Cough. Taking a small amount of honey at bedtime appears to reduce the number of coughing spells in children age 2 and older. Honey appears to be at least as effective as the cough suppressantdextromethorphan in typical over-the-counter doses. Some researchers think the sweet taste of honey triggers salivation. This, in turn, promotes secretion of mucus, which wets the airway and calms the cough.
Wound healing. Applying honey preparations directly to wounds or using dressings containing honey seems to improve healing. Several small clinical trials and case reports describe the use of honey or honey-soaked dressings for various types of wounds, including wounds after surgery, chronic leg ulcers, abscesses, burns, abrasions, cuts, and places where skin was taken for grafting. Honey seems to reduce odors and pus, help clean the wound, reduce infection, reduce pain, and decrease time to healing. In some reports, wounds healed with honey after other treatments failed to work.
Insufficient Evidence for:
Hay fever. Research so far suggests that taking one tablespoon of honey daily, in addition to standard treatment, does not significantly improve symptoms.
Athletic performance. Some preliminary clinical evidence suggests that honey might bring blood sugar to normal levels following exercise and improve performance when given during exercise.
Infections caused by catheters used for kidney dialysis. Early research suggests that manuka honey (Medihoney) applied three times weekly to the exit sites of certain types of implanted hemodialysis catheters is as effective as a standard treatment called mupirocin ointment in reducing the occurrence of catheter-associated infections and blood infections.
Diabetic foot ulcers. Some reports suggest that applying topical raw honey can speed healing of otherwise non-healing diabetic foot ulcers. This seems to be true even if the wound is infected by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), or Pseudomonas infection. In one report, a previously non-healing wound healed completely after applying supermarket honey under dressings for 6-12 months. This patient’s leg was saved from amputation.
Sore mouth due to radiation treatment (mucositis). Beginning research suggests that honey made from tea tree (Camellia sinensis) nectar taken by mouth can reduce the seriousness of mouth sores, painful swallowing, and weight loss associated with radiation therapy for head and neck cancers.
Breaking up thick mucus secretions.
Digestive tract ulcers.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).