Five Therapeutic Effects of Honey in Treating Wounds and Infections

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Natural remedies can do wonders in treating painful mouth ulcers, stomach inflammation, wounds and infections. When it comes to dealing with these cases, honey is a time-tested treatment to alleviate symptoms and provide relief for patients, whether young or old

Consuming honey often has a soothing effect and this sweet treat also has several notable health benefits. Its medicinal properties include being used as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent, as well as acting as a natural cough remedy.[i] At the same time, this celebrated ingredient is applied for chronic wound management and as a therapy for certain infections.

1. Honey for Painful Mouth Blisters and Ulcers

Research suggests that honey can help reduce painful mouth blisters among children with herpes simplex gingivostomatitis.[ii] Caused by the herpes virus, herpes simplex gingivostomatitis is an inflammation of the gums and lips, damaging the skin and resulting in mouth ulcers.

One of the earliest signs of herpes simplex gingivostomatitis is when your child refuses to eat because chewing has become too painful. While this disease is common among kids, there is a risk of dehydration since the patient often will not drink or eat.

Once your child has been found to have these mouth blisters and ulcers, using honey as a mouthwash is highly suggested because it can significantly improve children's drinking and eating abilities.[iii]

2. Honey Treats Radiation-Induced Mucositis

Patients with head and neck cancers may experience mucositis as an adverse effect of radiotherapy. Mucositis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes in the stomach, which causes stomach ulcers. Numerous studies have shown that using honey as an oral treatment can alleviate the adverse effects of radiation-induced mucositis.[iv]

Research suggests honey can delay the onset of oral mucositis, as well as significantly reduce the severity of the pain associated with the condition.[v] Patients received 20 milliliters (mL) of honey three times a day during the course of radiotherapy to achieve the desired outcomes.[vi]

3. Honey Fights Stomach Infections

When paired with green or black tea, honey can help treat other types of stomach conditions, such as infections caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). This bacterial infection often causes gastritis or stomach inflammation, peptic ulcer disease and certain types of stomach cancers. A 2015 study revealed that consuminghoney or green or black tea daily can decrease the prevalence of H. pylori infection.[vii]

4. Honey for Infections Associated With Burns

Honey can also be used in treating wounds and burns. Compared to boiled potato peel, honey dressing is more effective in covering fresh partial-thickness burns among patients. In fact, the burns healed 100% within two weeks after being treated with honey, compared to 50% when treated with boiled potato peel.[viii]

Honey is also effective in treating second-degree burns compared to anti-infective creams. Research suggests that honey dressing can heal burns by 84% within the first week of treatment and 100% after two weeks.[ix]

5. Therapeutic Effects for Bowel Resection

Oral intake of honey has potential therapeutic effects on patients who underwent massive bowel resection. A 2008 study revealed that animal subjects that had small bowel resection showed significant increase in their gross residual bowel length.[x] Researchers believe the results can be replicated among human patients.

These studies provide evidence that honey can be a sound natural remedy to be explored by people with inflammations, burns and infections. For further information, check out the GreenMedInfo..com Honey Research Database to learn honey's versatility as a solution for various common illnesses.


References

[i] J Dermatolog Treat. 2001 Mar;12(1):33-6.

[ii] Abdel-Naby Awad OG et al "Honey can help in herpes simplex gingivostomatitis in children: Prospective randomized double blind placebo controlled clinical trial" Am J Otolaryngol. 2018 Nov - Dec;39(6):759-763. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2018.09.007. Epub 2018 Sep 12.

[iii] Abdel-Naby Awad OG et al "Honey can help in herpes simplex gingivostomatitis in children: Prospective randomized double blind placebo controlled clinical trial" Am J Otolaryngol. 2018 Nov - Dec;39(6):759-763. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2018.09.007. Epub 2018 Sep 12.

[iv] Co JL et al "Effectiveness of honey on radiation-induced oral mucositis, time to mucositis, weight loss, and treatment interruptions among patients with head and neck malignancies: A meta-analysis and systematic review of literature" Head Neck. 2016 Jul;38(7):1119-28. doi: 10.1002/hed.24431. Epub 2016 Mar 29.

[v] Samdariya S et al "Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Role of Honey in Reducing Pain Due to Radiation Induced Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer Patients" Indian J Palliat Care. 2015 Sep-Dec;21(3):268-73 doi: 10.4103/0973-1075.164892.

[vi] Samdariya S et al "Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Role of Honey in Reducing Pain Due to Radiation Induced Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer Patients" Indian J Palliat Care. 2015 Sep-Dec;21(3):268-73 doi: 10.4103/0973-1075.164892.

[vii] Boyanova L et al "Honey and green/black tea consumption may reduce the risk of Helicobacter pylori infection" Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2015 May;82(1):85-6. doi: 10.1016/j.microbio.2015.03.001. Epub 2015 Mar 6.

[viii] Subrahmanyam M et al "Honey dressing versus boiled potato peel in the treatment of burns: a prospective randomized study" Burns. 1996 Sep;22(6):491-3.

[ix] Maghsoudi H et al "Comparison between topical honey and mafenide acetate in treatment of burn wounds" Ann Burns Fire Disasters. 2011 Sep 30;24(3):132-7.

[x] Eyarefe OD et al "Small bowel responses to enteral honey and glutamine administration following massive small bowel resection in rabbit" Afr J Med Med Sci. 2008 Dec;37(4):309-14.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

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