The increased interest in complementary therapies has led to the investigation of products traditionally believed to have a beneficial effect in wound healing. Two such products are honey and lavender essential oil. In this study a rat excisional wound model was used to investigate the action of Lavandula x allardii honey and essential oil, and a standard therapeutic honey (MedihoneyÂ®). Four 8 mm wounds were created surgically on the dorsal surface of each rat and honey or essential oil applied to the wounds twice a day for 4 days. Wound healing was analysed by wound contraction and capillary volume at 5 and 12 days post-surgery. Although no statistically significant difference in wound contraction was observed for the essential oil or honey treated wounds relative to the untreated control, both honeys were shown to reduce the capillary volume in the wound site at day 12 with no difference between the honeys (control 154 ± 14 Âµm3 vs L. x allardii honey 77 ± 18 Âµm3 and Medihoney 89 ± 39 Âµm3, p < 0.001; mean ± SD). This suggests that scar maturation in these animals was more advanced than in other groups. These data suggest that L. x allardii honey, but not essential oil, has a beneficial action in wound healing. Copyright Â© 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.