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FAQ Cold Sore

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. A HoneyLab study comparing Honevo® to the most well known lip lesion treatment acyclovir cream (often marketed as “Zovirax”), found that the time for lip lesions to heal was shorter when Honevo® was used. Also, a study conducted in Dubai found that honey was far superior to acyclovir in terms of healing lip lesions.

In addition, HoneyLab have a huge clinical study of nearly 1,000 people ongoing whereby people with lip lesions use either Honevo® or acyclovir cream. The results are expected in 2018 and we expect them to show that Honevo® is far superior in terms of reducing the time it takes for lip lesions to heal.

Apply to the affected area as often as you wish. It is recommended to apply it at least 5 times a day and applying it more will maximise the speed of healing.

Cold sores that are not treated usually take 5-7 days to go away on their own. The ongoing study will tell us for sure, but current information suggests that Honevo® will reduce this by at least 1-2 days.

Honevo® should be used until symptoms have disappeared.

No, this is not recommended, lip lesion treatments should be used for one episode only as there is a risk of the product being contaminated by viruses or bacteria.


No problem! Honevo® is safe to swallow and tastes great!

Honevo skin care products all contain the same strong kanuka honey formulation, however are packaged and labelled differently so that users can choose a product which is appropriately named, with specific application instructions for the condition.

You can take tablets for lip lesions in addition to using Honevo®, but it is not recommended to use any additional creams on the lip lesion.

We think that this is the case: Honevo® fights the virus which causes lip lesions. Additionally, unlike other treatments, Honevo® is excellent at speeding up the healing of wounds, and once a lip lesion has developed on the lip it is a wound that needs to heal.

There are 3 main reasons:

All honeys have different properties, and only the Honevo® formulation has been shown in clinical research to be an effective treatment for lip lesions.Honevo® is medical-grade (see below for why this is important).Honevo® contains a small amount of another natural product, glycerine, which improves its physical characteristics, making it less sticky than regular honey. It is also far more temperature stable and remains consistently fluid when warm or cold.

The study was undertaken independently by the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, who are based in Wellington and led by Professor Richard Beasley. In addition, the protocol for the large ongoing study was peer-reviewed by a New Zealand dermatologist and also the world-famous Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA.

The research was funded by HoneyLab, who are conducting the world’s biggest programme into the medical uses of honey.

Honey is classified according to its floral source and it can either be monofloral, if it is made predominantly from the nectar of one type of flower, or multifloral. Honevo® is created from kanuka honey which is sourced from hives that are located in dense kanuka plantations.

All honeys have different properties. We use kanuka as we found that it has very high antibacterial activity compared to other honeys. Kanuka honey also has antiinflammatory properties whereas manuka and others do not.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and and we know that honey is effective against this. Honey also reduces inflammation and Honevo® helps to heal wounds, and a lip lesion is a wound. Honey has a number of physicochemical characteristics which give it unique properties that are responsible for its effectiveness in treating some medical conditions:

Osmotic effect – honey is a concentrated sugar solution predominantly consisting of fructose and glucose. Few water molecules are available for micro-organisms and therefore it is a poor environment for their growth.Hydrogen peroxide – this is slowly released when the honey comes into contact with body fluids and has antiseptic properties.Acidity – honey is very acidic and with a pH of 3.2 to 4.5, is as acidic as some vinegars, which also makes micro-organism growth difficult.Antioxidants – it contains bioflavonoids and other antioxidants which may contribute to its activity.

Honey applied to the skin should be “medical-grade”, also known as “pharmaceutical-grade”. Application of untreated or raw honey often causes local inflammation which can be quite severe, as it often contains many impurities from bees and hives; it literally contains “bees knees”. Medical-grade honey is made by purifying and sterilising raw honey in a two-step process involving super-filtration and pasteurisation.

The tube of Honevo® lip lesion contains more than enough for the treatment of one lip lesion episode, and should be discarded after the lip lesion has healed.