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Discussion in 'Survival Medicine' started by Bishop, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+

    Anyone here use honey to help heal. When I get a deep cut that I have to stitch up, I clean with peroxide and then run my dental floss in pure honey and in the wound. Then I stitch it up. I always heal fast and it keeps infection out.
    Meat, RAMBOCAT, Aeason and 4 others like this.
  2. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    I've read accounts of people stopping gangrene with honey-soaked bandages. In one instance, a sock full of honey saved frostbitten toes that had gone gangrenous.
  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    That is one of those things I question but also something you wouldn't know until you try. I will have to research more into the gangrene claim. I can't imagine it is that strong in healing properties. I know it has health benefits but those are serious.
    Aeason and kellory like this.
  4. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    Reversing gangrene is quite unlikely. Once the tissue is necrotic it ain't coming back. Necrotic tissue can be scrubbed and cut away and the wound irrigated and coated with honey to try and stem the resurgence of the gangrene but if vascular flow is significantly compromised, even that likely won't be successful.
    Honey works as a topical antibacterial treatment because of the sugar in it. Sugar makes it hygroscopic. You could use maple syrup or granular sugar as well. The hygroscopic property will suck moisture out of the bacteria in which it comes in contact (key aspect there, contact) and this can disable or kill the bacteria in a wound preventing infection.
  5. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey

    I had surgery 3 years ago that resulted in a 5"+ abdominal incision. Soon as I got home I slathered medical honey on the dressing & used that on it instead of the cr*p the hospital gave me. Healed up really fast a without any of the usual soreness & puffiness/inflammation you would expect with that kinda injury,

    Drs were amazed at how fast & well I healed up recouped in a "we cant explain it" kinda way (I also eat Primal/Paleo which im sure also contributed a lot)
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Would salt work as well?
  7. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    You want to rub salt in a wound?
    Are you a sadist or masochist? ;-)

    I suppose it could work to prevent infection, it is used to preserve meat and prevent rotting (bacterial breakdown) but the pain would be extreme. If there is pain, then it would seem there is injury being inflected. I don't know if that would compromise healing too much. Hydrogen peroxide used to be used to periodically irrigate wounds during the healing process and prevent infection; hurt big time. It killed bacteria but it also damaged healing tissue and significantly slowed the healing process. I would guess salt to have a similar if not worse consequence.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
    Ganado likes this.
  8. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    IMO salt would be okay if diluted with water. Salt water help cure cuts so it may work.
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    The reason for mentioning salt is based on an old time remedy for poison ivy. Rubbing salt on the blisters was supposed to dehydrate them and limit spreading. Yes, I am well aware of the pain associated with salt in a wound (sometime I'll tell the tale of rock salt injected by shotgun) but seems to me that short term pain would hammer hell out of a longer term infection.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  10. Flight-ER-Doc

    Flight-ER-Doc Monkey

    No. It would hurt quite a bit, is abrasive, and doesn't have compounds called peroxidases that help fight infection.

    The primary way honey (or sugar) works is by drawing water out of the infected cells, killing them. Honey has the slight added feature of the peroxidase. Sugar (sometimes mixed with povidone-iodine or Betadine(tm)) and honey are often used for treatment of bed sores, pressure ulcers or similar difficult to treat wounds.

    Treat twice a day, rinse the old stuff out with copious irrigation with clean water, and reapply. Keep away from ants.
    Meat, Ganado, Brokor and 2 others like this.
  11. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey++

    It is well documented that Napoleon's troops used honey on wounds of all sorts so it does go back a long ways. I believed this knowledge also spread to their adversaries... It probably was even before Napoleon but better documented by them...that I know.

