Mānuka honey - what are the benefits of this “liquid gold”?

In a previous blog, we covered a surprisingly common question we get from our customers - ‘What actually is Mānuka honey?’. This week we’re talking about the benefits of Mānuka honey.

Our bodies and immune systems are incredibly resilient and smart - something to be marvelled. However, when tough bugs and viruses are prevalent in the community, it’s a good idea to give our bodies their best fighting chance. 

Mānuka honey can be a great addition to your diet as it is known to provide a range of health benefits. Here we share some of these known benefits of Mānuka honey and how taking a proactive approach to health and wellbeing can help keep our immune system strong. 

The benefits of Mānuka honey are:

  • It is an antibacterial - great for coughs and colds
  • It assists wound healing and fights infection
  • It eases digestive complaints
  • It soothes the effects of allergies 
  • It supports immunity

We’ll also cover the ways you can introduce Mānuka honey into your health regime to help access the above benefits.

Read on to find out more.

A powerful antibacterial - great for coughs and colds

Mānuka honey is a unique antibacterial and antioxidant. A key compound that naturally occurs in Mānuka honey is called methylglyoxal (MGO). This compound is directly related to the honey’s antibacterial properties. The higher the MGO number, the more antibacterial activity (higher potency) you’ll find in your Mānuka Honey. 

A study published by the International Journal of Microbiology, on the Antibacterial Potency of Honey, cites Mānuka honey’s power to combat some bacteria where resistance to conventional drugs have developed. The honey’s high sugar content, low PH levels and presence of powerful compounds (like MGO), create an environment where some bacteria cannot survive. With these powerful properties, Mānuka honey can be a great natural option to fight the onsets of colds and coughs. Mānuka honey is proven to soothe sore throats which is why you may have seen it is one of the most common ingredients in lozenges. A spoonful of honey at night time can often ease coughing too.

 This Mānuka honey has a UMF grade of 20+ and a high level of MGO (830+ mgo/kg) - great for fighting coughs and colds

 

Wound care and fighting infections

Mānuka honey has long been a traditional remedy used to fight infection and heal stubborn wounds. It has high levels of antimicrobial properties making it effective for skin and wound care applications. These antimicrobial properties in the honey help break down a stubborn barrier on a wound or infection, called a biofilm, which is often what makes wounds difficult to heal and infections to reoccur. 

In addition to MGO, the second quality mark you might see on Mānuka honey jars is the UMF number. UMF stands for Unique Mānuka Factor and is an additional grading system that appraises natural markers found in Mānuka  honey. MGO is a key part of the UMF rating system; the higher the MGO number, the higher the UMF rating. 

Mānuka honey was also found to provide pain relief in a comparative study to saline dressings, published by the Indian Journal of Surgery. So, not only will Mānuka honey provide pain relief, it can also help fight infection and heal your cuts, grazes and wounds. 

Our customers have also found Mānuka honey to be effective healing wounds that were contracted from burns or infections from insect bites. Other topical applications were found to reduce the appearance of scarring and treat persistent acne. The pain and discomfort of mouth ulcers can also be eased by applying a small amount of Mānuka honey.

Soothing digestive complaints 

Indigestion and acid reflux can cause incredible discomfort and can be a recurring issue for many. Mānuka honey is a natural anti-inflammatory and is found to be an effective therapy for digestive complaints, including gastritis, diarrhoea, ulcers and fungal infections. 

A study published by Integrative Medicine Insights found that Mānuka honey offered potential as a prebiotic. Prebiotics has been found to help improve the level of ‘good’ bacteria in our digestive systems to support long term digestive health. Mānuka honey is a great option if you prefer a natural remedy to help solve the uncomfortable and reoccurring pain of digestive complaints and sore stomachs. 

Nectar from the Mānuka flower is the source of the antibacterial properties that Mānuka honey offers.

 

Fighting the effects of allergies

Mānuka honey can be helpful in soothing the stubborn effects caused by allergies. Allergies to pollen or dust, for example, can irritate and inflame the throat causing a scratchy and painful cough. Feedback from some of our customers is that the syrupy texture of high quality Mānuka honey and it’s anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe this discomfort. 

We recommend ingesting a spoon of honey straight from the jar or stirring it into a cup of herbal tea. A topical application of Mānuka honey can also soothe rashes and irritating eczema.

 Adding a spoonful of honey to a herbal tea is said to help soothe sore throats

Nature’s own immune booster

Mānuka honey’s natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it a powerful immune-boosting support. Simply add a spoonful to your daily ritual - whether that’s a cup of tea or a glass of water with lemon, or even on toast - it’ll help with a balanced immune system. You can find one of our posts that covers immunity in more detail - check it out here.

Mānuka honey is a great all-rounder for immune support - it tastes great too!

Mānuka honey for wellness

Providing our bodies with the right inputs is the best way to stay healthy. Try to keep active by introducing your favourite type of movement into your daily regime too. A walk in nature is the quickest and most effective boost for our physical and mental wellbeing. At Manukora, we encourage health from nature so introducing one of nature’s greatest products is a good starting point to your journey. 

References:

The International Journal of Microbiology

Frontiers in Microbiology

Indian Journal of Surgery

Integrative Medicine Insights

UMFHA

ManukaMED