Antioxidants Condiments Supplements

Can Manuka Honey Cure Sore Throat? 11 Health Benefits of Manuka Honey

Manuka honey are some of the world’s best supplement you can add to your kitchen cabinet. As versatile as it is delicious, read to find out more about the health benefits of Manuka honey!

Because of its rich antimicrobial properties, Manuka honey benefits are recently tied to the possibility of fighting against Covid-19.

So what is so special about Manuka honey that many people use it primarily for its medicinal benefits? The question remains: Can Manuka honey cure sore throat in times of this pandemic Covid-19? Based on a large number of studies, there are many Manuka honey benefits that range from helping to heal digestive illnesses and reducing acne to healing sore throat caused by the Covid-19 virus.

To reap the most benefits out of Manuka honey, you’ll need to know the specific types of raw, unpasteurized honey to look for, including Manuka honey.

Table of Content

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is a unique type of honey that’s produced only in New Zealand by European honey bees that pollinate the Manuka bush (Leptospermum Scoparium). Manuka honey can only be produced in areas abundant with native Manuka blossoms, hence considered by many experts to be one of the most beneficial forms of honey in the world.

Manuka honey has a rich, nutty, earthy flavor and is naturally sweet. In addition, it’s full of beneficial compounds, including methylglyoxal (MGO) which has been shown to have antimicrobial activity.

This form of honey also has an anti-inflammatory action that can help ease pain and inflammation, mainly by boosting the production of special cells that can repair tissue damaged by infection.

However, not all honey is the same. The antibacterial quality of honey depends on the type of honey as well as when and how it’s harvested. Some kinds may be many times more potent than others.

So how to buy Manuka honey? What should you look out for when selecting your next Manuka honey? You may follow this guide to help you with the selection process!

Components of Manuka Honey

Manuka honey and your regular honey share some common traits – flavor, shelf life, and nutritional properties. Like regular honey, Manuka honey also contains hydrogen peroxide, which gives its antibiotic quality. But what makes Manuka honey different from regular honey is that it has some unique antimicrobial qualities, all thanks to one of its major antibacterial compounds called methylglyoxal (MGO).

MGO comes from the conversion of another compound in Manuka honey known as dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a high concentration of which is found in the nectar of Manuka flowers.

In short, the higher the concentration of MGO, the stronger the antimicrobial effect.

How Manuka Honey Is Used

The main medical use for Manuka honey is for wound and burn healing. It is generally used for treating minor wounds and burns, and also other conditions such as skin issues, soothing cough, and digestive health. Of course, these medical use will also have to depend on the grade and properties of the Manuka honey!

Nutrition Facts: 11 Health Benefits of Manuka Honey

What makes manuka honey special and valuable is its nutritional profile. It’s a rich source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants such as phenolic compounds. Within this type of honey, you’ll find that Manuka honey:

  • Promotes Skin Health
  • Help Treat Infections
  • Help Treat Burns, Wounds and Ulcers
  • Aids IBS and IBD Treatment
  • Helps Reduce Sore Throats
  • Helps Reduce Seasonal Allergies
  • Can be Part of Beauty Treatment and Health Booster
  • Improves Sleep
  • Reduces Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis
  • Supports Digestive Health
  • Prevents Tooth Decay and Gingivitis
1. Promotes Skin Health
Woman applying lotion on her face

There are a few clinical trials to support claims that Manuka honey heals acne. One study focused on Manuka honey’s effects in treating atrophic dermatitis found that it “is effective in treating AD lesions through different mechanisms.”

Manuka honey is also used as a milia treatment. Milia are small, white bumps that appear on the skin, often under the eyes or around the cheeks. You can start applying a thin layer of Manuka honey to your skin for 10-15 minutes to help reduce signs of inflammation and bumps! (1)

Another skin condition that can be treated with Manuka honey is eczema! One of the main causes of eczema is a lack of moisture in your skin. Because Manuka honey helps increase your skin’s water content, it will help give you relief from the itching. (2)

2. Helps Treat Infections

Researchers have discovered that Manuka honey can defend against the proliferation of destructive bacteria, as it exhibits antimicrobial activity against a spectrum of microbes, including those with multi-drug resistance. (3) Its antimicrobial effects are due to the honey’s low pH, presence of MGO, and phytochemical content. MGO is regarded as the major antimicrobial constituent of Manuka, which makes it unique among honey varieties.

Some scientists even suggest that manuka honey can downregulate the genes of the MRSA bacteria, which causes patients to become very sick, and to resist the effects of commonly used antibiotics. Regular use of Manuka honey on cuts and infections may keep MRSA naturally at bay! (4)

3. Helps Treat Burns, Wounds and Ulcers

Many research studies have found evidence that Manuka honey can help to treat wounds and provide pain relief among people suffering from mild to moderate burns and wounds. That is why there’re bandages that contain Manuka honey, available both over-the-counter and by prescription to help with wound care. (5)

Some of the reasons why Manuka honey is used in wound care is because of its acidic nature/low pH, plus its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects. Manuka honey has been claimed to be able to stimulate tissue regeneration, facilitate wound cleansing, reduce inflammation, and decrease swelling.

Manuka honey has also been shown to prevent infections due to ulcers in certain animal studies and to block the growth of a specific type of bacteria that causes stomach ulcers in humans.

