Management of the burn wound still remains a matter of debate, and an ideal dressing for burn wounds has not yet been discovered. Naturally occurring substances such as honey have been found to be useful as a wound cover for burns. Unlike most conventional local chemotherapeutics, honey does not lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and it may be used continuously. Among the challenging problems of using honey for medical purposes are dosage, safety, and formulation. Many approaches have been suggested to overcome such problems. With the increased availability of licensed medical products containing honey, clinical use is expected to increase and further evidence will become available. Honey seems to have the potential to clear infection as well as to be an effective prophylactic agent that may contribute to reducing the risks of cross-infection. A better understanding of the therapeutic and chemical properties of honey is needed to optimise the use of this product in the clinical management of burns. Its use in professional care centres should be limited to those with certified healing activities. The potentials and limitations of using honey as burn dressing are discussed in this review.
Honey and other bee products were subjected to laboratory and clinical investigations during the past few decades and the most remarkable discovery was their antibacterial activity. Honey has been used since ancient times for the treatment of some diseases and for the healing of wounds but its use as an anti-infective agent was superseded by modern dressings and antibiotic therapy. However, the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria has confounded the current use of antibiotic therapy leading to the re-examination of former remedies. Honey, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom have a strong antibacterial activity. Even antibiotic-resistant strains such as epidemic strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycine resistant Enterococcus (VRE) have been found to be as sensitive to honey as the antibiotic-sensitive strains of the same species. Sensitivity of bacteria to bee products varies considerably within the product and the varieties of the same product. Botanical origin plays a major role in its antibacterial activity. Propolis has been found to have the strongest action against bacteria. This is probably due to its richness in flavonoids. The most challenging problems of using hive products for medical purposes are dosage and safety. Honey and royal jelly produced as a food often are not well filtered, and may contain various particles. Processed for use in wound care, they are passed through fine filters which remove most of the pollen and other impurities to prevent allergies. Also, although honey does not allow vegetative bacteria to survive, it does contain viable spores, including clostridia. With the increased availability of licensed medical stuffs containing bee products, clinical use is expected to increase and further evidence will become available. Their use in professional care centres should be limited to those which are safe and with certified antibacterial activities. The present article is a short review of recent patents on antibiotics of hives.
Topical application of honey to burn and wounds has been found to be effective in controlling infection and producing a clean granulating bed. It is suggested that the wound healing effect of honey may in part be related to the release of inflammatory cytokines from surrounding tissue cells, mainly monocytes and macrophages. It has been reported that honey hastens wound healing by accelerating wound contractions. Microscopic evaluation demonstrated that there was a significant acceleration of dermal repair in wound treated with honey. Macroscopic and microscopic observations under in vivo assessment suggested that the topical application of honey might have favourable influences on the various phases of burn and wound healing hence accelerating the healing process. The regulatory effects of honey are related to components other than the sugars. However, the mechanisms by which honey affects the release of anti inflammatory agents and growth factors from monocytic cells are as yet unclear. Whether honey affects other cell types, particularly endothelial cells and fibroblasts, involved in wound healing also needs to be clarified. The present article is a short review of recent patents on the healing effect of honey in wound and burn management.
The aim of the present study was to characterize the physical, biochemical and antioxidant properties of Algerian honey samples (n = 4). Physical parameters, such as pH, moisture content, electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), color intensity, total sugar and sucrose content were measured. Several biochemical and antioxidant tests were performed to determine the antioxidant properties of the honey samples. The mean pH was 3.84 ± 0.01, and moisture the content was 13.21 ± 0.16%. The mean EC was 0.636 ± 0.001, and the mean TDS was 316.92 ± 0.92. The mean color was 120.58 ± 0.64 mm Pfund, and the mean 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content was 21.49 mg/kg. The mean total sugar and reducing sugar contents were 67.03 ± 0.68 g/mL and 64.72 ± 0.52 g/g, respectively. The mean sucrose content was 2.29 ± 0.65%. High mean values of phenolic (459.83 ± 1.92 mg gallic acid/kg), flavonoid (54.23 ± 0.62 mg catechin/kg), ascorbic acid (159.70 ± 0.78 mg/kg), AEAC (278.15 ± 4.34 mg/kg), protein (3381.83 ± 6.19 mg/kg) and proline (2131.47 ± 0.90) contents, as well as DPPH (39.57% ± 4.18) and FRAP activities [337.77 ± 1.01 µM Fe (II)/100 g], were also detected, indicating that Algerian honey has a high antioxidant potential. Strong positive correlations were found between flavonoid, proline and ascorbic acid contents and color intensity with DPPH and FRAP values. Thus, the present study revealed that Algerian honey is a good source of antioxidants.