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Using Honey to Treat Psoriasis and Eczema at Home

| April 10, 2012 | 14 Comments More

I have for a few years used honey in making my own topical treatments for skin, and lately I came across an old study from 2003 published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine (2003:11;226–34) investigating the use of topical application of a combination of honey, olive oil, and beeswax for the treatment of eczema and psoriasis. Even though the study is older, the results are very applicable today. Besides using it myself, I’ve seen many people in different forums mention using honey to treat psoriasis and even LS. Honey has long been known to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and can lead to faster wound healing. Olive oil also has antibacterial properties and can inhibit inflammation. I remember my grandmother using olive oil for all her skin care, and she had amazingly good skin even when older. Olive oil and honey both contain flavonoids that help protect cells and inhibit histamine based allergic reactions. Beeswax has anti-inflammatory properties as well and is often included in treatments for burns and other skin conditions.

This study asked 21 people with eczema and 18 people with psoriasis to try out the topical mixture of honey, olive oil and beeswax. Approximately half of the participants in each group had been using topical steroid creams before the study. Those who used steroid creams, continued to use them through the study, applying a combination of the honey mix and the steroid cream to one side, and vaseline (eczema patients) or paraffin (psoriasis patients) and steroid cream to the other side of the body for three times per day for 2-3 weeks. The other half only applied the honey mix on one side and vaseline/paraffin on the other side.

Everyone was assessed for signs of relative symptoms such as scaling, itchiness, redness, skin thickening and oozing. Within the group of eczema patients without steroid treatments, 80% had a significant improvement in skin symptoms using the honey mix. They reported significant improvements in itching, scaling, and oozing compared to the side with just the vaseline.  Almost 50% of the eczema patients that had used steroid creams reported a significant reductions in steroid doses and improved skin. 63% of the participants with psoriasis who were not using steroid cream reported a significant improvement, and steroid doses were reduced by up to 75% in 50% of the patients who had been using steroid creams, with no deterioration in symptoms.

So strong support for using honey as a topical treatment. If you want to try it at home, here’s a good recipe.

RECIPE:

Combine equal parts of cold pressed olive oil, raw unprocessed honey and beeswax. Mix them together in small quantities at a time, no more than a few tablespoons of each at a time. Melt the beeswax in s small pan over low heat, stirring until melted. Remove it from heat and in a clean bowl start mixing the ingridients. Add the beeswax, then mix in the honey, and then mix in olive oil until blended, repeating the process until you have as much as you want to make. At the end you can also add a few drops of vitamin E oil (buy in gel cap form and open the gel cap) to help with storage. While the mix is still warm, pour it into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. It should stay good for up to 3 months.

 

 

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Category: Eczema, Home Remedy Recipes, Psoriasis, Treating Your Skin

Comments (14)

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  1. hello, i would like to know the best products to make the mixture ( olive oil, honey, and beeswax ) and where to buy these products. thank you.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I am anxious to try this on my 1yr old daughter who is suffering from eczema. I am wondering though how to you actually apply it? I tried to make it and the honey separated from the beeswax in the refrigerator (maybe I didn’t mix it well enough?) so the bottom layer is gooey honey and the top is hard beeswax.

    • Mari says:

      Hi, it sounds like it might have been a mixing issue.. you have to add small amounts at a time and mix each time thoroughly and keep mixing until everything is completely combined. If you add too much of beeswax at a time it is really hard to mix together. Also, make sure beeswax doesn’t cool and start to solidify before you are finished mixing, if it seems to be getting too solid just heat it a little bit. Also, if any water made it into the mix for some reason, that would cause it to separate in the fridge. Make sure all the utensils you use are clean and dry. It should have a consistency of a gooey lotion, it does feel quite oily. If you feel it is too thick, decrease the amount of beeswax a little. Good luck!

      • Jennifer says:

        Thank you! I tried again (twice) and finally got all the wax to melt in with the honey and oil. It isn’t perfect but I am slowly getting the hang of it. I am just curious, I haven’t found an answer anywhere so wondered if you know, why does the mixture need to be kept in the refrigerator? Thanks again for your reply!!

        • Mari says:

          It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but it will stay good longer. If you keep it at room temperature, it will only stay good couple of weeks at the most, and you have to be really careful not to introduce any bacteria into it, so make sure you don’t touch the stored lotion with your finger, rather use a pump bottle or a spoon or a spatula. So if you make a bigger patch you should store most of it in an airtight container in the fridge, and have only enough to last about a week out in room temperature. Then just add (after cleaning the bottle or jar) from the fridge container until the whole patch is used up. It’s definitely easier to apply at room temperature.