4. May Aid IBS and IBD Treatment
An illustration of the intestines placed before a lady to indicate gut health

Manuka honey is believed to have positive effects towards dealing with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), with findings to back it up:

  • Manuka honey helps restore lipid peroxidation as well as improved antioxidant parameters.
  • Manuka honey protects against TNBS-induced colonic damage.
  • In the inflammatory model of colitis, oral administration of Manuka significantly reduced colonic inflammation. It also helped decrease pain and seems to protect against free radical damage.
5. Helps Reduce Sore Throats
A man is undergoing a throat check-up by a doctor

Research has shown that Manuka honey can stimulate immune cells and cytokine production in humans, potentially increasing immunity against certain pathogens and illnesses.

Manuka also stops the growth of sore throat-causing Strep bacteria. This is why so many people benefit almost instantly from taking a spoonful of honey when they don’t feel well. (6)

In addition, Manuka honey is known to be remarkably nutrient-rich and it has been demonstrated as a potent antimicrobial and a good deterrent against the influenza virus Covid-19 and helps to prevent virus replication. Of course, studies on the effects of Manuka honey on Covid-19 need further exploration and research to back it up, but from anecdotal evidence alone, Manuka honey has been shown to have potential medicinal value against some viruses. (7) (8)

6. Helps Reduce Seasonal Allergies

A study examining the effects of honey pollen on allergies had remarkable results. The participants were given regular honey, honey with birch pollen added to it, or an allergy medication as a control group. Results showed that there is very little difference between pollen honey users and the regular honey users. Hence, taking Manuka honey on a regular basis may potentially help with your seasonal allergy symptoms and lessen your need for medications. (9)

7. Can Be Part of Beauty Treatment and Health Booster

Manuka honey has a positive effect that can boost energy, support detoxification, and possibly help to improve skin tone and texture.

Use it in a homemade face wash to exfoliate and fight free radicals in the skin. You can also use it in a detox drink to get the most benefits inside and out.

8. Improves Sleep
Woman sleeping on bed soundly for better

If there’s a thing that you don’t know about Manuka honey, it’s most probably the fact that Manuka honey has the ability to promote restful deep sleep, working as a natural sleep aid. It slowly releases the glycogen needed for essential bodily functions during sleep. Adding honey to milk at bedtime helps the body to release melatonin into the brain, which is necessary for deep sleep. (10)

There are many health disorders associated with poor sleep, such as heart disease, type II diabetes, stroke, and arthritis. Since Manuka honey is proven to help with providing quality sleep, it could potentially help reduce the risk of these and many other sleep-related health problems.

9. Reduces Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the digestive system and other organs in the body. Cystic Fibrosis affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat and digestive juices. These secreted fluids are normally thin and slippery, but in people with Cystic Fibrosis, a defective gene causes secretions to become sticky and thick. Instead of acting as lubricants, the secretions plug up tubes, ducts and passageways, especially in the lungs and pancreas. Promising research shows that Manuka honey could potentially help kill bacteria to fight off infection, especially in those with Cystic Fibrosis.

According to a study, Manuka honey was able to block the growth of two strains of bacteria that can be especially problematic for those with Cystic Fibrosis. (11)

10. Supports Digestive Health
Healthy Gut Digestive Health

Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), low stomach acid and acid reflux go hand in hand. Because of the natural antibiotic and antibacterial properties found in Manuka honey, it is great medicine for any bacteria-related digestive disorder. (12)

In a recent study, one dangerous bacteria related to all three conditions was found to be quite susceptible to Manuka honey’s bactericidal effects. Hence, taking Manuka honey may be beneficial at reducing acid reflux and balancing your digestive system to heal stomach and intestine imbalances.

11. Prevents Tooth Decay and Gingivitis

Several studies have demonstrated that Manuka honey can help to treat and prevent gingivitis and tooth decay.

Due to its antimicrobial activity, researchers discovered that chewing or sucking on Manuka products such as Manuka honey gummies, not only caused a 35 percent decrease in plaque but led to a 35 percent reduction in bleeding sites in people suffering from gingivitis. The calcium, zinc, and phosphorus found in Manuka honey are also important nutrients to heal your teeth.

Manuka vs Regular Honey

The world of honey can be confusing considering there are so many types to choose from. With Manuka honey, the nutritional content is up to four times that of regular honey.

Another difference is the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF), which is the global standard used to identify and measure the antibacterial strength of Manuka honey. The UMF properties of Manuka honey are extremely stable and, unlike the hydrogen peroxide in most regular honey, are not easily destroyed by heat, light, and enzymes in the body.

So why is Manuka honey so expensive compared to regular honey? You basically get what you pay for, and most honey products at the conventional supermarkets are not much different from high fructose corn syrup. That’s not all; what sets Manuka honey apart is the higher concentrations of compounds such as methylglyoxal (MGO), which gives Manuka honey the antimicrobial effects it’s famed for!

Risks and Side Effects

Despite having many health benefits associated with fighting against viruses, there are still several Manuka honey side effects that you may want to consider as well.

Like other types of sweeteners, honey is high in sugar. Hence, it’s important to be mindful of your intake, especially if you have diabetes or other health issues related to blood sugar.

Those who are allergic to honey may also experience an allergic reaction when using Manuka, whether on the skin or taken orally. Consider doing a patch test by applying a small amount of Manuka honey on your skin to assess your tolerance. Discontinue use and consult a doctor if you notice any huge adverse side effects or food allergy symptoms.


Manuka honey is often considered the healthiest type of honey, with many health properties and heat properties to support this claim. Manuka honey can help boost digestion, support skin health, improve sleep, enhance immunity, and much more. All these are due to the fact that Manuka honey contains methylglyoxal (MGO) that can kill off bacteria and stimulate the production of immune cells. However, choosing the right kind of Manuka honey for your needs can be complicated but not unachievable. Correct Manuka honey selection and storage methods are both equally important, which will be discussed in this blog article.


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