Honey may reduce healing times in patients
suffering mild to moderate burn wounds. A systematic review
by Cochrane Researchers concluded that honey might be useful
as an alternative to traditional wound dressings in treating
"We're treating these results with caution, but it looks
like honey can help speed up healing in some burns," says
lead researcher Dr Andrew Jull, of the Clinical Trials Research
Unit at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
has been used in wound treatment since ancient times. The
mechanism of action is unclear. While honey may help the body
remove dead tissue and provide a favourable environment for
the growth of new, healthy tissue, current interest in medicinal
honey focuses largely on its antibacterial effects.
The review brings together data from 19 clinical trials involving
2554 patients with a range of different wounds. Honey was
more effective in reducing healing time compared to some gauze
and film dressings that are often used to treat moderate burns.
However, the researchers were unable to show any clear benefits
for the healing of grazes, lacerations, surgical wounds and
The researchers don't advise using honey to treat other types
of wounds. "Health services should invest in treatments that
have been shown to work," says Dr Jull. "But, we will keep
monitoring new research to try and establish the effect of