Honey as a topical treatment for wounds

Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 6.03). 02/2008; 2(4):CD005083. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005083.pub2
Source: PubMed


Honey has been used on wounds since ancient times. Clinical trials have tested the effect of honey in both acute wounds (e.g. burns, lacerations) and chronic wounds (e.g. skin ulcers). The trials results show that honey might shorten healing times for moderate burns compared with some conventional dressings, but there is some serious doubt about the reliability of this finding. Honey used alongside compression therapy does not improve healing of venous leg ulcers. Honey may delay healing in deep burns and in ulcers caused by insect bites (cutaneous Leishmaniasis). There is not enough evidence to give guidance for the use of honey in other types of wounds.

Download full-text


Available from: Natalie Walker
  • Source
    • "In the late nineteenth century, there was a resurgence of interest in using silver compounds to treat venereal diseases and eye infections [2]. The topical application of honey was also a common practice for centuries [3] by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese [4]. The early Egyptians of around 1650 BC were the first to use honey as a component in the topical treatment of wounds, as evidenced from the text of the Smith papyrus [5]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Honey and silver have been used since ancient times for treating wounds. Their widespread clinical application has attracted attention in light of the increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. While there have been a number of studies exploring the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects of manuka honey and nanocrystalline silver, their advantages and limitations with regard to the treatment of chronic wounds remain a subject of debate. The aim of this paper is to examine the evidence on the use of nanocrystalline silver and manuka honey for treating diabetic foot ulcers through a critical and comprehensive review of in vitro studies, animal studies, and in vivo studies. The findings from the in vitro and animal studies suggest that both agents have effective antibacterial actions. Their anti-inflammatory action and related impact on wound healing are unclear. Besides, there is no evidence to suggest that any topical agent is more effective for use in treating diabetic foot ulcer. Overall, high-quality, clinical human studies supported by findings from the molecular science on the use of manuka honey or nanocrystalline silver are lacking. There is a need for rigorously designed human clinical studies on the subject to fill this knowledge gap and guide clinical practice.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • Source
    • "This review of antiseptics complements these reviews and will complete the assessment of evidence for agents with antimicrobial properties in the care of all burn wounds, whether infected or not. There will be some overlap between this review and other Cochrane and non- Cochrane reviews of dressings for partial thickness burns (Wasiak 2013), and of individual agents with antiseptic properties for all types of wounds (Aziz 2012; Jull 2013; Storm-Versloot 2010). "

    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online)
  • Source
    • "However, the benefit was not uniformly observed as its effect was unclear for venous leg ulcers (2 trials, í µí±› = 476, low quality evidence), minor acute wounds (3 trials, í µí±› = 213, very low quality evidence), diabetic foot ulcers (2 trials, í µí±› = 93, low quality evidence), and mixed chronic wounds (2 trials, í µí±› = 93, low quality evidence), largely due to suboptimal level of available evidence. In spite of low quality evidence (1 trial, í µí±› = 50), honey appeared to delay wound healing when compared to early excision and grafting in patients with partial and full thickness burns (WMD 13.6 days, 95% CI 9.82 to 17.38) [54]. The strength of the conclusion that could be drawn from the review was compromised by the heterogeneous nature of the patient populations and comparators, and generally low methodological quality of the available evidence. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality at all stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Multiresistant organisms are becoming increasingly common, particularly in the CKD population. Unfortunately, the rapid evolution of antibiotic resistance has not been mirrored by innovation in new antibiotic agents. Novel treatments are therefore urgently needed. Honey has garnered much interest due to its broad-spectrum antibacterial properties based on extensive experimental data. Unlike conventional antibiotics, honey has an added advantage as it appears to avoid inducing antimicrobial resistance in bacteria. This review discusses the potential mechanisms of action and role of honey in infection management in the general population, epidemiology and special challenges of infections in CKD populations, and the clinical trial evidence pertaining to the safety and efficacy of honey for the prevention and treatment of infections in CKD population.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Show more