Exploring the Antifungal Properties of Manuka Honey: Facts and Findings

Exploring the Antifungal Properties of Manuka Honey: Facts and Findings

Executive Summary:

  • Unlike regular honey, Manuka honey contains a wealth of bioactive components that support wellness. Its methylglyoxal (MGO) is of particular interest for its antifungal properties.
  • Manuka honey's beneficial nutrients have been proven effective at stopping the growth of a wide range of fungal microbes including Malassezia furfur (skin fungal infection) and Candida Albicans (yeast infection).
  • The unique nutrient profile of Manuka honey makes it a beneficial addition to a healthy lifestyle—especially as it supports a healthy microbiome.


Manuka Honey: Unraveling Its Potent Antifungal Qualities

Honey has been used to support health for thousands of years and now, thanks to modern science, we understand why. 

Honey contains over 200 components, making it a naturally rich source of helpful nutrients—many of which exhibit beneficial properties. 

Yet, not all honey is created equal. The nutrient profile of honey varies depending on what nectar it is derived from. Certain honey, like the potent monofloral Manuka honey native to New Zealand, is considered a superfood as it contains unique nutrients that set it apart from regular honey. 

Manuka honey’s anti-fungal properties are of particular interest and are drawing the attention of scientists all over the world. So, let's explore these further! What should you know?


The Science Behind Antifungal Properties

Fungi are microscopic organisms that are all around us—yeast, mold, and mushrooms are examples of familiar fungi. Sometimes the spores of fungi can imbed themselves in human tissue (from contact or inhalation) and cause irritation and/or infection. 

The most common fungal infections affect the skin, nails, sinus cavities, and lungs. Fungal infections are more difficult to treat than bacterial infections due to the similarity between fungi cells and human cells. Growing incidences of drug-resistant bacteria and fungi are a crisis in the medical community, highlighting the need for new treatment options.

Manuka honey is being studied and tested for its potential as an alternate and innovative way to treat these drug-resistant bacteria and other microbes (like fungi). Unlike regular honey, which forms hydrogen peroxide, Manuka honey contains:

  • Methylglyoxal (MGO): A naturally occurring bioactive component that aids the body in its fight against harmful microbes (bacteria, viruses, and fungi).
  • Oligosaccharides: Helpful prebiotics that help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. 

The anti-microbial properties found in Manuka honey are of special significance in scientific studies and reviews.


Empirical Studies and Their Findings

Manuka honey is being studied in various universities worldwide. 

  • At the University of Auckland, the components found in Manuka honey were confirmed to stop the growth of Malassezia furfur yeast, a medically significant cause of fungal infections of the skin. Compared to a range of other honeys, Manuka exhibited the greatest anti-fungal properties.
  • In 2016, tests confirmed that the nutrients present in Manuka honey inhibited the growth of 12 out of 13 different strains of mold. Further tests were recommended to determine how to apply these anti-fungal properties without affecting the tissue around them. 
  • Manuka honey's nutrients supported the performance of antifungal medications when it was applied in conjunction with them to treat Malassezia pachydermatis—a yeast infection that affects the skin of cats and dogs. 
  • In Malaysia, tests done on monofloral honey, including Manuka honey, confirmed its significant anti-fungal properties. It was noted that Candida albicans (a common cause of yeast infections) was the most affected by the honey’s antimicrobial properties. 


Practical Applications

While there is still so much to learn about the beneficial properties and unique composition of Manuka honey, there are a few ways you can enjoy the beneficial nutrients present in high-quality Manuka honey to support general well-being.

Manuka honey is not considered medicinal, but it does contain nutrients that support a healthy lifestyle. Many claim that it is a helpful natural remedy, but it’s vital to consult your doctor regarding any health issues you have and treatments you are considering. 

Manuka honey can be enjoyed as a daily spoonful of liquid gold, combined with food, or added to tea. The prebiotic and anti-microbial nutrients support healthy gut bacteria.

