Local Therapeutic Effects of Honey

For Burns, Wounds, and Chornic Ulcers


It is so probable that honey was the first natural remedy used by human being from the dawn of history. Although honey was used as a local medicine since ancient times, this use has continued as a public traditional till these days. Among all the natural products of bees, which also include royal honey, propolis, wax, and even bee vonom, honey is one of the most advantagous of these products. These advantages are exploit in medical indurstry for both preventive and therapeutic objectives.


Honey is not only a healthy and integral food. It has also a lot of beneficial effects when applied locally on a variety of dermal lesions, and even on normal skin. The National Honey Board had admitted these wonderful effects of honey that are still unknown to many workers in the health care. Application of honey on burns, wounds, or ulcers helps in speeding the healing process and preventing infection. The mechanisms are as follows.



First: Protection from surrounding environment

Honey is so sticky. It forms a protecting surface on wounds and burns to shield them from outer environment. It forms a thin sticky film on the surface of any skin lesion and prevents the transit of dust particles, which naturally carries large numbers of bacteria and spores. This mechanical effect keeps the wound clean and disinfected.


Second: Wound debridement

Due to its high concentration, honey absorps interstitial fluids and lymph from the injured tissue, thereby assisting its movement toward the surface of the skin. It helps the body in discarding devitalized tissues in the wound and accelerates its autolysis, making healing process much faster.


Third: Creation of an ideal environment

Many studies found that the wet environment is really the ideal medium for cell proliferation and growth during wound healing. It is well-known that many dry dressings may not guarantee this environment. Honey grants any wound the wet medium neccessary for cellular growth and replication which accelerates healing process. It also allows the cells to spread evenly along the surface of the skin which reduces the scarring process.


Fourth: Growth-induction effects

Honey has a distinct ability to accelerate growth by inducing neovascularization in injured tissues, as well as inducing fibroblasts, which are the main cellular type responsible of repairing wounds and defects. Our ancestors had long known honey as one of the best local remedies to repair tissue loss.


Fifth: Reducing inflammatory reaction

Honey has a strong anti-inflammatory effect due to presence of different enzymes. This property explains reduction of swelling in and around the wound, in addition to improvement of pain in the wound. Honey inhibits different inflammatory mediators which are released at the site of injury and leads to stimulation of nerve terminals.


Sixth: Preveting dressing-wound stickiness

Honey does not stick to the underlying tissues. This effect is helpful on two folds: its application on wounds does not cause any irritation upon dressing change, and dressing removal does not cause detachment of the newly-formed epidermal layers. This ensures maximal efficacy and hastens the healing process.


Seventh: Anti-bacterial effects

Honey is one of the strongest local anti-bacterial agents. It supresses infection by a number of mechanisms:

1 - Honey contains a high concentration of sugar in excess of 70%. This medium is unfriendly for growth of microbes, and it causes the exudation of water from inside to outside the microbe, thereby leading to its dehydration. This leaves the microbe easily susceptible to normal body defences.

2 - Honey contains formic acid, which is a strong suppressant to local infection.

3 - Honey contains oxygen pyroxidase. This enzyme converts normal water to oxygenated water with release of free oxygen radicals. These radicals are considered one of the most effective natural products against infection.

To conclude, it worths mentioning that the recent studies performed by Prof. Peter C. Molan - the assistant proffessor in Biology Department, New Zeland University - have proved its distinct efficacy against a wide spectrum of bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, proteus, and Staphylococcus aureus even when diluted down to the 30th concentration. It is well-known to all medical practitioners that these bacteria are among the commonest organisms responsible of dermal infections in normal and injured skin.




Luna for Cosmetic Industries has made use of these wonderful effects of natural honey to manufacture a distinct product, Luna Panthenol. Many studies have proven its great efficacy in repair of burns, wounds, and chronic ulcers. To know more about this products please click here.