Objective: The aim of the study is to investigate the effects of honey on acute and chronic inflammations and nitric oxide production in rats.
Methods: Carrageenan, cotton pellet and formaldehyde methods were used in quantifying the anti-inflammatory effect of honey while the effect of honey on nitric oxide (NO) production was investigated by administering NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 100 mg/kg body weight, subcutaneously) and L-arginine (300 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) to groups of rats. Animals were divided into five groups each comprising of five rats in each experiment; two groups were orally administered distilled water (control) and indomethacin (5 mg/kg body weight), respectively, while the remaining three groups were administered 2, 6 and 10 g/kg honey for anti-inflammatory studies.
Results: Honey significantly (P<0.05) reduced the paw size in the carrageenan model, while in the cotton pellet model, the granuloma weight was significantly (P<0.05) reduced. Honey also significantly (P<0.05) reduced the arthritis induced by formaldehyde injection from the second day of the study. In the investigation on NO involvement, L-NAME significantly inhibited paw oedema while the administration of L-arginine abolished the anti-inflammatory effect of honey and L-NAME.
Conclusion: The results obtained from the study confirm that honey has an anti-inflammatory effect which may be due in part to inhibition of NO release. Therefore honey may be used to treat certain acute and chronic inflammatory conditions.