Treatment of non-healing leg ulcers with honeydew honey

J Tissue Viability. 2014 Aug;23(3):94-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jtv.2014.08.001. Epub 2014 Aug 19.


Background: Honey is used as a traditional medicine for centuries by different cultures for the treatment of various disorders. However, not all honeys exhibit equal antimicrobial potency and only a few meet the criteria for clinical usage.

Aim: The aim of the study was to determine clinical efficacy of sterilised honeydew honey in the treatment of the lower leg ulcers in 25 patients. Furthermore, we evaluated honey acceptability of patients in terms of pain and overall satisfaction.

Methodology: A total of 25 patients with chronic venous leg ulcers were recruited into this study. The 100% γ-irradiated sterile honeydew honey was applied onto the cleaned wounds and each wound was assessed at the least two times in for a period of 6 weeks.

Results: During the course of treatment, the average wound area of all patients decreased significantly from 51 (3-150) to 22 (0-91) cm(2). Eighteen patients (72%) experienced a decrease in reported pain levels while five patients (20%) experienced the same level of pain throughout the study. The overall satisfaction with honey treatment was positive in 80% of patients. Only two patients experienced poor tolerance due to problems at ulcer site related to pain.

Conclusion: Based on these findings, honeydew honey has the potential to be one of the medical-grade honeys.

Keywords: Honey; Treatment; Wound.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antisepsis
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Leg Ulcer / therapy*
  • Pain
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Treatment Outcome