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Honey - Research

Honey has shown to help soothe burns and other wounds by forming a protective barrier.5  Studies are being performed on the external uses of honey for its possible effect on wounds and eye infections, as well as for the management of skin lesions, sores, and irritations.6,7,8,9,10  Other studies are being performed on the potential use of honey for gingivitis and plaque.11,12  
To produce one pound of honey, 160,000 bees need to make numerous trips to two million flowers to collect four pounds of nectar.3
Traditionally, honey was used externally to treat eye ailments and skin sores, and internally to treat coughs, colds, diarrhea, sore throat, constipation, insomnia, and nausea.2,4  Additionally, honey was believed to enhance physical performance and prevent fatigue, as well as serve as a remedy for mouth sores and bronchial infections.1  In Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine, honey is used to more quickly absorb herbal products and soothe mouth sores.1  
1  Honey[Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations website]. Available at: www.fao.org/docrep/w0076e/w0076e04.htm. Accessed October 12, 2004.
2  DerMarderosian A, Beutler JA (editors). The Review of Natural Products: The Most Complete Source of Natural Product Information. 3rd edition. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons, 2002.
3  Onstad D. Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers and Lovers of Natural Foods. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Company; 1996.
4  Leung AY and Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. 2nd ed. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1996.
5  Garner-Wizard M. Review of bee products: honey, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly. HerbClip. October 30, 1999 (No. 091494-166). Austin, TX: American Botanical Council. Review of Bee products: medicine from the hive by Broadhurst CL. Nutrition Science News. August 1999; 4(8):366,368.
6  Al-Waili NS. Investigating the antimicrobial activity of natural honey and its effects on the pathogenic bacterial infections of surgical wounds and conjunctiva[abstract]. J Med Food. Summer 2004;7(2):210-222.
7  Al-Waili NS. Topical honey application vs. acyclovir for the treatment of recurrent herpes simplex lesions[abstract]. Med Sci Monit. August 2004;10(8):MT94-98.
8  Dunford CE and Hanano R. Acceptability to patients of a honey dressing for non-healing venous leg ulcers[abstract]. J Wound Care. May 2004;13(5):193-197.
9  Al-Waili NS. An alternative treatment for pityriasis versicolor, tinea cruris, tinea corporis and tinea faciei with topical application of honey, olive oil and beeswax mixture: an open pilot study[abstract]. Complement Ther Med. March 2004;12(1):45-47.
10  Al-Waili NS. Topical application of natural honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture for atopic dermatitis or psoriasis: partially controlled, single-blinded study[abstract]. Complement Ther Med. December 2003;11(4):226-234.
11  English HK, Pack AR, Molan PC. The effects of manuka honey on plaque and gingivitis: a pilot study[abstract]. J Int Acad Periodontol. April 2004;6(2) 63-67.
12  Asadi-Pooya AA, Pnjehshahin MR, Beheshti S. The antimycobacterial effect of honey: an in vitro study[abstract]. Riv Biol. September-December 2003;96(3):491-495

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