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Honey Relieves Herpes Better than Acyclovir

Cold sores or genital herpes outbreaks are very annoying and sometimes difficult to treat. If you have herpes, consider using honey the next time you have an outbreak.

In a study of 16 men and women with recurrent cold sores or genital herpes, topical application of honey was compared to administration of acyclovir cream, a drug commonly used to treat herpes.

As compared to acyclovir, application of honey to the sores was much better in terms of reduced attacks and pain, occurrence of crusting, and healing time. The people who used honey instead of acyclovir cream shortened their healing time by 43% for cold sores and 59% for genital herpes sores.

With acyclovir treatment, none of the attacks went into complete remission, and all the lesions developed a crust. No side effects were noted with repeated applications of honey, whereas 3 patients developed local itching with acyclovir.

The patients were asked to randomly use either acyclovir or honey treatment during the first attack. They were instructed to initiate treatment within 1 hour of the appearance of first sign or symptom of recurrence.

When honey was used as the treatment, the lesions were firmly pressed with gauze soaked with honey for 15 minutes, 4 times a day, until completely healed. When acyclovir cream was used, it was applied 6 times a day.

In this study, topical honey was found to be safe and effective in the management of the symptoms of recurrent herpes infections. We suggest you use an unprocessed honey from wildflower sources.

Source: Al-Waili N, Topical Honey Application vs Acyclovir for the Treatment of Recurrent Herpes Simplex Lesions, Med Sci Monit, 2004;10(8):MT94-MT98