Honey on oral mucositis: A Randomized controlled trial

Gulf J Oncolog. 2016 Jan;1(20):30-7.


Background and objective: The main stream of management of head and neck cancer is by radiotherapy and surgery. During radiation therapy in head and neck cancers, oral cavity is directly exposed to high dose radiation which leads to several side effects - oral mucositis being the most distressing one. This study was intended to assess the effects of applying honey on oral mucositis during radiation therapy.

Material and methods: The research design used in this study was Randomized Control Trial with single blinding method in the Radiotherapy Unit of Regional Cancer Centre (RCC), at JIPMER. The study population included a total of 28 patients. Participants in experimental group were given 15ml natural honey for applying on oral mucosa and in control group 15ml plain water were given. Assessment of oral mucosa was done after every 5 doses of radiation therapy using RTOG scale and severity of oral mucositis was assessed.

Results: There was a statistically significant difference in degree of oral mucositis between the experimental and control group in week 4, 5 and 6 (p<0.01). During the whole course of study, 9 (64.28 percent) participants in control group developed grade III oral mucositis while only one participant (7.14%) in experimental group developed grade III oral mucositis.

Conclusion: The study concluded that applying natural honey on oral mucositis was effective among head and neck cancers patients receiving external beam radiation therapy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology
  • Radiation Injuries / pathology
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control
  • Radiation Injuries / therapy*
  • Stomatitis / prevention & control
  • Stomatitis / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome