a tube of Activon honey

Activon – a medical grade honey for wounds review

Activon honey is a medical grade honey for wounds, produced by Advancis Medical from manuka honey, New Zealand.

When shall we use it?

On infected wounds. Superficial wounds usually heal themselves quickly, but in cases of infected wounds or serious burns it is best to use Activon – a medical grade honey.  Use it for sloughy wounds, pressure ulcers, leg ulcers, surgical wounds, burns, graft sites, malodorous wounds.

How do we know the wound is infected?

If the area of the wound is showing the classical signs of inflammation: redness, pus, swelling and pain.
The first thing that should be done is to remove the cause of the inflammation, which is to kill the infecting bacteria and remove any pus or dead tissue, that provide a medium for their growth.

How does honey heal?

The various bioactivities of honey work together for a rapid healing — honey rapidly debrides wounds (ie. cleans the wound by releasing pus or dead tissue), kills bacteria, directly suppresses inflammation, and stimulates the growth of the various types of cells involved in the production of new tissue to repair the wound. It will de-bride and de-slough, eliminate odours and provides a moist wound healing environment.

Here are the factors that turn honey into a healing medicine. (More details on how does honey act as antimicrobial here: How to kill antibiotic resistant bacteria)

1. Low content of water. The water content is between 18% and 20% or even lower. When honey comes in contact with other tissues, it literally absorbs the water from the cells, thus killing them.

2. Low pH. Usually between 3.3 and 4.6, with some exception: chestnut honey (pH, between 5 and 6) and honeydew honey (pH between 4.5 and 6.5).

3. Hydrogen peroxide activity. Honey contains an enzyme called oxidase. Its role is to break the glucose down into gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. Due to low pH, this doesn’t happen in pure honey, but when it is applied on a wound, the serum from the tissues dilute the honey and raises its pH, also adding sodium and activating the oxidase. Small quantities of hydrogen peroxide is produced little by little directly on the wound.

4. Other floral factors. If honey is made of thyme, it will include the essence of all thyme therapeutic properties. Here we can also add: antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, enzymes and peptides.

5.  MGO -methylglyoxal. Found in larger quantities in manuka honey and kanuka honey, this is MGO is a substance with high antibacterial properties. The quantity of MGO found in Manuka Honey is expressed in UMF – Unique Manuka Factor.

Can we use any type of honey?

– All honeys are good for healing skin conditions. They work through the 4 factors from the list above.
– Simple manuka and kanuka are also very good on any type of skin infection, in Australia being widely use in treating infected wounds in animals.
Medical grade honey is manuka honey that has been was sterilized from all impurities and microorganisms (spores).

• Manuka honey – THE BEST to treat wounds, burns, skin infections.

From this point of view it is safer to use it on any kind of wound, no matter how deep it is.

back of activon tube honey

What is Activon?

It’s medical grade honey, especially produced for application on wounds. It has unique properties and is produced in the medical Manuka honey program NZ. Activon Tube contains 100% Manuka honey with no additives from New Zealand.

Activon Tube is ideal for debriding necrotic tissue, or for topping up dressings where the honey has been washed away by exudate. Great for using in cavities, just wash away with saline solution.


  • Is can be used on wounds, sores and ulcers: pressure ulcers, leg ulcers, diabetic ulcers, surgical wounds, burns, graft sites, infected wounds, cavity wounds and sinuses.
  • It can rapidly cleanse yellow/black wounds
  • Promotes fast wound healing.
  • Reduces wound odours
  • Ideal for debriding necrotic tissue
  • Can be used under compression bandaging.
  • No stinging
  • No additives
  • low price on Amazon.com. Compared to other medical grade honey dressings, it’s quite affordable.

How shall we use Activon tube?

Twist off the cap and apply to the wound bed to a minimum depth of 5mm and cover with an appropriate secondary dressing. Activon Tube is a single patient use only product, once opened use within 90 days.

how to apply activon on the wound

There will be high levels of exudate, but this is perfectly normal. It will decrease over time, therefore your secondary dressing of choice may initially need to be super absorbent. For this, the producer of Activon recommends using Eclypse – Super Absorber Dressings. 

Here are other details on Activon Manuka Honey from its producer Advances Medical.

What is Eclypse?

An absorber dressing, which is placed white face down on wound surface with beige backing uppermost. For large wounds several dressings can be placed side-by-side and secured with an appropriate tape or bandage.

Wear time will depend on the level of exudate but Eclypse can be left in place for up to seven days. Eclypse can be used under compression therapy.

how to use eclypse absorber dressing

They come is many shapes that will perfectly adjust all parts of your body:

Eclypse Super Absorbent Secondary Dressing 10cm x 10cm (20 Dressings)


Does it have any contra-indications?

– Don’t use it if you are allergic to bee venom.
– If you have diabetes and use it, it is best to monitor your levels, though it is known that honey is not absorbed into the blood stream. But is the wound is big, check the sugar levels.
– When first applied, you may feel a discomfort and may need to take an analgesic. The initial discomfort usually subsides, however if it does continue, discontinue use and irrigate the wound with saline solution.

Are these products complying with the regulations?

Medical grade manuka honey is made based on a quality management system which complies with the requirements of AS/NZS ISO9001:2000 and is also Good Manufacturing Practice certified by the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (MEDSAFE). The Medical Device Manufacturing Company also complies with the European Directives for medical devices in order to affix ‘Certification European’ (CE) marking on its products.

Here is what I’ve found on Amazon. Some of them, of course:

 Other similar products you may be interested in:

• Medihoney® wound dressing review – the leading wound dressing on the market
• Xtrasorb® – the best in the list of wound care dressings. Product review. – the best wound absorbent dressing. It is recommended to be used after applying Medihoney or Activon, or other medical grade honey you have. This cover dressing will ensure the safety of the wound, while absorbing and retaining the fluid, even under exterior pressure.


picture source: http://www.advancis.co.uk/products/activon-manuka-honey/activon-tube  and http://www.advancis.co.uk/products/super-absorber-dressings/eclypse

Laura Bujor

Laura Bujor is the author and founder of HealthyWithHoney.com. She built this website as a personal journey to discover the power of honey and share it with the world. She learned directly from beekeepers and took a course in apitherapy. From a hobby, honey and apitherapy turned into a professional career. You can find her on LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and X.

View all posts by Laura Bujor →

19 thoughts on “Activon – a medical grade honey for wounds review

  1. Hi Laura. I would like to know the UMF or the MGO rating but I cannot find the either rating for this product anywhere. Do you know what its actual UMF or MGO rating is? Eg, is the UMF 5+ or 20+? Is the MGO 50 or 850? Thanks.

    1. Hi Cat,

      The producer doesn’t say. Only that it has a high content of MGO, which is to be expected. It probably is cheaper to buy a jar of manuka honey and try to apply it on the wound, but their special products have been sterilized by gamma-radiation, tested and vouched for.
      And yes, as a rule, manuka honey with very high MGO content (or high UMF grade) is what is recommended for hard-to-heal wounds. manuha honey and how to use it
      All the best!

  2. I cannot seem to find the UMF number for this product on any of the adverts anywhere. Can you tell me its number?

  3. Excellent blog you have here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours
    nowadays. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  4. I knew that honey could be used to heal wounds but I didn’t know some companies package it. I’m glad that I’m not allergic to bees, so I can enjoy the healing properties of honey.

    1. Absolutely. It is indeed a bless to be able to use such a miracle product like honey. Raw honey – only this one is miraculous. 🙂 And yes, companies have discovered something that works, and decided to make a trusted product out of it. And earn some money, too.
      Compared to regular honey, their medical grade honey has two big advantages: comes from manuka honey and is sterilized. So, it is a good choice: safer, more effective and easier to apply.

  5. What a great article.
    I knew honey has so many powerful healing agents in it but I had no idea about wound care.
    “They” do say if you eat a teaspoon of honey and cinnamon once a day it will help with immunity so I don’t know why I never put 2 and 2 together before but it makes sense now.
    Thanks for the insights!

  6. This is a very informative post on activon but the only problem is that it can only be found in UK. Thanks though for giving an alternative source.

  7. Laura,
    This is an amazing site. You have so much content, how long have you been working on this project? In just a couple of articles, I have already learned much, and bookmarked to read more later. Thank you for sharing all the benefits I didn’t know existed in honey, and other things, like black radish. I hope my sites will evolve to the level of yours soon! I can see I have a lot of work ahead.


    1. Kim, Thank you. You are very kind to say these nice things.
      And yes, you are right. A lot of work is the basis of everything good.

  8. Amazing post! I eat a tsp of Manuka honey daily, and take Manuka honey lozenges when I feel a sore throat coming on. Now I know I can apply Manuka honey on wounds! When my kids are older I’m gonna get some activon for my first aid kit. Thanks for the very informative read!

  9. I often used to use honey for healing wounds when my kids were young. There was nothing like Activon on the market in those days. not that I was aware of anyway. With the ever-increasing use of the Internet, it’s great that we kind find valuable resources Like this. I wonder how many people were aware of the healing properties of honey before the Internet and social media!
    I enjoyed reading your article, thank you. 🙂

    1. Before social media and internet, people knew about local traditional remedies. Indians knew about turmeric, and Arabs about black cumin. As for honey, I’m sure they all knew. Only that this old info we had, had been erased by then new money-producing conventional medicine. That’s the catch.
      Our grandgrandmothers knew they should apply honey on a wound. Unfortunately, doctors and TV have taught us to trust only the new pills, packed in boxes with happy gorgeous people on them! Damn advertising! 🙁

      But now, because the new pills cannot handle the infections, they considered coming back to the old ways! Our grandgrandmothers would surely laugh.

  10. I am a retired physician and never knew the benefits of honey for wound care…excellent post. I learned some great information from your explanation.

    Well done!

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