Pink Eye and raw HONEY

Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Rural family doctors have used topical raw honey for centuries as an antibiotic and anti-fungal – even in the eye as a treatment for conjunctivitis (pink eye). As a medical doctor who kept bees before practicing, and as the founder and past president of the American Apitherapy Society (1986), I can endorse this safe and effective and cost-effective treatment. Raw honey is available from SAFALAB

Here is some scientific validation in peer-reviewed scientific articles. Honey can be administered diluted as honey water drops or straight – undiluted. Stings a bit … but not like a beesting!~

Ayu.2011 Jul;32(3):365-9. doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.93916.

Effect of rasanjana madhu ashchyotana in netra abhishyanda (mucopurulent conjunctivitis).

Bhardwaj A1, Tanwar M.


To evaluate the comparative efficacy of Ayurvedic formulation a Rasanjana Madhu (RM) eye drops and Honey Rose (HR) water eye drops in Netra Abhishyanda in mucopurulent conjunctivitis, the current study is planned. Total of 35 patients attending the outpatient department of Shalakya Tantra at R. G. G. Postgraduate Ayurvedic College, Paprola, Distt. Kangra, Himachal Pradesh with characteristic features of Netra Abhishyanda were selected for the present study. Twenty patients were given trial drug, i.e., RM eye drops, while 15 patients were given HR eye drops. Random sampling technique was adopted for the present study. The duration of the treatment was 7 days with 1 week follow-up. Patients receiving the trial group demonstrated reduction of redness, burning sensation, lacrimation, photophobia, foreign body sensation, discharge, and congestion, which were statistically significant with 93% patients cured or markedly improved category. Signs and symptoms stated above were also statistically reduced with HR eye drops, probably because of well-documented hygroscopic and bacteriocidal properties of honey. Based on the study, it can be concluded that, RM eye drops are very effective in the management of Netra Abhishyanda viz. Infective conjunctivitis.


J Exp Pharmacol.2012 May 16;4:63-8. doi: 10.2147/JEP.S28415. eCollection 2012.

The efficacy of stingless bee honey for the treatment of bacteria-induced conjunctivitis in guinea pigs.

Ilechie AA1, Kwapong PK2, Mate-Kole E1, Kyei S1, Darko-Takyi C1.


The efficacy of the conjunctival application of a crude concentration of stingless bee honey (SBH) for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis was investigated in an animal model. Bacterial conjunctivitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa was induced in Hartley guinea pigs. The conjunctival application of SBH or gentamicin was used for treatment, and the results of this treatment were compared with control values. Inflammatory signs, duration of infection (ie, positive culture), and time for the complete resolution of infection with S. aureus or P. aeruginosa were shortened by the conjunctival application of 1 drop (70 µL) of crude SBH twice daily. The potency of SBH was comparable with that of gentamicin. SBH may be a rational agent for the treatment of infective conjunctivitis in humans; it is inexpensive and commonly available to the rural population.


J Med Food.2004 Summer;7(2):210-22.

Investigating the antimicrobial activity of natural honey and its effects on the pathogenic bacterial infections of surgical wounds and conjunctiva.

Al-Waili NS1.


Antimicrobial activities of 10-100% (wt/vol) concentrations of new honey, stored honey, heated honey, ultraviolet-exposed honey, and heated stored honey were tested against common human pathogens, including Escherichia coli, Entrobacter cloacae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella dysenteriae, Klebsiella sp., Haemophilus influenzae, Proteus sp., Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus hemolyticus group B, and Candida albicans. Antimicrobial activity of honey was tested in acidic, neutral, or alkaline media. These were compared with similar concentrations of glucose in nutrient broth. Surgical wounds were made on the dorsum of mice and infected with S. aureus or Klebsiella sp. The wounds were treated with local application of honey four times a day or appropriate antibiotics and compared with control values. Bacterial conjunctivitis due to E. coli, Proteus sp., S. aureus, Klebsiella sp., and P. aeruginosa was induced in rats. Conjunctival application of honey four times a day or appropriate antibiotics was used for treatment and compared with control values. Growth of all the isolates was completely inhibited by 30-100% honey concentrations. The most sensitive microbes were E. coli, P. aeruginosa, and H. influenzae. Glucose showed less antimicrobial activity than honey, and many microbes showed positive culture even in 100% glucose. Heating to 80 degrees C for 1 hour decreased antimicrobial activity of both new and stored honey. Storage of honey for 5 years decreased its antimicrobial activity, while ultraviolet light exposure increased its activity against some of the microorganisms. Antimicrobial activity of honey was stronger in acidic media than in neutral or alkaline media. Single doses of honey used to prepare the 60% concentration in nutrient broth were bacteriocidal for P. aeruginosa and bacteriostatic for S. aureus and Klebsiella sp. during certain periods. Local application of raw honey on infected wounds reduced redness, swelling, time for complete resolution of lesion, and time for eradication of bacterial infection due to S. aureus or Klebsiella sp. Its potency was comparable to that of local antibiotics. Honey application into infective conjunctivitis reduced redness, swelling, pus discharge, and time for eradication of bacterial infections due to all the isolates tested.


Rev Chir Oncol Radiol O R L Oftalmol Stomatol Ser Oftalmol.1985 Jan-Mar;29(1):53-61.

[Efficacy of combined biological therapy with bee products in localized palpebral and conjunctival eye lesions with reference to the clinico-functional changes].

[Article in Romanian]

Popescu MPPaloş EPopescu F.

PMID: 3159053

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *