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The use of honey as a healing salve was recently the subject of a review of eighteen studies covering over sixty years. According to the study author, Dr. Fasal Raul Khan, honey was the bee's knees for wound healing throughout ancient history - it was even found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun, still edible after all those years.
The efficacy of honey in wound healing was the topic of research in the early 20th century, but it lost popularity when antibiotics were introduced in 1940. Now it's regaining ground, partially due to concerns about antibiotic resistance.
According to the study review, honey's high sugar content, low moisture, acidic gluconic acid, and hydrogen peroxide reduce inflammation and swelling. It can apparently help prevent amputations in people with diabetes because it sterilizes infected wounds and speeds healing, especially when wounds have become infected or fail to close.
According to the studies, honey should be reapplied from hourly to twice daily. Wounds so treated may become sterile within three to ten days. It is imperative, though, that you consult with your doctor before slathering honey on any wound.
Sources: EurekAlert; International Journal of Clinical Practice, September 2007
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