Honey as an effective antimicrobial treatment for chronic wounds: is there a place for it in modern medicine?
Centre for Biomedical Sciences, Cardiff School of Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, Wales, UK
Abstract: Honey has a long history in the treatment of wounds, where claims of its therapeutic properties include the inhibition of a wide range of infectious agents as well as an ability to promote rapid wound healing. However, honey is not a uniform product, and its chemical composition can be influenced by multiple factors. The availability of modern, licensed dressings containing medical grade honey has garnered renewed interest in its clinical potential for conventional wound care. Laboratory investigations are beginning to explain at a cellular and molecular level the effects of specific honeys on certain microorganisms, but the clinical evidence of its antimicrobial effects is limited at present. The aim of this review is to demonstrate the chemical complexity of honey, to describe the mechanisms of antibacterial action reported to date, and to collate the evidence that provides insight into antimicrobial claims for honey.
Keywords: medical grade honey, wound infection, antibacterial activity, antibiofilm activity, wound healing
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