Image for Honey
Honey
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • Acacia honey, adular, älskling, amour, andromedotoxin-containing honey, Apis mellifera (honey bee), apitherapy product, azaleas honey, bee products, blackberry honey, blueberry honey, borage honey, buckwheat honey, chou, cielo, citrus sinensis osbeck, clarified honey, clover honey, coisa doce, deli bal, endulzar, falar docemente, feng mi, flavonoids, grayanotoxin honey, hachimitsu, honeydew, honig, honing, honingkleur, honung, HY-1, iets beeldigs, jelly bush honey, kamahi honey, kanuka honey, lastig portret, lavender honey, Leptospermum honey, lief doen, liefje (aanspreekvorm), ling honey, ljuvhet, mad honey, madu, Manuka honey, mel, mel depuratum, melliferous products, miel, miel blanc, miele, mi vida, moeilijk probleem, mooi praten, mountain laurel honey, namorado, nectar, Nigerian citrus honey, nodding thistle honey, orange blossom honey, pasture honey, purified honey, rata honey, raw honey, rewarewa honey, rhododendron honey, schatz, smöra, sourwood honey, strained honey, sunflower honey, tala smickrande, tansy ragwort honey, Tasmanian leatherwood honey, tawari honey, tesoro, toppensak, toxic honey, tupelo honey, tutan bal, US IX, versuikeren, vipers bugloss honey, vleien, wild thyme honey, zoet maken.
  • Combination product examples: Hydromel (honey and water); mead (fermented honey with wine-grade yeast).

Background

  • Honey is a sweet fluid made by honeybees from the nectar of flowers. It is generally safe, but there have been reports of certain toxic types of honey made from plants from the Rhododendron genus and others.
  • Honey is easy for the body to absorb and use. It contains about 70-80 percent sugar. The rest is water, minerals, and some protein, acids, and other substances. Honey has been used for wounds, skin problems, and various diseases of the stomach and intestines.
  • The antibacterial effects of honey are well-known. Research has been done on the role of honey in long-term wound management, as well as the treatment of ulcers, burns, Fournier's gangrene (a life-threatening bacterial infection), and diabetes. However, more high-quality studies are needed to make firm conclusions on the use of honey.

Evidence

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Author Information

  • Content available for subscribers only.

References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  • Content available for subscribers only.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.