December 2014, Volume 239, Issue 6, pp 1003-1014
Honey is a natural product produced by bees and has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal agent and dietary supplement. It is known to cure a wide variety of ailments and can be used as a potent anti-inflammatory and wound healing agent. These vital bioactivities of honey are far less well known than its antibacterial, antioxidant, and any other biological activities. Many clinical trials have been reported and revealed that, when honey is applied to wound, there is a decrease in inflammation and will have a soothing effect. There is much evidence for the anti-inflammatory and wound healing effects of honey in terms of publications in modern medical and scientific journals. The exact mechanism of anti-inflammatory activity and wound healing property of honey has yet to be demonstrated. Possibly there are several mechanisms of action. There are also some reports where honey exerts negligible side effects. The article focuses on the components of honey involved in its anti-inflammatory effect, possible mechanism of action, properties of honey responsible for its wound healing activity, and its adverse effects. Overall the review presents the evidence and explanation for the anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties of honey.