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Volume 11, Issue 1 (6-2021)                   cmja 2021, 11(1): 6-19 | Back to browse issues page

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Dormohammadi M, Noori Dolooee R. Effect of Honey on Women’s Reproductive Health: A Narrative Review. cmja. 2021; 11 (1) :6-19
URL: http://cmja.arakmu.ac.ir/article-1-790-en.html
1- Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Quchan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Quchan, Iran. , mid_mdm@ yahoo.com
2- Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Quchan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Quchan, Iran.
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1. Introduction
Women’s health has a broad meaning and its dimensions include physical, mental, social, cultural and spiritual health and is influenced by socio-political, economic and biological factors. Although health issues and problems are important for both sexes, it is more important to pay attention to the health of women, because they (ecpecially girls) have special conditions due to their gender and, consequently, the responsibility and role expected by society [1].
One of the most important issues in human life is nutrition. Humans have been familiar with the healing properties of honey for thousands of years. Honey is one of the important foods mentioned in the Qur’an. In addition to be used as a food, honey has been used for therapeutic purposes. For example, for the prevention of arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis [6], infectious wounds, second degree burns [7], diarrhea [8], weight gain and metabolic syndrome [9], atopic dermatitis [10], pain relief after tonsillectomy [11], diabetic foot ulcer [12], fungal infections [13], cough, swelling and sore throat [17-20]. Honey contains a variety of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants that play an important role in protecting living organisms against oxidative stress, and prevent a variety of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes [16].
Due to the fact that today traditional medicine, complementary medicine, nutrition therapy, and the use of functional foods have a special place in maintaining health and preventing and treating diseases in humans and given that women’s health plays an important role in family and community health, this study aims to investigate the effect of honey on women’s reproductive health.

2. Materials and Methods
The present study is a narrative review. A search was conducted on related articles in Persian and English in Scopus, ISI, Google Scholar, Embase, Pubmed, Medline, Sid, and Medline databases using the keywords: Honey And Reproductive Health, Pregnancy, Postpartum,Child Labor, Breastfeeding, and Women Health in Persian and English. The criteria for selecting articles were related qualitative and quantitative studies published from 2000 to 2020, availability of fulltexts, and those examined the effect of honey on menstrual pain, childbirth, episiotomy, and candidiasis vaginitis. Articles in languages other than Persian and English, articles with incomplete and unrelated data and review articiles were excluded from the study. Two researchers searched the articles simultaneously. To select the articles in the first step, their title, abstract and keywords were evaluated and checked based on the inclusion criteria. In the second stage, their full texts were independently reviewed by two researchers. The initial search yielded 76 articles. After removing duplicate articles with overlapping data, 25 articles were remained. Finally, after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 13 articles were selected for review.

3. Results
The results of studies showed that honey can inhibit the growth of Candida to a great extent both in vitro and in vivo. Honey could significantly inhibit the growth of Candida without affecting Lactobacillus [21]. In addition to treating candidiasis vaginitis, honey did not alter the natural flora of the vagina compared to clotrimazole [25]. Consumption of pure honey significantly reduced the severity of pain and the amount of menstrual bleeding in women with primary menstrual pain [29]. The severity of headache, nausea and vomiting, and primary dysmenorrhea significant decreased after consumption of pure honey [30]. Consumption of honey significantly reduced the labor pain. The pain was significantly reduced 120 minutes after consumption [32]. In Ghaderi et al.’s study, the duration of the first stage of labor in the honey saffron syrup group was significantly shorter than in the saffron sugar syrup group [33]. In another study, the effect of honey cream on episiotomy wound healing was more than phenytoin and placebo cream [34]. In a study, comparison of the effect of honey and lavender on pain intensity and improvement of episiotomy showed that the reduction of pain intensity in the group treated with honey was statistically significantly different from that of other groups [35]. Honey significantly reduced the severity of pain, the use of analgesics, the continuity of the wound site, and inflammation of the episiotomy region [36]. Honey was also effective in cesarean section wound healing [38]. 

4. Conclusion
Since the use of herbal medicines has less side effects than synthetic medicines, It seems logical that pure honey can be used as a complementary medicine and in combination with chemical drugs to increase the effectiveness of these drug and achieve better results.

Ethical Considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines

This article is a meta-analysis with no human or animal sample.

This research did not receive any grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or non-profit sectors.
Authors' contributions

 Both authors equally contributed to preparing this article

Conflicts of interest
The authors declared no conflict of interest.
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Type of Study: Review Paper | Subject: Traditional medicine

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