A Great Travellers First Aid Resource

An African safari, trekking in the Himalayas, visiting the beaches of Thailand, snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, or climbing/mountain biking in the Alps are some of the wonderful adventurous travel options we have these days.

When you’re in the middle of your dream holiday, far from home, a smile on your face, fresh air on your checks, the last thing you want is to have it interrupted by some unfortunate incident. An unwanted cut, gash, or graze, an unexpected bite from an animal, or anything else that may require on-the-go first aid can put a crimp on that holiday. Being prepared and having the ability to provide appropriate care could make a difference to the remainder of your trip.

In remote locations, where the risk of infection from what caused your cut or graze is higher, and where clean water and the medications you’d expect at home are not always readily available, honey may be your answer. Yes, honey, that sticky stuff you are accustomed to having on your toast. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians used honey to treat wounds. Honey contains some antibacterial properties from the hydrogen peroxide that comes from it. This means you can apply honey as an antiseptic/ antibacterial "cream" for wounds, grazes, cuts. The more raw and natural the honey is, the better. Generally, local honey is less processed; raw honey more available.

An additional benefit is that the layer of honey over the wound creates a barrier that helps prevent infection. When journeying, you are more exposed to infection risks – dirty water, germs your body is not accustomed to. When you find yourself without a clean sterile bandage, your risk of infection from other material – a strip of cloth, for example – is reduced, as a good layer of honey can stop that material from having direct contact with the wound.

Active Manuka Honey from New Zealand has been proven to have extra antibacterial properties compared to other honeys, which makes it a useful wound treatment. Hospitals around the world apply this honey to treat many types of wounds, even burns. Academic research supports its ability to help treat difficult to heal wounds, make infected wounds sterile, and reduce the amount of scarring. A recent Los Angeles Times story shows it being used to treat burns on children in Iraq.

The proper Active Manuka Honey is available in a sterilised form, in a tube that is easy to apply and convenient for including in your first aid supplies. Being the size of a tube of toothpaste, it easily fits into your pack. Called Manukacare 18+ in the United Kingdom, it is available from The New Zealand Honey Shop and a growing number of health food type shops.

Safe travels.

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