to me that at least 2 generations forgot about using honey for wounds. When I asked my mother if she had ever heard of using honey she replied she had not. It seems like the use of honey for its healing properties is coming back. In 2006, a study University of Bonn in Germany began recording a largely positive experience with what is known as medihoney. Even chronic wounds infected with multi-resistant bacteria often healed within a few weeks source. They have been using what they call Medi Honey to effectively treat MRSA.
In a study at Complementary Therapies in Medicine, honey was used with olive oil and beeswax. They found that the honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that helped to decrease pain and the inflammation and lead to faster wound healing. The olive oil also has antibacterial properties and the ability to inhibit substances that lead to inflammation. Olive oil and honey both contain flavonoids that help protect cells and inhibit histamine (a substance involved in allergic reactions). The release of histamine is what makes the skin itch. A particular bane for those with dry skin. They added beeswax for its anti-inflammatory properties. Beeswax is often included in formulas to treat burns and other skin conditions.
Research has found that some honeys, particular Manuka Honey have a high concentration of natural hydrogen peroxide. When making honey the bees bees add an enzyme called glucose-oxidase. This enzyme ensures that small amounts of hydrogen peroxide,, are constantly being formed from the sugar in the honey. The advantage over the natural hydrogen peroxide over that which you can buy at the store is that a small concentration is sufficient to kill the germs,. Since bottle hydrogen peroxide loses its potency over time, you need to use more to get the same results, The enzyme glucose –oxidase also blocks antihistamines, the reason honey works for well for your seasonal allergies
In the past I had used olive oil on my skin, now I will be adding the honey to mix. Since, I am already using honey to wash my face, I decided to use it on my psoriatic areas. Yes it can be quite messy but after a good foot soak it feels good to massage the honey and olive oil into my skin. After trying it only once last night I am looking forward to good results already. Anything that I can do that keeps me off of strong medicines is a plus as far as I am concerned. Honey is a great humectant, which means in not only moisturizes but it holds moisture in.
For a local supplier of honey check out the The Honey Locator