Medical honey and the role in pediatric emergency wound management

Stefan Bittmann, Anne Weissenstein, Gloria Villalon, Elisabeth Luchter


The use of complementary medical treatment in wound management has continued to grow throughout the world. There is a large body of evidence to support the use of honey as a wound dressing for a wide range of types of wounds. Clear guidelines for the use of honey in pediatric wound care do not exist. We present an update of present knowledge using honey as a form of complementary medicine in pediatric wound management.


Honey; pediatric; child; wound; infection

Full Text:



Tan ST, Wilkins AL, Molan PC, et al. A chemical approach to the determination of floral sources of New Zealand honeys.Journal of Agricultural Research 1989; 28(4): 212-22.

Allen KL, Molan PC, Reid GM. A survey of the antibacterial activity of some NewZealand honeys. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 1991; 43: 817-22.

Willix DJ, Molan PC, Harfoot CG. A comparison of the sensitivity of wound-infecting species of bacteria to the antibacterial activity of manuka honey and other honey. Journal of Applied Bacteriology 1992; 73: 388-94.

White JW, Reithof ML, Subers MH, et al. Composition of American honeys. US Dept Agr Tech Bull 1962; 1261: 1-124.

Bauer L, Kohlich A, Hirschweir R, et al. Food allergy to honey: pollen or bee products? Characteriziation of allergenic proteins in honey by means of immunoblotting. J Allergy Clion Immunol 1996; 97 (1): 65-73.

Postmes TJ, Bosch MMC, et al. Speeding up the healing of burns with honey. In: Mizrahi A, Lensky Y 8eds), Bee Products: Properties, applications and apitherapy. New York, Plenum Press1997; 27-37.

Molan PC. The antibacterial properties of honey. Chem in NZ 1995;10-14.

Zumla A, Lulat A. Honey-aremedy rediscovered. J Royal Soc Medicine 1989; 82: 384-5.

Beck BF, Smedley D. Honey and your health. 2nd edn., New York: Mc Bride, 1944

Molan PC. Why honey is effective as a medicine?-the scientific explanation of the effects. In Honey and healing (Munn P, Jones R eds). International Bee Research Association 2001.

Moore OA, Smith A, Campbell F, et al. A systematic review of the use of honey as a wound dressing. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2001; 1(1) 2.

Fox C. Honey as a dressing for chronic wounds in adults. British Journal of Community Nursing 2002; 10: 530-534.

Gethin G. Is there enough clinical evidence to use honey to manage wounds? Journal of Wound Care 2004; 7: 275-278.

Cooper RA, Molan PC, Krishnamoorty L, et al. Manuka honey used to heal a recalcitrant surgical wound. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 2001; 20 (10): 758-759.

Dixon B. Bacteria can`t resist honey. Lancet Infect Dis 2003; 3 (2): 116.

Lusby PE, Coombes A, Wilkinson JM. Honey: a potent agent for wound healing? J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs 2002; 29 (6): 295-300.

Molan PC. Potential of honey in the treatment of wound and burns. Am J Clin Dermatol 2001; 2 (1): 13-9.

Sofka K, Wiszniewsky G, Blaser G, et al. Antibakterieller Honig (Medihoney TM) zur Wundpflege-Wundantisepsis bei pädiatrischen Patienten in der Hämatologie-Onkologie? Krh Hyg Inf verh 2004; 26 (5): 183-7.

Simon A, Sofka K, Wizniewsky G, et al;. Wound care with antibacterial honey (Medihoney) in pediatric hematology-oncology. Support Care Cancer 2006; 14: 91-97.

Johnson DW, van Eps C, Mudge DW, et al. Randomized, controlled trial of topical exit-site application of honey (Medihoney) versus mupirocon for the prevention of catheter-associated infections in hemodialysis patients. J Am Soc Nephrol 2005; 16: 1-7.

White JW, Reithof ML, Subers MH, et al. Composition of american honeys. US Dept Agr Tech Bull 1962; 1261: 1-124.

White JW, Hoban N. Composition of honey, identification of disaccharides. Arch Biochem Biophys 1959; 80: 386-392.

Siddiqui IR, Furgala B. Isolation and characterization of oligosaccharides (Trisaccharides) from honey. J Apc Res 1968; 7: 51-59.

Wood B, Rademaker M, Molan P. Manuka honey, a low cost leg ulcer dressing. New Zealand Medical Journal 1997; 110(1040): 107.

Lawrence JC. Honey and wound bacteria. Editorial. Journal of Wound Care 1999; 8 (4):155.

Thomas S. Wound management and dressings. The Pharmaceutical Press.

Ambrose U, Middleton K, Seal D. In vitro studies of water activity and bacterial growth inhibition of sucrose-polyethylene glycol 400-hydrogen peroxide pastes used to treat wounds. Antimicrobial Agents Chemotherapy 1991; 35(9): 1799-1803.

Booth S. Are honey and sugar paste alternatives to topical antiseptics? Journal of Wound Care 2004; 13(1): 31-3.

Topham J. Why do some cavity wounds treated with honey or sugar paste heal without scarring? Journal of Wound Care 2001; 11(2): 53-55.

Mirsirlioglu A, Eroglu S, Karacaoglan N, et al. Use of honey as an adjunct in the healing of split thickness donor site. Dermatologic Surgery 2003; 29(2): 168- 172.

Molan PC. Clinical usage of honey as a wound dressing: an update. J Wound Care 2004; 13(9): 353-6.

Marshall C, Queen J, Manjooran J. Honey vs povidone iodine following toenail surgery. Wounds 2005; 1(1): 10-18.

Bangroo AK, Khatri R, Chauban S. Honey dressing in pediatric burns. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2005; 10(3): 172-5.

Dustman JH. Antibacterial effect of honey. Apiacta 1979; 14: 7-11.

Akinci S, Arslan U, Karakurt K. Cengel A. An unusual presentation of mad honey poisoning: Acute myocardial infarction. Int J Cardiol Sep 20 (Epub ahead of print)

Mphande AN, Killowe C, Phalira S, et al. Effects of honey and sugar dressings on wound healing. J Wound Care 2007; 16(7): 317-9.

Ozlugedik S, Genc S, Unal A, et al. Can postoperative pains following tonsillectomy be relieved by honey? A prospective, randomized, placebo controlled preliminary study. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2006; 70(11): 1929-34.

Blaser G, Santos K, Bode U, et al. Effect of medical honey on wounds colonised or infected with MRSA. J Wound Care 2007; 16(8): 325-8.

Holzgreve H. Honey is better than aciclovir in herpes. MMW Fortschr Med 2005; 147(3): 18.

Al-Waili N. Topical honey application vs. Acyclovir for the treatment of recurrent herpes simplex lesions. Med Sci Monit 2004; 10(8): MT94-98.

Al-Waili N. Identification of nitric oxide metabolites in various honeys: Effects of intravenous honey on plasma and urinary nitric oxide metabolites concentrations. J Med Food 2003; 6: 359-64.

Torre D, Pugliese A, Speranza F. Role of nitric oxide in HIV-1-infection: friend or foe? Lancet Infect Dis 2002; 2: 273-80.

Al-Waili N. Effects of honey ingestion on nitric oxide in saliva. FASEB J 2003; 17: A767

Al-Waili N, Boni N. Effect of honey on blood and urinary nitric oxide in normal individuals. FASEB J 2003; 17: A660

Jull A, Walker N, Parag V, et al. on behalf of the honey as Adjuvant Leg Ulcer Therapy trial collaborators. Randomized clinical trial of honey-impregnated dressings for venous leg ulcers. Br J Surg 2007; 95(2): 175-182.

Vardi A, Barzilay Z, Linder N, et al. Local application of honey for treatment of neonatal postoperative wound infection. Acta Paediatr 1998; 87(4): 429-32.

Dilber E, Kalyoncu M, Yaris N, et al. A case of Mad Honey Poisoning presenting with convulsion: Intoxication instead of alternative therapy. Turk J Med Sci 2002; 32: 361-2.

Natarajan S, Williamson D, Grey J, et al. Healing of an MRSA-

colonised, hydroxyurea-induced leg ulcer with honey. J Dermatol Treat 2001; 12(1): 33-6.

Narahishi T, Seyama I. Mechanism of nerve membrane depolarization caused by grayanotoxin I. J Physiol 1974; 242: 471-478.

Seyama I, Narahishi T. Modulation of sodium channel of squid nerve membranes by grayanotoxin I. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1981; 219: 614-24.

Lusby PE, Coombes AL, Wilkinson JM. Bactericidal activity of different honeys against pathogenic bacteria. Arch Med Res 2005; 36:464-7.

Cooper RA, Molan PC, Harding KG. The sensitivity to honey of gram-positive cocci of clinical significance isolated from wounds. J Appl Microbiol 2002; 93: 857-63.

Cooper RA, Molan PC, Harding KG. Antibacterial activity of honey against strains of Staphylococcus aureus from infected wounds. J R Soc Med 1999; 92: 283-5.

Molan PC: The evidence supporting the use of honey as a wound dressing. Int J Low Extrem Wounds 2006; 5:40-2.

Bang LM, Buntting C, Molan P. The effect of dilution on the rate of hydrogen peroxide production in honey and implications for wound healing. J Altern Complement Med 2003; 9: 267-73.

Tonks AJ, Cooper RA, Jones KP, et al. Honey stimulates inflammatory cytokine production from monocytes. Cytokine 2003; 21: 242-7.

Tonks A, Cooper RA, Price AJ, et al.. Stimulation of TNF-alpha release in monocytes by honey. Cytokine 2001; 14: 240-2.

Abubarfeil N, Al-Oran R, Abo-Shehada M. The effect of bee honey on proliferative activity of human B- and T-lymphocytes and the activity of phagocytes. Food Agri Immunol 1999; 11: 169-77.

Tonks AJ, Dudley E, Porter NG, et al.. A 5,8-kDa component of manuka honey stimulates immune cells via TLR4. J Leukoc Biol 2007; 82: 1147-55.

Molan PC. The antibacterial activity of honey. The nature of the antibacterial activity. Bee World 1992; 73: 5-28.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 JPedD Editorial Office C

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.