At Manukora, we understand that the only way to experience the unique and powerful properties present in Manuka honey is to enjoy the best quality Manuka honey available. Every batch of our honey is tested and authenticated so that what you see on the label (and QR code) is what is inside the jar—a Honey with Superpowers™. 

We provide a wide range of concentrations of MGO—find out which one will suit you best.


Potential Implications for Health and Wellness

The proven antimicrobial properties present in Manuka honey are exciting and support the fact that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated. Incorporating Manuka honey into your daily routine is a natural and effective way to support your body in its ongoing fight against germs, viruses, and fungi.

Remember that Manuka honey isn’t a medicine, it is simply a naturally occurring wealth of nutrition—nutrition that supports your body and enhances your wellness. It shouldn’t be used as a cure, or in place of prescribed medication.



The nutrients in Manuka honey exhibit powerful antifungal properties that are being studied and explored worldwide. It’s proven effective against a myriad of molds and fungi making it a favorite as a natural remedy in the health community. It has the potential to be used as a natural remedy to support gut and skin health and maintain a healthy microbiome (a balance of healthy bacteria). 

Whether you're looking to harness the energy-boosting qualities found in our Manuka Honey MGO 200, experience the exceptional potency of Manuka Honey MGO 600 UMF 16, or explore our Clean Energy collection, Manukora offers a range of options to integrate this superfood into your daily routine.

Dive into our September Sweet Talks with Manukora’s Founder for deeper insights, learn about the benefits of Unfiltered Honey, and understand the optimal Daily Honey Intake Guide to maximize the benefits of Manuka honey.

A natural source of low-glycemic energy (slow-release energy), potent antimicrobial properties, and a powerhouse of antioxidants make Manuka honey so much more than a delicious treat. It’s a smart addition to a healthy lifestyle and an investment in your overall well-being.  

Find out more about the benefits of the unique nutrients present in Manuka honey, and how to enjoy this golden nectar in fun and interesting ways.


What makes Manuka honey unique in its antifungal properties compared to regular honey?

Manuka honey contains methylglyoxal (MGO), leptosperin, methyl syringate, and oligosaccharides, which give it potent antifungal and antimicrobial properties, setting it apart from regular honey.

How does Manuka honey help in treating fungal infections?

Studies have shown that Manuka honey can help inhibit the growth of fungal microbes like Malassezia furfur and Candida Albicans. Its unique composition makes it effective against a range of fungi and supports its use in managing skin health.

Are there any scientific studies supporting the antifungal properties of Manuka honey?

Yes, several studies, including those at the University of Auckland and in Malaysia, have confirmed Manuka honey's antifungal properties, showing its effectiveness against various strains of fungi and its ability to compliment the performance of antifungal medications.

Can Manuka honey be used as a medicine?

While Manuka honey is not considered a medicine, its nutrients support a healthy lifestyle and have antimicrobial properties. It should be used as a compliment to prescribed treatments, not as a replacement, and consultation with a doctor is advised for medical conditions.

How can Manuka honey be incorporated into a daily routine?

Manuka honey can be consumed directly, added to food, or used in tea. It provides prebiotic and antimicrobial nutrients that support healthy gut bacteria, contributing to general well-being and a healthy microbiome.

What should consumers look for when purchasing Manuka honey?

It’s important to buy high-quality Manuka honey, which is tested and authenticated. Look for a reliable source like Manukora, which provides a range of MGO concentrations, ensuring the product's purity and potency as indicated on the label and QR code.



Exposure and Health Effects of Fungi on Humans - NCBI

Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity - NCBI

Fungal inhibition by Manuka honey and synergists - Research Space

In Vitro activity of Manuka Honey and polyhexamethylene biguanide on filamentous fungi and toxicity to human cell lines - NCBI

Efficacy of manuka honey with conventional antifungals on Malassezia pachydermatis - NCBI

Antifungal activity of selected Malaysian honeys: a comparison with Manuka honey - Research Gate

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