Honey

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Honey is a sweet fluid made by honeybees from the nectar of flowers. It is generally safe, but there have been reports of certain toxic types of honey made from plants from the Rhododendron genus and others.
Honey is easy for the body to absorb and use. It contains about 70-80 percent sugar. The rest is water, minerals, and some protein, acids, and other substances. Honey has been used for wounds, skin problems, and various diseases of the stomach and intestines.
The antibacterial effects of honey are well-known. Research has been done on the role of honey in long-term wound management, as well as the treatment of ulcers, burns, Fournier's gangrene (a life-threatening bacterial infection), and diabetes. However, more high-quality studies are needed to make firm conclusions on the use of honey.

Related Terms

Acacia honey, adular, älskling, amour, andromedotoxin-containing honey, Apis mellifera (honey bee), apitherapy product, azaleas honey, bee products, blackberry honey, blueberry honey, borage honey, buckwheat honey, chou, cielo, citrus sinensis osbeck, clarified honey, clover honey, coisa doce, deli bal, endulzar, falar docemente, feng mi, flavonoids, grayanotoxin honey, hachimitsu, honeydew, honig, honing, honingkleur, honung, HY-1, iets beeldigs, jelly bush honey, kamahi honey, kanuka honey, lastig portret, lavender honey, Leptospermum honey, lief doen, liefje (aanspreekvorm), ling honey, ljuvhet, mad honey, madu, Manuka honey, mel, mel depuratum, melliferous products, miel, miel blanc, miele, mi vida, moeilijk probleem, mooi praten, mountain laurel honey, namorado, nectar, Nigerian citrus honey, nodding thistle honey, orange blossom honey, pasture honey, purified honey, rata honey, raw honey, rewarewa honey, rhododendron honey, schatz, smöra, sourwood honey, strained honey, sunflower honey, tala smickrande, tansy ragwort honey, Tasmanian leatherwood honey, tawari honey, tesoro, toppensak, toxic honey, tupelo honey, tutan bal, US IX, versuikeren, vipers bugloss honey, vleien, wild thyme honey, zoet maken.
Combination product examples: Hydromel (honey and water); mead (fermented honey with wine-grade yeast).

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
 
Allergies (rhinoconjunctivitis) (Grade: C)
There is a lack of evidence on the use of honey for the treatment of allergy symptoms of the eyes and nose. Results are conflicting, with some studies reporting a lack of benefit, while others suggest that honey may reduce redness, swelling, and pus discharge. More high-quality research is needed before a firm conclusion may be made.
Burns (Grade: C)
Honey has been used to heal burns and prevent infection for thousands of years. It has been used as a wound cover in studies on treating burns and is found in many licensed medical products. There is evidence to support the benefit of honey in healing and sterilizing infected wounds. Promising results show that honey may reduce burn-healing time. However, many studies were conducted by the same researchers, who compared honey dressings to other treatments such as potato. More evidence is needed in this area.
Chemotherapy side effects (low white blood cell count) (Grade: C)
Honey used together with chemotherapy may be a promising and inexpensive way to prevent low white blood cell count caused by chemotherapy. However, more studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.
Cough (Grade: C)
Honey may be an inexpensive treatment for cough in children with upper respiratory tract infections (URIs). Although honey may have few side effects, there are conflicting reports. The use of honey may cause cavities, hyperactivity, sleep problems, bacterial infection, or effects on the heart. High-quality research is needed before a conclusion may be made.
Diabetes (Grade: C)
Honey has been proposed as a potential sugar substitute. Studies report that honey may blood sugar levels, although conflicting results have been found. Further high-quality studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.
Diabetic foot ulcers (Grade: C)
Honey applied to the skin may be a cost-effective treatment for diabetic foot ulcers, due to its antibacterial and tissue-healing properties. However, further high-quality research is needed before a conclusion may be made.
Exercise performance (Grade: C)
Research suggests that honey may lack significant effect on exercise performance. Further research is needed before a conclusion may be made.
Fournier's gangrene (a life-threatening bacterial infection) (Grade: C)
Honey has been studied for the treatment of Fournier's gangrene. However, it is often used with antibiotics, and the effects of honey alone are unclear. More research in this area is needed to reach a firm conclusion.
Gastroenteritis (stomach flu) (Grade: C)
Honey has been studied in children with the stomach flu, with limited benefit reported. Evidence is limited and more research is needed before a conclusion may be made.
Gum disease (Grade: C)
Early evidence suggests that honey may help treat plaque and gum disease. More studies are needed to support these findings.
Hemorrhoids (Grade: C)
Early studies report that a combination therapy containing honey may help reduce bleeding, pain and itching in people with hemorrhoids. However, more high-quality research is needed before a conclusion may be made.
Herpes (Grade: C)
Early research has found that honey may be effective in treating herpes of the mouth (cold sores and fever blisters), but not herpes of the genitals. More research is needed in this area to draw a conclusion.
High blood pressure (Grade: C)
Early study suggests that honey may benefit people who have high blood pressure. However, more studies are necessary to confirm these findings.
High cholesterol (Grade: C)
Evidence is lacking to support the use of honey for high cholesterol. More studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.
Infection (catheter-related) (Grade: C)
Evidence is mixed on the use of honey to treat catheter-related infections. More high-quality studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.
Infertility (Grade: C)
Early research has found promising results with a honey-containing combination treatment for infertility. However, further research is needed before a conclusion may be made.
Itching (Grade: C)
Early research suggests that honey barrier cream may help treat itching and increase comfort. However, more studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.
Leg ulcers (Grade: C)
Studies have found little to no benefit of honey dressings on leg ulcers. More research is needed to determine the effects of honey on the treatment of ulcers.
Malnutrition (Grade: C)
Early evidence has found positive effects of honey in terms of increasing weight and the passage of food through the stomach. However, more research is needed before a conclusion may be made.
Memory (Grade: C)
Early research found that tualang honey may help some aspects of memory in women undergoing menopause. Further research is needed before a conclusion may be made.
Mouth sores (caused by radiation treatment) (Grade: C)
Honey treatment appears to be promising for preventing mouth sores caused by radiation treatment in people with cancer. However, results are conflicting. Better quality studies are needed before a firm conclusion may be made.
Parasites (Grade: C)
Early studies found a lack of strong evidence to support the use of honey for parasite infections. Higher quality research is needed before a conclusion may be made.
Pneumonia (Grade: C)
Early research found a lack of benefit of honey for the treatment of pneumonia. Further studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.
Sinus infection (Grade: C)
Early research showed a lack of effect of honey in people with fungal-induced sinus infections. Further study is needed before a firm conclusion may be made.
Skin graft healing (split thickness) (Grade: C)
Currently, there is a lack of evidence on the use of honey for the treatment of split-thickness skin graft. Although early research suggests a shorter healing time, more studies are needed to make a firm conclusion.
Skin inflammation (dandruff) (Grade: C)
There is limited evidence to support the use of honey in the treatment of dandruff. More research is needed before a conclusion may be made.
Surgery (Grade: C)
Honey used together with antibiotics and acetaminophen may help improve healing after surgery. However, more research is needed to confirm these promising early results.
Ulcers (Grade: C)
Honey has been studied for various types of ulcers, including breast ulcers. Honey may reduce pain, odor, and wound size. However, more studies are needed before a firm conclusion may be made.
Wound healing (Grade: C)
Honey has been commonly used for wound management and the promotion of healing. It has also been used to treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Much research has been done on various types of honey, including medical grade honey, on different types of wounds. These types of wounds include long-term ulcers, wounds after surgery, and burns. More high-quality research is needed.