Slowly healing cuts - does honey offer some help

The effect of CLL on the healing of wounds is documented on many sites. I know from my own experience that cuts are now take several times longer to heal and seem to scar more than prior to having CLL.

I have seen a lot of hype about rediscovery of honey as an anti bacterial and anti microbial that helps hasten up healing. Commonly used pre war before antibiotics came along. So I was pleasantly surprised to be invited on a trial testing the efficacy of medical quality honey ManukaPharm 12+ on wound healing (available online) . The honey will be used on one of the two wounds from recent surgery for this trial.

Manuka is being researched heavily in New Zealand where most of it is produced. Clearly this remedy is of more interest to the honey producers than big pharma. Though this honey is pricey compared to table honey it is cheap compared to a lot of medication

Hopefully this will show some improvement in the healing scaring on the wound treated with honey and may give us something to help ourselves with when we get cuts and scratches. Companies are developing patches to make the process cleaner but at a big value added I am sure.

Will post follow up when the trial is completed

Last edited by

10 Replies

  • Manuka honey, made in New Zealand and Australia, does have antibacterial properties, but according to the Wikipedia article, has only proven to work in vitro and more testing on patients is needed. So thanks for filling in the gaps!

    Coincidentally, several years before my diagnosis, I noticed I had a much slower healing lower leg wound than normal - it wasn't even a deep cut. I've previously wondered if this was due to my SLL, as after diagnosis, my doctor turned up an ignored regular blood test from that same year that showed lower than normal neutrophils. It was rapidly falling neutrophils several years later that led to my diagnosis. Other wounds have taken longer to heal and scarred more than usual too, more so than I would expect due to ageing, so it was interesting to hear your comment that my observation is not unusual.

    Wishing you sweet success on your trial!


  • NHS are running quite a few trials in England for wounds, burns and mesa so looks like going beyond the cultures - which a lot of the New Zealand studies have been till recently. Good that formal trials are starting

    in the field.

  • Really interesting trial keep us posted.

    You know Bears like honey check out my honey trail :-)

    As a keen gardener and being close to Cardiff University hospital where much honey research is under way I have posted a thread on this at you may be interested in. Here are some of the highlights and updates on his research.

    3 Aug 2011 1:48 PM


    Perhaps my gardening exploits don't just provide healthy exercise, sunlight and copious quantities of healthy fruit and veg. Perhaps by helping the humble honey bee I could be furthering the animal that may hold the secret to defeating drug resistant bacterial strains? Something that scares me more than CLL itself!!!

    Thinking of honey and it's potential for us, I've plucked this from the Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University. Where they are researching components of honey and it's application in assisting the fight against infection.

    "In addition to identifying phyto-chemicals capable of combating human pathogens we will also seek to identify plants which increase the natural resistance of bees to pathogens such as the Varroa mite"

    If they identify a plant that helps the bee against the Varroa mite, perhaps if we all planted it in our garden, the bees would come back?


    3 Aug 2011 3:36 PM

    As perhaps our greatest day to day effect of CLL is our compromised immunity, these articles have peaked my interest. As even with a healthy immunity many fear hospital admission, this gives hope,

    We have known of honey's antiseptic properties for centuries, it looks like it may become important again as pathogens become more drug resistant.




    "Beekeepers are being asked to send scientists a sample of their honey as they search for a new weapon in the fight against superbugs – like MRSA and Clostridium difficile. A new study from researchers in Wales has found that bees could play a vital role in fighting drug-resistant superbugs.


    "Manuka honey could be used to combat some of the most hard-to-treat infections that are resistant to powerful antibiotics, scientists say."

    "Lab experiments show it can clear bacteria found in festering wounds and contaminated hospital surfaces.

    It works by breaking down the defences bacteria use against antibiotics, making it useful in treating superbug infections such as MRSA."

    Also more at;


    "A type of honey used for centuries to treat wounds may be the ultimate weapon against drug resistant bacteria, research suggests."

    Prof Cooper said the research may increase the clinical use of manuka honey as doctors are faced with increasingly resistant microbes.

    “We need innovative and effective ways of controlling wound infections that are unlikely to contribute to increased antimicrobial resistance,” she said. “We have already demonstrated that manuka honey is not likely to select for honey-resistant bacteria.”

    1 May 2012 10:33 AM

    The BBC updates on the work in Cardiff researching honey for combating treatment resistant strains of bacteria. Tasty work, I love the honey map of my little Principality.

    A simple warning made me smile ( : not to try the same at home with honey bought from the supermarket. "Not only is it messy, it wouldn't be advisable. We have been using medical grade honey, not the stuff you buy in shops."


    Bee keepers in mid and north Wales are being urged to help with research into the healing properties of honey as scientists look to counter MRSA.

    Cardiff University and the National Botanic Garden of Wales launched the hunt last summer for honeys which can counteract bacteria.

    They have created a honey map of Wales, pinpointing where the jars are coming from but they want to fill the gaps.

    Bee keepers in south Wales and other parts of the UK are taking part.

    Honey's anti-bacterial properties have been known since ancient times and it is believed it was used by both the ancient Greeks and Egyptians.

    Since last summer's appeal, scientists at Cardiff University's school of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences have been analysing honey sent in from across the UK.

    They are checking for honey with the potential to counter hospital acquired infections MRSA and Clostridium Difficile.

    Then the National Botanic Garden in Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire, profiles the DNA of the most powerful honeys, checking for the plants which contributed.

    This could allow scientists to create new treatments.

    Prof Les Baillie of Cardiff University said: "We have had a very enthusiastic response to our honey appeal, with jars coming in from as far afield as the Isle of Wight.

