Regardless of whether you’re a logger, a teacher, or a secretary, you’ll likely incur a few workplace accidents during your career. In addition to getting hurt at work, people injure themselves at home, at the gym, or in their vehicles. A study conducted by the British non-profit Beneden Healthcare Society revealed the average person suffers 9,672 minor injuries in a lifetime. Many of these injuries involve cuts and scrapes.
If you scrape your knee during a fall in a parking lot or cut your finger on a stack of papers, your first instinct might be to reach for an antibiotic ointment. Rather than sticking with this conventional treatment, you might want to consider trying a 4,000 year old all natural healing method. Interestingly, you can find this sweet alternative, sugar and honey, at your favorite supermarket instead of your local pharmacy.
For decades, healthcare professionals have bemoaned the dangers of consuming sugar. Eating too much sugar has been linked to behavior problems, immunosuppression, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and compromised oral health. Even though consuming copious amounts of sugar isn’t healthy, keeping that five-pound bag in your pantry at home can be beneficial for healing. Before healthcare experts, the media, and others began warning about the harmful effects of sugar, this favorite ingredient of many was valued as an antiseptic.
Ancient Egyptians took advantage of sugar’s miraculous healing powers thousands of years ago. However, since the introduction of antibiotics to the industrial world, sugar has lost its popularity as a health aide. One can only wonder if the high prices of antibiotics and the skyrocketing profit margins of drug companies have had anything to do with sugar’s fall from grace as an effective treatment for cuts and scrapes.
A research study conducted by Moses Murandu, a senior lecturer in adult nursing at Wolverhampton University, United Kingdom, found pouring granulated sugar directly into wounds promotes healing in patients when antibiotics and other treatments have failed. When he was a child in Zimbabwe, Murandu’s father utilized sugar to heal wounds and decrease the pain associated with them.
During the study, 35 patients receiving the sugar treatment saw their conditions improve without suffering any adverse reactions. Only 16 patients who did not get the sugar treatment showed signs of recovery. Sugar’s healing properties seems to stem from its ability to draw water from a wound into a dressing. In order to survive, bacteria requires water. In addition to providing a suitable clean environment for angiogenesis to occur, sugar can reduce odors from wounds.
While sugar is a viable option for healing cuts and scrapes, honey may be an even more effective sweet treatment alternative. The ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans, and Assyrians employed honey to heal various types of wounds. In World War I, the Russians used honey to thwart wound infections and to accelerate healing. An outgrowth of flower nectar and the upper aero-digestive tract of the honey bee, honey possesses an extremely complex chemical composition. The chemical makeup of honey differs depending on the botanical source. This common breakfast treat is believed to have an inhibitory effect on numerous types of bacteria and some species of fungi and viruses.
Besides its ability to draw water out of a wound, the acidity of honey boosts its antibacterial properties. The amino acids, vitamins, and trace elements contained in honey are thought to have a direct nutrient effect on regenerating tissues. The osmotic outflow occurring after the application of honey helps to lift dirt and debris from a wound. This results in a non-sticky dressing that isn’t typically painful to remove.
Mphande AN, Killowe C, Phalira S, Jones HW, and Harrison WJ instigated a research study where patients with open or infected wounds were treated with either sugar or honey dressings. The median rate of healing during the first two weeks of the study was 2.2 cm for the sugar group and 3.8 cm for the honey group. At the three week mark, 86 percent of participants given the honey treatment didn’t experience pain during dressing changes compared to 72 percent of those treated with sugar.
To reap the benefits of a sweet natural remedy for a cut or scrape, make a paste using honey or filtered water and sugar. Apply the substance of choice to your wound before covering it with a sterile gauze or Band-Aid. To prevent the gauze from fastening to the wound, change the dressing multiple times throughout the day.
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