The beneficial effects of honey on human health have long been recognized. Today, many of those positive effects have been studied to elucidate its mode of action. This review briefly summarizes the best studied features of honey, highlighting it as an appealing alternative medicine. In these reports, the health benefits of honey range from antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory activity to anticancer action, metabolic and cardiovascular benefits, prebiotic properties, human pathogen control, and antiviral activity. These studies also support that the honey's biological activity is mainly dependent on its floral or geographic origin. In addition, some promising synergies between honey and antibiotics have been found, as well as some antiviral properties that require further investigation. Altogether, these studies show that honey is effectively a nutraceutical foodstuff.
Keywords: Honey; biofilm; cancer; heart; metabolism; pathogens; prebiotic.