Management of diabetic foot by natural honey

J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. Jan-Mar 2009;21(1):103-5.


Background: Many studies have demonstrated that honey has antibacterial activity in vitro, and a small number of clinical case studies have shown that application of honey to severely infected cutaneous wounds is capable of clearing infection from the wound and improving tissue healing. Research has also indicated that honey may possess anti-inflammatory activity and stimulate immune responses within a wound. The overall effect is to reduce infection and to enhance wound healing in burns, ulcers, and other cutaneous wounds. The objective of the study was to find out the results of topical wound dressings in diabetic wounds with natural honey.

Methods: The study was conducted at department of Orthopaedics, Unit-1, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro from July 2006 to June 2007. Study design was experimental. The inclusion criteria were patients of either gender with any age group having diabetic foot Wagner type I, II, III and II. The exclusion criteria were patients not willing for studies and who needed urgent amputation due to deteriorating illness. Initially all wounds were washed thoroughly and necrotic tissues removed and dressings with honey were applied and continued up to healing of wounds.

Results: Total number of patients was 12 (14 feet). There were 8 males (66.67%) and 4 females (33.33%), 2 cases (16.67%) were presented with bilateral diabetic feet. The age range was 35 to 65 years (46 +/- 9.07 years). Amputations of big toe in 3 patients (25%), second and third toe ray in 2 patients (16.67%) and of fourth and fifth toes at the level of metatarsophalengeal joints were done in 3 patients (25%). One patient (8.33%) had below knee amputation.

Conclusion: In our study we observed excellent results in treating diabetic wounds with dressings soaked with natural honey. The disability of diabetic foot patients was minimized by decreasing the rate of leg or foot amputations and thus enhancing the quality and productivity of individual life.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amputation
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control*
  • Bandages
  • Diabetic Foot / drug therapy*
  • Diabetic Foot / microbiology
  • Female
  • Foot / surgery
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Leg / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents