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Am J Clin Dermatol. 2011 Jun 1;12(3):181-90. doi: 10.2165/11538930-000000000-00000.

Honey and wound healing: an overview.

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Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, Illinois, USA.


Honey has been used to treat wounds throughout the ages. This practice was rooted primarily in tradition and folklore until the late 19th century, when investigators began to characterize its biologic and clinical effects. This overview explores both historic and current insights into honey in its role in wound care. We describe the proposed antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, and physiologic mechanisms of action, and review the clinical evidence of the efficacy of honey in a variety of acute and chronic wound types. We also address additional considerations of safety, quality, and the cost effectiveness of medical-grade honeys. In summary, there is biologic evidence to support the use of honey in modern wound care, and the clinical evidence to date also suggests a benefit. However, further large, well designed, clinical trials are needed to confirm its therapeutic effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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