Back in April, I was posting about the different types of honey. My main interest was in the great taste and the natural healing powers of the different varieties. I've been using honey for a long time - adding it to my beverages and cereals, and just taking a little bit by the spoonful when I'm not feeling well. Honey is a great throat soother and, because of the sarcoidosis, I tend to cough. Sometimes, I cough so much that I get hoarse, and all my life I've been prone to laryngitis. Honey has become a regular part of my natural medicine cabinet.
In the past several weeks, I've broken out with a rash. It started like a minor dry-skin problem but it was isolated to small sections on both ankles and in minute patches on my palms and fingers. My hands healed rapidly and the rash never even really developed past the minor stage. I suspected I was suffering from a lack of iodine and, since I have some J. Crowe's, I took a few drops every day. The dry spots on my hands healed up, but my ankles got worse. I stopped taking the iodine and contacted my doctor. It's possible that my meds (chemo and an infusion treatment) may be the cause, so I have an appointment coming up to check on that. In the meantime, I tried using a hydro-cortisone cream. Moisture is not my problem, though, and the cream wasn't helping much.
I know that doctors must hate patients who go all renegade with their own healthcare and, because I trust my specialist more than he will ever know, I usually don't do anything without checking with him first. That rash was driving my nuts though! It is dry and ugly and it was starting to itch. Of course, you know me...
I woke up last night because the rash was feeling itchy. I went straight to my natural medicine shelf. I still don't have any of the whole manuka honey, but I do have an antioxidant honey blend that has some manuka in it. ----->>>>>>>>>>
This is what the rash looked like yesterday (and this doesn't even show how scaly and dry it was!)
This is how I dressed it after applying a good dollop of honey with a Q tip:
This is what the rash looked like once I washed off the honey with a warm wet towel:
To be fair, the lighting and color from the camera seems better, but the difference really is this startling. Best of all, the itch is gone. I am probably never going to be able to afford a decent amount of Manuka honey, but that might be all right. I'm hearing more and more about Scottish heather honey. Because the price is affordable ($17/12-oz jar), I've ordered some from Amazon using my saved up reward points. Another bonus: a high iron content in the heather honey.
For now, I'm just excited about how the honey blend I used has helped with this rash. I can't wait to tell my doctor. Well, I can kind of wait because I know he'll probably give me one of those looks!
You have to admit that this is pretty impressive. It proves to me what I've heard for years - from my mother and all those old ladies from my youth. Honey can be a natural healing agent.
Like I said, it's not often that I can come follow up with such dramatic results, but honey really, truly did do the trick for me. I still need to see what caused this, but I'm hoping that, until I see the doc, the honey continues soothing the itch and moisturizing the dry patches.
I'm not recommending that anyone substitute honey for medical care - I'm certainly not doing so. I just wanted to share my personal experience in this one instance. By the way, I did double check some references once more before I actually applied the honey to the rash on my foot. I found some sources that back up what my mama taught me about honey and healing:
- This, from a wound care journal, about using honey in dressing wounds, and
- an overview of honey uses from Web MD (yeah, yeah, yeah...).
- Some background about the use of honey in healing.
- Here is more objective (and scholarly) info on the subject from the NIH Library of Medicine.