Honey as a potential natural anticancer agent: a review of its mechanisms

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:829070. doi: 10.1155/2013/829070. Epub 2013 Dec 2.


The main treatment for cancer is by using chemotherapy and radiotherapy which themselves are toxic to other viable cells of the body. Recently, there are many studies focusing on the use of natural products for cancer prevention and treatment. Of these natural products, honey has been extensively researched. The mechanism of the anti-cancer activity of honey as chemopreventive and therapeutic agent has not been completely understood. The possible mechanisms are due to its apoptotic, antiproliferative, antitumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF), antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, estrogenic and immunomodulatory activities. We collate the findings of several studies published in the literature in order to understand the mechanism of its action.

Publication types

  • Review