    "Hydrogen peroxide used to be used to periodically irrigate wounds during the healing process and prevent infection; hurt big time."
    I always wash a wound with HP immediately then during the healing process. Actually, I have never felt any pain when using HP, ever. Are you saying one should not use HP to clean an open wound?
  12. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Napoleon and his troops are also well known for drinking perfume, and raving about how good it was.
    Ganado likes this.
  13. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    First, to be clear when I said it "hurt big time" I was referring to the pain, at least for me as a kid when mom with pour that stuff into my multiple cuts and I also had a friend injured in Viet Nam war tell horror stories of nurses irrigating his injuries with hydrogen peroxide and how they had to pull him off the ceiling when they started pouring it onto his wounds.

    I am suggesting that irrigating a wound with HP during the healing process (ie. periodically over multiple days) to try and keep infection at bay may slow the rate at which the wound heals. I have seen research and articles that suggest not much negative effect and some that say it compromises the healing process. There is similar research regarding efficacy preventing infection. . A good friend who is a former Navy doc and now is a wound specialist tells me don't use it. I don't. To me there are better options. You decide:

    Effects of hydrogen peroxide on wound healing in mice in relation to oxidative damage. - PubMed - NCBI
    Debunking Myths of Wound Care
    Medical myths don't die easily
    Hydrogen Peroxide for Wound Cleaning: Water's Better!
    Why you should avoid hydrogen peroxide
    Medscape: Medscape Access
    Brokor and Motomom34 like this.
  14. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey++

    Wow! I have never heard this before. It has always been my go to antiseptic and I keep 4-5 bottles around. Thank you. I will look into it.
  15. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    For wounds I use Iodine. Done.

    I use peroxide a lot --for a mouthwash.
    I use honey a lot --for my tea.
    I use bleach...to disinfect my floors.
    I use salt on nearly everything I eat.
    (just had a health screening, perfect health like a teenager at 42 years of age.)
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  16. Flight-ER-Doc

    Flight-ER-Doc Monkey

    Yes. You should NOT use peroxide (or rubbing alcohol) on wounds....Peroxide looks cool because it is reacting with the peroxidases in cells and makes bubbles, but that isn't a good thing.

    Both kill live cells. That is not a good thing to do. The now dead cells are in a warm, moist environment (the wound), and serve as excellent food for bacteria.

    The best thing to do with a wound is copious irrigation with water. Water clean enough to drink is fine - there are numerous studies published that show no difference in using sterile water, plain tap water, and sterile saline in wound irrigation. The key is use lots.

    If possible, wash the skin around the wound with soap, or an antiseptic like povidone-iodine (Betadine(tm)) or Chlorhexidine gultaraldehyde (Hibiclens(tm)), or just soap. I collect the little bars of soap from hotels and keep them in my medical kits (along with Hibiclens) just for this.
  17. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey++

    One last thing. So what do I use HP for? I have 5-6 bottles now around the house and if it is not to use to clean a wound then what can I use them for. (Note: I have lots of bottles of iodine also)
  18. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Add it to your laundry for spot washing. It works well at removing blood stains.
    Use it as mouthwash.
    RAMBOCAT likes this.
  19. Flight-ER-Doc

    Flight-ER-Doc Monkey

    Well, thats another problem with peroxide....it doesn't store well at all. Once a bottle is opened, even if it is closed tightly, it will deteriorate quickly - releasing monatomic oxygen and leaving water H2O2 -> H2O+O which turns into H2O + O2.

    And it's not strong enough even when fresh to use as rocket fuel oxidizer (medical grade is 3% when fresh, rocket oxidizer is 30-60% and quite reactive - like don't mess with it unless you know what you are doing and have the right equipment and fully encapsulating protective suits and air packs).

    Likewise, iodine (tincture of iodine) isn't especially useful either. Nor is Mercurochrome or Merthiolate. The iodine can be used to disinfect water (10 drops per liter/quart of dirty water).

    If you want to stock a skin disinfectant, stock small bottles (so they don't get cross-contaminated) of Hibiclens (tm) (chlorhexidine gluconate) or Betadine (povidone-iodine, which is different than tincture of iodine).
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  20. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Dunerunner likes this.
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