View Full Version : Does any one know of any evidence for or against the use of honey?

01-17-2008, 04:11 PM
The reason I ask is because I know that in ancient times, and even on threw the majority of Colonial times, the native Americans were using honey as a medicinal compress/solve which prevented infection, on serious cuts and possibly even the wounds on a woman post child birth. It makes since to me that there may have been the use of honey (Maybe even wide spread) to seal cuts be them minor, or even possibly severe. Its so sticky that it forces the blood to clot, and seal the wound quickly, it stops infection (even though they didn’t know that it was caused by bacteria, which the molecular stickiness of the honey is so dense that it doesn’t allow the passing of said bacteria. Even today it is the one food product that goes on the shelf that the FDA does not require the use of pasteurization, at least that I know of. We know they had honey, its been around since Egyptian times (probably longer) And its one of those things that has from at least colonial times been a ‘home remedy’ for bad cuts (I can still remember my mom sealing bad cuts as a kid with honey, and slapping a clean cloth on over it and tying it off loosely with two or three pieces of yarn.

Let me know if you have found any evidence for or against the use of honey in this manner

John Knecht
Hospital Steward Second Mi. Medical/
Crewmen Hudson’s battery Michigan light artillery.

01-18-2008, 12:22 AM
I believe it was included in this particular conversation:


Second or third response from the original question, and the discussion becomes more enlightening from there.

01-18-2008, 03:00 AM
For what it's worth, unlike sugar, I'd guess that the use of honey on wounds would be worth pursuing in research, and that one could find a few scattered examples, most likely something fairly minor and as much for its sticky properties for making a salve as any curitive properties of its own. But I wouldn't be surprised to see a few examples of its use show up.

Hank Trent

01-18-2008, 03:40 AM
Honey sold in grocery stores is pasteurized for safety--it can harbor botulism spores in the raw form.

Heading over to read the other thread now...

01-18-2008, 06:54 AM
Honey sold in grocery stores is pasteurized for safety--it can harbor botulism spores in the raw form.

Thank you for that correction Elizabeth. I was a little suspitious when I was informed that it didn't require pasturisation. I was more willing to believe it didn't require adititives, or proservatives. but pretty much every thing requires pasturisation for human consumption.

01-18-2008, 08:33 AM
Well, I'd disagree there... lots of fantastic foods are ruined by pastuerization, but for mass marketing, where one can't be sure of the provider's sanitation levels, or possible adulteration, it can be good to err on the side of caution.

Mid-century folks worried a lot about food adulteration and spoilage, too... chalk in dairy milk, sawdust in bran flours, etc. The filthy and unscrupulous have always been with us!

(Me, I'm risky. We eat raw honey, and raw milk when we can get it, and uncooked cookie dough, and mayonaise sauces made from raw eggs. But we tend to "know" our raw foods in person, also... having met the dairyman and the cows and the chickens, etc.)

01-18-2008, 03:11 PM
All things I can't enjoy well actually just the Meet and the eggs.. (I don't motabalize meat protiens very well, my system fights the proteins and I get sick, not to the level of it being dangerous, just really unpleasent. I can manage chicken and fish.. but Given the lately uncertain health of chicken and my prefferance for eating only what I can catch/kill my self. I tend to eat fish alot. Though I must say I like me my raw cookie dough...

Well again thank ou again very much for your impute Elizabeth...


01-31-2008, 12:02 AM
Hey all,
As an RN who works at a university teaching hospital, I can tell you that for wound care there are honey dressings. Honey is a natural antimicrobial and inflammatory that will provide great healing.
Also use it as a natural antihistamine, fight your seasonal allergies by ingesting local honey that helps your body acclimate to local pollen and decreasing the need for expensive and bad for the body medications. I take 1 tsp of raw local honey a day and it keeps my seasonal problems to minimum.
Farewell from the Dept of New Mexico.
C.O. Williams
AKA Maj JJ Comfort, MD 42nd PVI Bucktails, attached to Fort Union, NM

01-31-2008, 06:14 AM
That's all cool today, but this discussion was regarding whether it was plain, everyday, common back in the period. So far the answer seems to be "no", or any references to it are far and few in between.

02-01-2008, 06:19 PM
I put up my posting to show how one of the ancient and well known uses of honey is making a comeback in "modern medicine". Now I certainly believe that this information was available then considering educated peoples of CW period were very well versed in classical literature. Also i could see then as today if you are out of the item that you normally use you would use what is on hand. No I have not seen any "official" indication of the use of honey in my studies yet as I stated above use of what is at hand would have been preferable to nothing.
C.O. Williams RN
aka Maj JJ Comfort, MD 42nd PVI, Bucktails, Attached to Dept of New Mexico

Linda Trent
02-01-2008, 10:02 PM
Can you please restate the original question? Are you asking was it used as a salve on wounds? Or are you asking if it was used alone to seal the flesh? Or both?


Linda Trent