Healing with Honey

Dr. Thite

Topical application of honey has been used since antiquity to accelerate skin wound healing[1] Honey has been shown to inhibit the growth of several organisms responsible for wound infections[2,3,4] In one preliminary study, nine infants with large, open infected wounds that failed to heal with conventional treatment were treated successfully with topical application of honey.[5] Fresh unprocessed honey was applied to wounds in amounts of 5–10 ml twice daily for a period of 21 days. All infants showed marked clinical improvement after 5 days, and the wounds were closed and free of infection by 21 days. The use of honey most attractive, since honey headily available everywhere, and is from patient’s environment. 

Comfrey has anti-inflammatory properties that may decrease bruising when the herb is applied topically.[6]Comfrey is also widely used in traditional medicine as a topical application to help heal wounds.[7]  Lastly, from author's practice, Jatyadi Ghrutam, or Tailam are equally useful for local application, perhaps readily available online from  alayurveda.com but he would not recommend anything if local herbs are available.


1. Forest RD. Development of wound therapy from Dark Ages to the present. J Roy Soc Med 1982;75:268–73.

2. Cooper RA, Molan PC, Harding KG. Antibacterial activity of honey against strains of Staphylococcus aureas from infected wounds. J R Soc Med 1999;92:283–5.

3. Khristov G, Mladenov S. Honey in surgical practice: the antibacterial properties of honey. Khirurgiya 1961;14:937–45.

4. Obasieki-Ebor EE, Afonya TC, Onyekweli AO. Preliminary report on the antimicrobial activity of honey distillate. J Pharm Pharmacol 1983;35:748–9.

5. Vardi A, Barzilay Z, Linder N, et al. Local application of honey for treatment of neonatal postoperative wound infection. Acta Paediatr 1998;87:429–32.

6. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. The Complete German Commission E Monographs. Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin, Texas: American Botanical Council, 1998, 115–6.

7. Weiss R. Herbal Medicine. Gothenburg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1988, 342.