Sweet Medicine

I took offense the first time I heard it.  It could only have been, of course, an old wives’ tale, and as my mother and I had been laughing the old wives to scorn for years, I couldn’t take it seriously.

Then my young son leaned into a very hot pot at the edge of the stove, thereby procuring for himself a small burn on his arm that refused to heal, regardless of the many applications of “burn ointment” we had bought from the store.  This particular ointment, though boasting of its aloe vera content, was actually just a chemical cocktail with aloe vera added for the labeling.  But, though it wasn’t hastening healing, without it my son remained in terrible pain.

Earlier that year, as we traveled to a honey farm to replenish our supply of raw honey, the bee keeper had told us how effective he had found raw honey for healing burns and other kinds of wounds.  “You put it directly on the wound,” he told us, “and it breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and other healing compounds.  Plus, it is filled with a number of beneficial microbes.  There’s nothing like it!”  While telling us all this, his face glowed with an enthusiasm that was difficult to ignore or forget.

Soon after we had heard about the healing effects of honey from the bee keeper, I read a magazine article by a woman named Rebekah Pearl Anast in which she described how she and her husband had used raw honey to treat a wound on his leg that hadn’t responded well to other treatments.  Having read previous articles by Mrs. Anast on natural healing, I had found her to be a very reliable source of much good information.

So, when we had first started treating my son’s burn with the aloe vera chemical cocktail, I mentioned the raw honey treatment to my husband, who, as I had done earlier, scoffed at it.  “It will never work,” he said immediately.  Or something to that effect.

But days later, after applying the processed aloe vera ointment several times each day, the children and I noticed that not a lot had been happening.  As we were changing the bandages on the burn, which was about 1/8 inch across and a bit over an inch long, I was dismayed to find that a healing I expected to have completed itself by this time had hardly even begun.  I was beginning to get desperate.

I felt caught in a trap between pleasing my husband and trying to heal my son.  I knew that my husband had only objected to the honey treatment because he was convinced that it wouldn’t work.  He didn’t want our son to be worried with a wound that wouldn’t heal.  But that was exactly what we had now.

Nervously, I told the children that whereas I didn’t want to dishonor their father, I was becoming very concerned about how little healing we had seen in Damien’s painful wound over the course of a week’s treatment.  Maybe, I told them, we could try a little of the honey during the day, while their dad was at work.  Then when he came home, we could revert to the burn treatment we had bought at the store.  If the honey treatment didn’t work, we would know it pretty soon.

We cautiously applied a thin layer of raw honey mixed with a little olive oil (as mentioned in the book Comfort for the Burned and Wounded by John W. Keim) directly onto Damien’s wound, then applied clean bandages, praying that if this treatment didn’t work, that God would show us something else. Soon.  Meantime, we prayed and said nothing.

By the end of the second day, the change was obvious:  in the mornings when we removed the bandages from the aloe vera ointment, not much had happened.  But in the evenings, as we removed the bandages from the honey treatment, healing was moving right along.

It was time to discard the pre-packaged burn ointment and use the honey exclusively.  As my husband and I were getting ready to change the bandages before putting Damien to bed, I confessed the change in our treatment plan.

The wound spoke for itself.  After seeing for himself how quickly the wound was healing after we started using the raw honey and oil we mixed ourselves, my husband was converted.  We could now continue the honey treatment with his blessing.  What a relief!

In a few short days, using the honey and oil mixture topically on the wound, we found that the healing we had been praying and longing for had finally happened.  As an added bonus, there was no scar.  To this day, although I can point to the general location on Damien’s arm where he burned himself, I cannot find it exactly because all the skin looks the same.

If it wasn’t for the pain and distress our family suffered from Damien’s burn, we could almost believe that it had never happened.  Such is the power of the wonderful substance that God provided for us from the very beginning of the world.  Before we even came into our existence and discovered wounds and pain, He had already made plans for our healing.

Psalm 103:3  says that God is continually forgiving our sins and healing our diseases.

But I think that He waits for us to ask for His help.  When you are sick or distressed, who will you turn to for help?

Praying for your healing,


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2 Responses to Sweet Medicine

  1. Jim Groff says:

    Thanks for “liking” my comment on the Beautybeyondbones post! I appreciate it.
    Jim Groff

  2. gwennonr says:

    It was truly my pleasure. It is always a joy to read thoughtful words written by engaged, thinking Christians, who are not always easy to find. Thank God for Caralyn and people like her!

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