Back in January of ’09 I read this great little tidbit in the Midwifery Today E-News:
Raw honey is a great remedy for first-degree [perineal] tears. Honey’s thick consistency forms a barrier defending the wound from outside infections. The moistness allows skin cells to grow without creating a scar, even if a scab has already formed. Meanwhile, the sugars extract dirt and moisture from the wound, which helps prevent bacteria from growing, while the acidity of honey also slows or prevents the growth of many bacteria. An enzyme that bees add to honey reacts with the wound’s fluids and breaks down into hydrogen peroxide, a disinfectant. Honey also acts as an anti-inflammatory and pain killer and prevents bandages from sticking to wounds. Laboratory studies have shown that honey has significant antibacterial qualities. Significant clinical observations have demonstrated the effectiveness of honey as a wound healing agent. Glucose converted into hyaluronic acid at the wound surface forms an extracellular matrix that encourages wound healing. Honey is also considered antimicrobial.
Excerpted from “Herbs for Postpartum Perineum Care: Part I,” The Birthkit, Issue 46 Order the back issue
It’s my hope that I’ll never need to try it out (’cause I’m NOT going to tear ever again), but I thought it might be helpful to someone out there. I sure could have used this information after my first two births!