          • Jennifer says:

            Thanks so much! I still can’t get to consistency right (small little bits of beeswax seem to be my nemesis) BUT the mixture I am able to get on my daughter is working SO WELL! I can’t believe the success we are having and how quickly it is working. I am one happy momma to not have to use the steroids / soap / lotion the derma & pediatrician wanted us to use. We’ve been using all natural products from day one on my daughter and both Drs said that is the problem (!) but I wasn’t falling for that and I am SO glad I didn’t. We are using this mixture three times a day and coconut oil after her evening bath, her facial redness literally started fading after the second application and the largest patches on her body are almost not even noticeable after only 3 days of applications. Enough babbling.
            But THANK YOU so much for your patience with my questions, I really appreciate your help so very much!!

            • Mari says:

              So glad it’s working for your daughter! You can also try different kind of beeswax, I like the ones that are sold in small pellets, they are really easy to melt and mix.

              • Roxann says:

                Thanks for the mixture. Mari, What is the application process. How long do you keep it on for? What temperature of water should I use to wash it off?

  3. Kathy says:

    Did you try this on LS? If so , once or twice a day?

  4. Zahra says:

    Hi Mari,
    I also came across this study many months ago and tried it on my them 10 months old daughter, who still has sever eczema. It worked wonders! It stopped her itching, inflammation and gave her a beautiful moist and smooth skin.

    I ordered a batch of beeswax from my local pharmacist after informing him of this study. Got both cold-pressed and raw honey and oilve oil. Trouble is once that batch of 500g of beeswax ran out I have not been able to get the consistency correct.
    As the lady above mentioned, its all ‘gooey’ at the bottom, separated away from the layer of beeswax at the top, with lumps of beeswax. This particular mixture is unfortunately ruining her skin. The worst episode was when I acquired natural and raw beexwax from a honey shop that almost destroyed my daughter’s skin within 2 days of application, forming burnt like patches.

    Consequently, I stopped with the natural remedies and went back to lotions and potions :-(

    Is it possible for you to do a youtube video at all showing each part step by step, so that we can know where we’re going wrong? Sorry if thats asking for too much.

    Much love and appreciation

    • Suzie says:

      Hi Zahra,

      I am also getting the mixture wrong. I am getting a hard top layer of beeswax, and small bits throughout. I’d really love to get this right!

      And, Mari, :) thank you for sharing this! Would it hurt to reheat the whole lotion to re-melt the beeswax?

      • Jennifer says:

        I have reheated my mixture because I didn’t want to waste it. I don’t know if it works any less well but if nothing else you can use it as a practice batch.

    • Jennifer says:

      I know none of the questions have been directed to me BUT I am the one who struggled with this mixture initially. I have been making it off and on since May and have found a few tricks – my last few batches are all great consistency and great results were seen with my daughters eczema…then the weather turned cold here and she is having a small flare up. I actually just made another batch today. Here’s what I do:

      I use a small sauce pan with a couple inches of water in the bottom of the pan. I place a small glass (airtight) jar in the bottom of the pan. I turn the heat on medium and as the water heats up I shave off about 1 TBS of beeswax (I do measure for consistency sake and have found chopping / shaving the beeswax helps it melt quickly). I dump the beeswax into the small glass jar and as it is melting, I measure out 1 TBS of cold pressed olive oil. When the beeswax is melted completely, I pour in the olive oil. It quickly solidifies some of the wax but it gradually melts back down. I usually stir for a couple minutes at this point. Then I measure out 1 TBS of honey (I always use local from the farmers market because I was told these are the pollens my daughter is exposed to so it is most beneficial to use that but I don’t know if it really matters or not). I pour in the honey and again some of the wax solidifies but then after it all melts down again (I stir a couple times to speed things up!), I turn off the stove heat and I carefully remove the glass jar from the heat. At this point I wait a couple minutes until the mixture begins to cool and separate, then I literally stir constantly and gently (I’m talking like 30+ minutes of slow, constant stirring). There is sometimes some wax hardened on the spoon but I just scrape that off and toss it in the trash but possibly you could mash it into the mixture? I haven’t had luck with that though.

      Sorry for the novel and this may not work for you but after a lot of thrown away mixture I feel like I finally figured out what worked for me and maybe it will work for you. This is such a great mixture combination that I refused to let my missteps deter me! :)

      Good luck!

    • Jennifer says:

      I had success this past summer with coconut oil on my daughters legs. I couldn’t figure out how to get her to keep the honey mixture on parts of her body not covered by clothes (face seems fine but arms and legs seem to rub off so quickly!) I just use plain, unrefined coconut oil as her daily lotion and it cleared up a small eczema patch within maybe a week?

      To be honest though my daughters eczema isn’t severe at all and I got super frustrated by people swearing what they used worked great and I’d try it and it would make her poor little skin worse. So I am not trying to frustrate you at all but am just sharing one thing that works for us.

      Good luck to you!

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