Manuka Honey – Health Benefits and Uses

Strawberries by Stephen Luke, used under CC BY

Manuka improves digestion and promotes better sleep

Manuka honey comes from New Zealand, a country with massive mountains and natural forests and where a wide biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life flourish. Thanks to the pristine environment, manuka flowers flourish in the wild, and manuka honey is known to be a honey that is close to nature’s best.

For thousands of years, honey is being used for medicinal purposes. Honey is mentioned in the Bible scriptures dating back thousands of years ago, where God promised to lead His people into “a land flowing with milk and honey” (in Exodus 3:8). Pure honey reportedly can remain untainted over time, as some archeologists have recently discovered pots of unspoiled honey in the ancient tombs of Egyptian royals.

Benefits of Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is a rich source of natural enzymes with anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant effects. It is rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus.

1. Heal Wounds

Manuka honey can be used for treating wound, thanks to its anti-bacterial properties. There are first aid products specifically made of manuka honey for the purpose of healing wounds.

2. Fight Gum Disease, Plaque and Gingivitis

A dental study was conducted on the use of manuka honey. The participants were told to intake manuka honey products and their gums were inspected for gum disease. The results found that who have taken manuka honey have a greater reduction in plague and gum bleeding. Although this being a pilot study, it is reasonable to assume that manuka honey, being a natural sweetener, is certainly a healthier alternative to other forms of sugars.

3. Aid Indigestion

Many people have reported that drinking manuka honey have helped them to relief indigestion or stomach discomfort. For those who are concerned that manuka many affect their digestive health, check out this health study conducted in 2010. It is found that manuka honey does not affect the digestive bacterial levels of the participants.

4. Relief Acne

Acne is caused by the inflammation of skin. The reason that some people have found manuka helpful in alleviating their acne is that manuka honey has natural anti-bacterial properties. Either through drinking the honey or by applying manuka topically on the affected skin, there is a likelihood that inflammation of skin could be minimised, allowing the skin to heal better.

5. Beauty Treatment – Skin, Hair

Interestingly, manuka honey has found its way into certain skin care and hair products. Traditionally, honey has been used in beauty salons for decades. However, due to the high price of manuka honey, it is rare to find manuka being used in beauty salons. Therefore, manuka skin and hair care products are the next best alternative for beauty treatment.

6. Improves Sleep

Manuka honey contains essential minerals for bodily functions and repair. Therefore, drinking a cup of manuka honey before bed time can help to promote restful sleep. With improved sleep comes better energy and concentration for the next day. Hence, drinking manuka honey regularly can lead to an overall improvement in our well-being.

7. Cure for Sore Throat

Microbiological studies have proven that manuka honey is very effective at inhibiting the bacteria that cause sore throat. By taking a small spoonful of raw manuka honey daily, most people with coughs and sore throats would notice improvements within days. Cancer patients have also found manuka honey helpful in treating the inflammation in their throat caused by chemotherapy.

Which UMF or MGO is suitable

Manuka honey comes in different UMF or MGO ratings as explained in this article titled How to read manuka honey label. The higher the UMF or MGO rating of the honey, the stronger is the anti-bacterial property. The ideal UMF or MGO rating varies depending on your purpose, but laboratory studies have shown that manuka honey of UMF 12 to UMF 15 is effective against a wide range of bacteria.

Generally as a guide, you can match your needs based on the following:


General maintenance or onset of dry throat UMF 5 / MGO 100
Mild sore throat UMF 10 / MGO 250
Bad sore throat, inflammation UMF 15 / MGO 500

Reason you bought a Manuka?

Of the health benefits listed below, which one is most likely the reason that prompted you to buy manuka honey?

Reason you last bought manuka?

We’re listening.

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