I’m all about modern medicine, give me a magic pill that will take away my headache, my depression or my ear infection, and I’ll take it. From the ages of 14-20 I wanted to be an X-Ray tech. The medical field fascinates me. Mixing chemicals and making cures for stuff is just so cool.
My friend Heather, on the other hand, is all about natural remedies for things, and is quick to tell me all the harmful things medicine is doing to me while it does the good thing I want it to do. Don’t get me wrong, she’ll take medicine if she needs to, but she’d rather use a natural remedy. She gave me an herbalist cookbook recently that I need to find time to read.
I think the thing I have heard her talk about most is honey. The medicinal and restorative properties of raw honey. Scraped knee? Put honey on it. Infected hamster bite? Put honey on it. Digestive issues? Eat some honey. I will admit I was skeptical. But Heather is not one to lie just to be right or prove a point.
Last week I started developing a stye- a bacterial infection in the edge of the eyelid. They’re really irritating, and they hurt if they get bad. I’ve gotten them before, but it’s been several years. I remembered something an old boss told me. If you rub a gold ring on a stye, it takes the pain away and it heals faster. I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking I’m crazy. I was skeptical too. But this old boss actually gave me her wedding ring (and let me tell you, that thing was expensive and had some DIA. MONDS. in it), told me to hold it in my hand to get it warmed to body temperature, and rub it on my eye. She then let me keep it in my office for two days (she took it back at night) so I could rub it on my eye whenever it hurt. And it worked. No one was more surprised than I was.
Not having access to a gold ring anymore, I called Heather to see if honey would help it. She said that honey is a natural antibacterial that is good for infections, so I should try it. Thankfully the stye didn’t fully develop, so I didn’t need to go home and stick honey on my eye.
Fast forward to yesterday. I got a nasty sunburn over the weekend, and everyone knows that aloe is good for sunburn. I’ve got at least two bottles of it floating around my bedroom/bathroom, and so I slathered it on over the weekend. I find that it dries my skin out, but I needed the soothing that aloe brings. The burn is particularly bad on my nose, forehead, and a small patch on my shoulder blade where I apparently missed with the sunblock, as the rest of my back is not burned. (My nose and forehead are redder than in the pic, as they started peeling already)
I looked up raw honey on the internets, and found that yes, honey is good for burns, and raw skin. Check, and check. Have both of those. So I went out, bought a jar of raw honey, and slathered it all over my face during Dancing with the Stars. It was quite sticky, but felt pretty good. It soothed the rawness. After I showered and rinsed it all off my face before bed, I contemplated the bottle of aloe gel on the counter, thinking I could rub that in for some added soothing overnight. So I dabbed some onto my forehead.
Almost immediately it started burning, and white hot pain shot behind my eyes. Surely this was not right, aloe is supposed to cool. But the pain just kept getting more intense, to the point where I was actually ow, Ow. OW!-ing out loud. I raced back into the shower and rinsed it away. WTF? So yeah. Aloe Vera is good for sunburns. Aloe Vera gel… I looked at the ingredients and saw the top three were Water, Aloe juice, and ALCOHOL. Bad, BAD I say!
I immediately pitched both bottles in the trash. No wonder it had soothed but felt drying. It fucking has ALCOHOL in it. I’d like to say I put more honey on it, but I wanted to go to bed, and honey is not so conducive to that, so, me and my love of chemical medicine slapped some neosporin all over it and called it a night.
It’s still raw and angry looking, and has the power to stop people in their tracks, but it’s less red than it was yesterday. It’s less dry. I put some honey on my nose on the way to work this morning, and washed it off when I got here. But the most amazing part? It doesn’t hurt. At all.