One of the most common complications of cancer chemotherapy is oral mucositis. Researchers have evaluated the therapeutic effects of honey with the focus on grade III and IV oral mucositis, reduction of bacterial and fungal infections, duration of episodes of oral mucositis, and body weight in pediatric leukemic patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy. A significant reduction of oral mucositis, associated Candida, and aerobic pathogenic bacterial infections was noted in patients treated with honey. Also, there was a significant decrease in the duration of hospitalization for all those in the honey group combined with a significant increase of body weight, delayed onset, and decreased severity of pain related to oral mucositis.
A recent study compared nanocrystalline silver, manuka homey, and conventional dressing for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcer. The results showed that the proportions of complete ulcer healing were 81.8%, 50%, and 40% in the silver, honey, and conventional groups, respectively. The ulcer size reduction rate was higher in the silver group (97.45%) than the honey group (86.21%) and the conventional group (75.17%). In bacteriology, silver showed a greater rate of microorganism reduction although it was not significant.
Although honey has been used for the treatment of wounds since ancient time, a review of the research looked specifically at topical honey for diabetic foot ulcer. The review showed that honey is safe for diabetic foot ulcer patients but more research is needed to confirm its efficacy.