    "We've had some 200 samples sent in, 60 of them from Wales, and we have some very promising candidates for further research.

    The research team has drawn up a honey map of Wales

    "We now want to build up our picture of what's happening in Wales, and for that we need more honey from the middle and the north of country."


    Last year, scientists said Manuka honey could be used to combat some of the most hard-to-treat infections that are resistant to powerful antibiotics.

    Lab experiments show it can clear bacteria found in festering wounds and contaminated hospital surfaces.

    It works by breaking down the defences bacteria use against antibiotics, making it useful in treating super bug infections such as MRSA.

    Cardiff University has asked any bee keepers keen to contribute to the project in Wales, to send a 200g pot with their address, postcode and details of the plants their bees feed on to Jenny Hawkins, Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University, Redwood Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB.

    MMMmnnn A honey trail. :-)

    1 May 2012 1:30 PM

    It’s still raining I guess I couldn't help it once I got a taste I had to have some more., Here is an up-to-date European research study using branded Medihoney to investigate wound healing reviewed in US Medical news. I'm full up now ( : Just found it interesting.


    April 30, 2012 — Floral honey as a secondary dressing can promote healing, minimize slough and necrosis, and reduce the affected area of many types of wounds, according to a prospective observational study published online April 12 in International Wound Journal.



    “In recent years, the treatment of wounds with honey has received an increasing amount of attention from healthcare professionals in Germany and Austria. We conducted a prospective observational multicentre study using Medihoney™ dressings in 10 hospitals – nine in Germany and one in Austria. Wound-associated parameters were monitored systematically at least three times in all patients. Data derived from the treatment of 121 wounds of various aetiologies over a period of 2 years were analysed. Almost half of the patients were younger than 18 years old, and 32% of the study population was oncology patients. Overall, wound size decreased significantly during the study period and many wounds healed after relatively short time periods. Similarly, perceived pain levels decreased significantly, and the wounds showed noticeably less slough/necrosis. In general, our findings show honey to be an effective and feasible treatment option for professional wound care. In addition, our study showed a relationship between pain and slough/necrosis at the time of recruitment and during wound healing. Future comparative trials are still needed to evaluate the extent to which the positive observations made in this and other studies can definitely be attributed to the effects of honey in wound care.”

  • Certainly an interesting topic - sorry I had missed your earlier post - Don't start with the honey for a few days - once the steristrips come off. The treatment goes on for 6 weeks - applying honey twice a day to one wound and vaseline 4 times a day to both wounds - will keep you posted.

  • I hope they all heal quickly.

    I just noticed I had posted some about honey research perhaps too soon :-)

    I have a memory like a sieve. :-)

  • All this going on in my backyard and without this site I would know nothing.

    Don't suppose if I ate lots of the right honey it would stop my daily septic spot :-)

    Thought not :-( Off to follow all the links now. Thank you for all the info.


  • One caveat... In CLL patients who are neutropenic... the consumption of Raw or non-heat treated honey; honey in the comb, is NOT recommended. No data on topical use in CLL.

  • Honey works well on cold sores! If you feel one coming, put a bit of honey on the area. In my experience, it gets rid of it before it has a chance to develop.

  • Interesting. I was in the pharmacy yesterday when a woman asked for a honey product for wounds. When I asked about it she told me that she works for a wound specialist, so she has seen it work. I wish I had known about it when my mother had problems with getting wounds to heal. I will have to take a more careful look at the label next time I'm there.

  • While looking for Some follow up on local honey and Cardiff work researching compounds it contains that may be used in the fight against MRSA I found this interesting late 2012 BBC video about honey produced in a garden in Tywyn, Gwynedd, that has properties that can kill bacteria found in MRSA.

    Jenny Hawkins is the Cardiff University researcher investigating the apothecary bee as a tool for drug discovery. Jenny Gave an update in Spring 2014 to beekeepers who have been supplying local samples

    That; "as a result the map of Wales showing where her samples came from now had a much healthier mid-section. " That collection should be completed by the end of 2014. "the next step is to use chemical analysis to identify the active compounds in the honey samples using solvent extraction techniques and mass spectroscopy. There is also a lot of pollen analysis to do comparing DNA extracted from the honey with the national DNA database (Barcode Cymru, Bangor University and the National Botanical Gardens)."

    More on the joint project between the Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University and the National Botanical Gardens of Wales. Sponsored by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS).

    "DNA profiling will then be carried out in order to identify the plants which contributed to the most powerful honeys. I will see which honeys have the best results against infectious diseases that affect humans and bees and use DNA bar-coding to identify the plants making the honey. This will be done using a DNA-based identification method developed by the National Botanic Garden. The DNA-based method is a pioneering technique which has been made possible due to the recent developments of the The Barcode Wales project. The Barcode Wales project has produced a template DNA barcode for each of the 1143 flowering plants in Wales which is used as a worldwide standard database. Studying the composition and the origin of honey is an exciting area of research, which will be one of the first applications that makes use of this fantastic resource. Once the most potent honeys have been identified in Cardiff I will then investigate the plants found in them. This will allow the identification of the source of the antibacterial properties.

    Another focus of the research is to try to find honeys with plant constituents that could help bees to resist pests such as the Varroa mite, which has ravaged the UK bee population, and American foulbrood, a destructive infectious disease that attacks bee larvae throughout the world."

    Will keep my eyes peeled for updates

    More on Cardiff work investigating Manuka honey and C difficile

    "C. difficile is appreciably susceptible to Manuka honey and this may offer an effective way of treating infections caused by the organism."


You may also like...