Bee products and the treatment of blister-like lesions around the mouth, skin and genitalia caused by herpes viruses-A systematic review

Complement Ther Med. 2019 Apr:43:81-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2019.01.014. Epub 2019 Jan 22.


Objectives: To assess the value of bee products with respect to antiviral efficacy against herpes viruses.

Design: A systematic review was done using the JUSTfind System of the Justus-Liebig-University Gießen and Scopus.

Results: Three trials on honey and 6 trials on propolis were conducted. Each trial provided evidence that these two bee products are interesting alternatives to acyclovir, especially propolis, which was found to be superior to acyclovir in 4 trials.

Conclusions: The evidence from these trials suggests that propolis is the best of all natural possibilities in the treatment of herpetic skin lesions, especially those related to HSV-1. Future studies should analyse if propolis could be an adjunct to treatment with acyclovir. For lesions in the oral cavity, honey could be an interesting alternative.

Keywords: Herpes simplex virus; Honey; Propolis; Varicella zoster virus.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bees / metabolism*
  • Blister / drug therapy*
  • Blister / virology
  • Genitalia / drug effects*
  • Genitalia / virology
  • Humans
  • Mouth / drug effects*
  • Mouth / virology
  • Propolis / pharmacology
  • Simplexvirus / drug effects*
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / virology


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Propolis
  • Acyclovir