Manuka honey in wound management: greater than the sum of its parts?

J Wound Care. 2016 Sep;25(9):539-43. doi: 10.12968/jowc.2016.25.9.539.


Few involved in wound care will have escaped the considerable interest which has been generated by the resurgence in honey. Equally, there will be many clinicians around the globe who are wondering why all the fuss, as they will have been using honey all along. However, even with the advent of 'medical-grade' honey, combined with considerable research into the numerous potential modes of action, there remains a lingering scepticism regarding the value of honey as a justified, modern intervention in wound care. The purpose of this brief review is to summarise the ongoing chemical, biochemical and microbiological research and to correlate it with clinical outcomes. The purpose being to present the enquiring clinician with an evidence summary with which clinical choices may be made. While much of the early research was into generic honeys, one particular source, manuka, appears especially effective, and as such this has been the focus of recent studies.

Keywords: anti-inflammatory; antimicrobial; debridement; honey; manuka; wound care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Leptospermum*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Wound Infection / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents