For thousands of years, honey has been utilized for its wound and antibacterial properties. It is not surprising why many groups of scientists have decided to study it as potential cure for herpes.
Although there are only few clinical trials of honey as a treatment for herpes there have been some studies that examined the efficacy of both honey and propolis (another bee product) for treating the symptoms of herpes. Luckily, these studies have been successful.
The biggest published human study employed 90 patients carrying herpes to try one of three treatments during their outbreaks: placebo ointment, topical acyclovir, and propolis treatment. They found out that patients who used propolis experienced faster healing of their lesions. They were healed in 10 days of treatment than those patients who used topical acyclovir and placebo ointment.
A small study employed 8 patients with genital herpes and 8 patients with oral herpes. They randomize each patient with either topical acyclovir or honey and then honey on the two subsequent outbreaks. This specific study allowed the scientists to manage the differences between how patients experience outbreaks. It found out that the length of each outbreak, pain duration, and healing time were faster with honey compared to topical acyclovir.
A laboratory study of at least five studies has looked at how the propolis affects herpes virus in vitro and all have suggested that it exerts a moderate inhibitory effect. These studies conclude that even relatively low amounts of propolis extracts can be efficient at disrupting the replication of herpes simplex virus.
In summary, these studies conclude that topical application of honey may have a beneficial effect in the healing process of herpes lesions. Although alternative and complementary medicine trials can be hard to fund and publish, further studies are definitely indicated, and it will be valuable to see if the results are positive in the future studies. It would be fascinating to see how effective honey is compared to topical acyclovir. It can be used as a suppressive treatment for individuals who are still suffering from outbreaks. This is a good candidate for a research project.