Honey-based medicinal formulations: A critical review

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Abstract

Honey, a concentrated natural product, is produced by honeybees (Apis mellifera) from the nectar of flowers. It contains over 200 compounds that exert various biological or pharmacological activities, ranging from antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antihypertensive to hypoglycemic effects. Due to the presence of a plethora of bioactive compounds, as well as unique physicochemical properties, honey has been widely used as medicine throughout human history along with its extensive utilization as common food and flavoring agent. The application of neat honey for therapeutic purpose, however, poses some difficulties such as the maintenance of a required therapeutic concentration over an adequate timeframe due to the problem of liquefaction and leakage. This has driven researchers to incorporate honey into a range of formulations, for example, hydrogels, dressings, ointments, pastes, or lozenges. After a brief discussion of the chemistry and medicinal use of honey, this review focuses on commercial honey-based medicinal formulations as well as in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies on noncommercial honey formulations for the treatment of various ailments. In addition to this, it also covers the application of honey formulations and the evidence underpinning their use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5159
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

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