Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Propolis and Honey Better Than Acyclovir for Treating Cold Sores and Genital Herpes

Effect of honey and propolis, compared to acyclovir, against Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)-induced lesions: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Dec 26;287:114939

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Apitherapy is a branch of traditional medicine that uses bee products to manage numerous diseases. In this context, the antiherpetic effect of these bee products has been demonstrated in some studies with some controversial results.

Aim of the study: Thus, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare the effectiveness of honey and propolis with acyclovir, the reference drug, in the treatment of cold sores and genital herpes.

Materials and methods: The selection of eligible studies was conducted through the search in Pubmed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane Library, LILACS, and Electronic Scientific Library.

Results: The search yielded 147 articles, of which nine were considered eligible for analysis. The analysis of these studies showed that the healing property of propolis is superior to that obtained for acyclovir (95% CI: 2.70 to 8.25; p = 0.0001). Furthermore, honey also presented a better healing effect than acyclovir against Herpes simplex virus-induced wounds (95% CI: 3.58 to -0.19; p = 0.03), inducing complete re-epithelization of herpetic lesions after 8 days, while for acyclovir, the healing time average was 9 days. It also provoked a similar reduction of pain caused by herpetic compared to acyclovir (95% CI: 2.27 to -0.42; p = 0.18).

Conclusions: Overall, these results confirm the use of honey and propolis as potent antiherpetic agents.

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