This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (6 MAR 2015)
Honey as a topical treatment for wounds
Editorial Group: Cochrane Wounds Group
Published Online: 8 OCT 2008
Assessed as up-to-date: 26 MAY 2008
Copyright © 2009 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
How to Cite
Jull AB, Rodgers A, Walker N. Honey as a topical treatment for wounds. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD005083. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005083.pub2.
- Publication Status: Edited (no change to conclusions)
- Published Online: 8 OCT 2008
This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (06 MAR 2015)
Honey is a viscous, supersaturated sugar solution derived from nectar gathered and modified by the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Honey has been used since ancient times as a remedy in wound care. Evidence from animal studies and some trials has suggested honey may accelerate wound healing.
The objective was to determine whether honey increases the rate of healing in acute wounds (burns, lacerations and other traumatic wounds) and chronic wounds (venous ulcers, arterial ulcers, diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, infected surgical wounds).
We searched the Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (May 2008), CENTRAL (May 2008) and several other electronic databases (May 2008). Bibliographies were searched and manufacturers of dressing products were contacted for unpublished trials.
Randomised and quasi randomised trials that evaluated honey as a treatment for any sort of acute or chronic wound were sought. There was no restriction in terms of source, date of publication or language. Wound healing was the primary endpoint.
Data collection and analysis
Data from eligible trials were extracted and summarised using a data extraction sheet by one author and independently verified by a second author.
19 trials (n=2554) were identified that met the inclusion criteria. In acute wounds, three trials evaluated the effect of honey in acute lacerations, abrasions or minor surgical wounds and nine trials evaluated the effect the honey in burns. In chronic wounds two trials evaluated the effect of honey in venous leg ulcers and one trial in pressure ulcers, infected post-operative wounds, and Fournier's gangrene respectively. Two trials recruited people with mixed groups of chronic or acute wounds. The poor quality of most of the trial reports means the results should be interpreted with caution, except in venous leg ulcers. In acute wounds, honey may reduce time to healing compared with some conventional dressings in partial thickness burns (WMD -4.68 days, 95%CI -4.28 to -5.09 days). All the included burns trials have originated from a single centre, which may have impact on replicability. In chronic wounds, honey in addition to compression bandaging does not significantly increase healing in venous leg ulcers (RR 1.15, 95%CI 0.96 to 1.38). There is insufficient evidence to determine the effect of honey compared with other treatments for burns or in other acute or chronic wound types.
Honey may improve healing times in mild to moderate superficial and partial thickness burns compared with some conventional dressings. Honey dressings as an adjuvant to compression do not significantly increase leg ulcer healing at 12 weeks. There is insufficient evidence to guide clinical practice in other areas.
Plain language summary
Honey as a topical treatment for acute and chronic wounds
Honey is a viscous, supersaturated sugar solution derived from nectar gathered and modified by the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Honey has been used since ancient times as a remedy in wound care. More recently trials have evaluated the effects of using honey to help wound healing in both acute wounds (for example burns, lacerations) and chronic wounds (for example venous leg ulcers, pressure ulcers). Although honey may improve healing times in mild to moderate superficial and partial thickness burns compared with some conventional dressings, it was found that honey dressings used alongside compression therapy do not significantly increase leg ulcer healing at 12 weeks. There is insufficient evidence to guide clinical practice for other wound types.
我們搜尋了the Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (2008年5月)、CENTRAL (2008年5月)及其他幾個電子資料庫(2008年5月)。搜尋參考資料並和敷料製造商連絡，以取得未發表的試驗。
我們找到19個符合收錄標準的試驗(n = 2554)。在急性傷口方面，有3個試驗評估蜂蜜對於急性撕裂傷、擦傷及小手術傷口的幫助，9個試驗評估蜂蜜對於燒傷的幫助。在慢性傷口方面，2個試驗評估蜂蜜對於靜脈性腿部潰瘍的幫助，1個試驗評估其對於褥瘡、術後感染傷口及佛尼爾氏壞疽的幫助。2個試驗以混和慢性或急性傷口的組別募集參與者。大部分的試驗品質都不好，這表示在解讀其結果時應該特別小心，除了靜脈腿部潰瘍以外。在急性傷口方面，和傳統敷料比較，蜂蜜可以縮短二度燒傷的傷口癒合的時間(WMD −4.68 days, 95%CI −4.28 to −5.09 days)。所有收錄的有關燒傷的試驗都是由單一機構執行，這對於結果可重複性可能會有影響。在慢性傷口方面，併用蜂蜜和壓力繃帶，對於靜脈腿部潰瘍的癒合並沒有顯著的幫助(RR 1.15, 95%CI 0.96 to 1.38)。目前沒有足夠的證據去判定，和其他治療方式比較，蜂蜜對於燒傷或其它及慢性傷口的療效。