Paper cuts : Try honey for faster healing

It may be a good idea to keep honey in the medicine cabinet next to the bandages and painkillers, new research suggests, as the sweet substance appears to help cuts and burns heal more quickly.

In a review of 19 studies that examined the effect of honey on cuts and minor burns, researchers from New Zealand found that it improved healing by an average of four days compared to the application of gauze or film dressings.

"We treating these results with caution, but it looks like honey can help speed up healing in some burns," lead researcher Dr. Andrew Jull of the University of Auckland said in a statement.

Honey has been used for centuries to treat wounds and recent research has confirmed that it may speed up the healing process.

Studies have also found that:
  • Honey-infused bandages help burns heal more effectively than conventional bandages.
  • Honey may be more effective at treating a cough than some conventional cough syrups.
Despite the findings, researchers are still unclear about how honey helps cuts and burns. They speculate that it may have antibacterial properties that prevent infections, which can slow the healing process.

It may also be that honey helps the body remove dead tissue, thereby allowing new, healthy tissue to grow.
The researchers cautioned against using honey to treat more serious burns and abrasions, as the review found that honey had little or no effect on healing deep cuts, surgical wounds or leg ulcers.