The efficacy of topical royal jelly on healing of diabetic foot ulcers: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial

Int Wound J. 2015 Apr;12(2):137-42. doi: 10.1111/iwj.12063. Epub 2013 Apr 8.


Foot ulcers are major sources of morbidity in individuals with diabetes mellitus. As royal jelly (RJ, a worker honey bee product) contains enzymatic, antibacterial and vasodilative properties, it can potentially help in healing of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of topical RJ on healing of DFUs. Diabetic patients with foot ulcers who were referred to us at Khorshid Hospital, Isfahan, Iran, were managed by offloading, infection control, vascular improvement and debridement (if required). Then, all ulcers were randomly selected to receive either 5% sterile topical RJ or placebo on their total surface area. Patients were followed for 3 months or until complete healing. Twenty-five patients (6 females and 19 males) and a total of 64 ulcers were included and randomly allocated to case or control group (32 per group). Four ulcers were excluded and 60 ulcers included in the final analysis. Healing parameters including depth, length and width reduction rate, duration of complete healing and incidence of complete healing did not show any significant difference (P = 0·69, 0·95, 0·7, 0·74 and 0·6, respectively) between groups. We did not observe any side effect of topical RJ application. This study could not confirm any significant superiority of 5% topical RJ over placebo for the treatment of DFUs.

Keywords: Debridement; Diabetic foot ulcer; Offloading; Royal Jelly; Wound healing.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Aged
  • Diabetic Foot / drug therapy*
  • Diabetic Foot / pathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing


  • Fatty Acids
  • royal jelly