Topical honey for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcer: A systematic review

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Aug;24:130-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.06.003. Epub 2016 Jun 15.


Topical honey has been used for the treatment of wound since ancient time. But the medical evidence proving it is limited. Hence a systematic review was planned. An exhaustive literature search was done in PUBMED, COCHRANE, GOOGLE using 'topical honey', 'diabetic foot ulcer', 'chronic wounds' as key words. Literature search showed total of five clinical trials and about ten observational studies in various part of world. Out of five clinical trials three concluded that honey dressing is better than conventional dressing, all the clinical trials proved safety of honey for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcer. Observational studies included total of 320 patients which also showed safety of honey but efficacy cannot be considered from observational studies. This review showed that honey dressing is safer for treatment of diabetic foot ulcer but there is insufficient good quality data to realistically conclude on the efficacy of honey on diabetic foot ulcers.

Keywords: Diabetic foot ulcer; Topical honey; Wound dressing.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Diabetic Foot / drug therapy*
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*