The evidence confirms its antibacterial properties and additional beneficial effects of medical honey on wound healing, according to this article published in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

What is it?

  • Leptospermum is a genus of about 80 species of plants in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, which is marketed as Medihoney.

How does it work?

  • It’s hygroscopic, meaning it draws moisture out of the environment and dehydrates bacteria.
  • In addition, it has anti-inflammatory effects.
  • More on its action is summarized here.

How it is applied to wounds?

  • Medical honey dressings (or poultice) should keep the honey in contact with the wound for at least 12 hours — preferably 24 hours.
  • In stable wounds, the Medihoney dressing has been left in place up to 7 days.


  • About 5% of patients report stinging pain after administration.
  • Local hypersensitivity reactions are less common.
  • No systemic reactions have been reported.

The bottom line?
It might be a treatment option for MRSA (methacillin-resistant Staph aureus) skin infections. The article discusses other uses as well.

The author’s concluded, “The current evidence … should encourage other wound care professionals to use CE-certified honey dressings with standardized antibacterial activity, such as Medihoney products, as an alternative treatment approach in wounds of different natures.”

1/11/08 19:36 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.