Infection-fighting goo…

It’s hard to explain what happened without actually showing you a photo of my finger (which I don’t have anyway, since, at the time, I wasn’t thinking of documenting this, er, event!), but I will do my best: in winter, particularly when it gets really really cold, what I can only describe as small slits form sometimes between the fingernail and the skin on the top of my fingers. And these tiny cuts tend to get infected if I ignore them. Aggravating!

As usual, I completely ignored the tiny slit that formed on my right index finger about two weeks (?) ago…didn’t disinfect it, didn’t put a bandage on it, blablabla. And yes, to make a long story short, more or less a week ago it got infected. It happened by degrees so I didn’t notice until the top of my finger was really red and throbbing. At that point, feeling extremely stupid, I disinfected it (Italian home remedies, such as dipping your finger in warm water and salt, are usually effective) and covered it with an antibiotic ointment, which is also usually effective. But after a few days it still hurt like mad. The pain didn’t stop me from my everyday activities, including typing, but whenever my bandaged finger hit the keyboard or any kind of surface, OUCHHH! Uffa.

On Thursday I went to see my family doctor, mainly to give him a few Xmas gifties…while I was there, I took the bandage off my finger and asked him to have a look. He stated the obvious “well, you have a nicely infected finger, there. Do this, do that, but if nothing works, and it still hurts tomorrow, you should begin taking an antibiotic.” He wrote me a prescription. (Oh, incidentally, my doctor’s “do this, do thats” referred to the home remedies that I had already tried, see above, and that hadn’t worked.) Well, you can’t imagine how annoyed I was at myself…I hate going on antibiotics (but of course I will if I must!), especially for something so minor.

As soon as I got home, though, a thought popped into my head. Remember my post on Manuka honey =September 6 2009)?

Ah wait, before I continue, I solemnly swear (and I will swear on anything you want, even my cats!) that I am not being paid even half a cent by a Manuka honey manufacturer or anyone else, for that matter. I say this because, had this happened to someone else, I myself would have a hard time believing it…!

In a nutshell, I remembered that, among other things, Manuka honey is used to heal wounds. And I also remembered a Science Daily article that I read back in September (see below). So I figured, hey, before taking an antibiotic, why don’t I try some Manuka? As you know, I am always (well, almost always!) ready to experiment with something non-toxic as long as it has solid scientific backing

So before going to bed on Thursday night I smeared a bit of raw Manuka honey (15+) on the top of my finger and bandaged it. The following morning my finger was not as red (Stefano is my witness) and didn’t hurt as much. And it also didn’t hurt as much to type. Even I was surprised. Needless to say, I didn’t go fill my antibiotic prescription…

I have applied Manuka honey five times since Thursday evening (when I am at home, of course, I take off the bandage and wipe off the honey so my slit can get some air…). This morning I am totally pain-free. The cut is healing, and my finger no longer throbs or looks red and puffy. But mainly, as I said, the pain is gone. I can type…no pain…no wincing…yaaaay.

This September 10th Science Daily article,, reports on a study showing that Manuka honey inhibits MRSA (= Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which is a HUGE problem now in hospitals. It particularly affects people with weakened immune systems (aha!) and older folks. You can find a million websites with loads of info on MRSA…I randomly chose WebMD:

Now, instead of administering different types of antibiotics to combat MRSA and other infections (incidentally, the above link tells us that There is also emerging antibiotic resistance being seen with some of these medications as well, so the battle between resistant bacteria strains and humans will probably rage on forever…), wouldn’t it be absolutely WONDERFUL if hospitals began to treat MRSA-infected patients with Manuka honey? The Manuka remedy is cheap, easy, non-toxic…and not as sticky as you would think! By the way, I would be very curious to know if anyone else out there has tried this infection-fighting goo, too! Thanks.

Well, it’s time for me to go start washing the veggies that we bought yesterday at a farmer’s market for an anti-myeloma soup (yep, with turmeric, rosemary and ginger, too). And now, yippee, I don’t have to be scared of any more bacteria getting into my cut. Fabulous…

P.S. By the way, I took the current blog banner photo yesterday from Piazzale Michelangelo, which overlooks Florence. What a sight…Florence covered in snow. Gorgeous beyond words…


  1. Great post. Will have to get some Manuka honey for possible future use. Cold weather as you probably know dries out our skin. When we warm our homes the inside air becomes drier and takes moisture from our skin causing the cracks. One preventive is to use vaseline or an antibiotic ointment and a baidaid overnight at the first sign of a crack. Merry Christmas.

  2. Margaret, This is such fantastic news! Good for you for trying such a wonderful natural treatment, glad those gray cells helped you to remember your posting. In Washington State as well as all over our nation MRSA is a huge concern, I am going to pass on this info to everyone I know. Have a very Merry Christmas!! p.s. Love the snow photo of Florence

  3. Margaret,

    My father-in-law was in a terrible car accident 2 years ago, and ended up w/a severe MRSA infection in the hospital. His daughter had heard about Manuca honey, got permission to use it on him, and it went away (eventually). She also used a type of garlic oil sold in England (she had to import it) that has wonderful curative powers. It helped cure the MRSA in his lungs! There is a lot of natural stuff out there that works! My sister-in-law does intensive research on it…and probably saved her father’s life as a result.

  4. Manuka honey is part of my medicine cabinet. Great for infections in small cuts and things – exactly what you used it for.

    Read something recently about Omega3 (taken orally to improve the 3:6 ratio) helping prevent and cure dry cracked heels. Wonder if it does the same for dry cracked fingers?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *