Researchers from the University of Auckland have once again confirmed honey's healing qualities – this time as a dressing for burns. This finding has added one more to the wide range of honey's healing properties. Honey has been long used as a throat-soothing remedy, recently updated to a sinus – fighter and now a topical application.

Nineteen small clinical trials, with less than 100 participants each, have shown that honey accelerates the healing and rejuvenation of skin affected by burns by promoting new skin tissue growth and the removal of dead tissues.

In a study that included 2,554 patients with a variety of different wounds, honey's antibacterial qualities have proven effective in reducing burn wounds. The healing time was reduced with the application of honey compared with commonly used wound dressings made out of gauze on burns but proved inefficient with surgical scars, ulcers or cuts.

Honey has been applied to partially thick burns as well as mild to moderately superficial burns that caused damage to nerves. With honey application, the blood vessels healed up to four days faster than when normal approaches to burn wounds have been taken, such as the often-prescribed cream silver sulphadiazine known as SSD.

Honeys that seemed to work the best have been narrowed down to aloe, jambhul, manuka or jarrah.

The researchers warn that honey should not yet be used on acute wounds such as abrasions and lacerations or on minor, uncomplicated wounds left to heal after surgery. Although the trials gave positive results, honey is not yet released for general use and health services should refrain from providing honey dressing for routine use.