14 Proven healing properties of Manuka honey that will surprise you

by Rasmus Heim

Manuka honey and it's countless health benefits

There are countless health benefits provided by Manuka honey. It works effectively preventatively, as well as curatively to alleviate apparent symptoms and health issues. And the best thing is, it is probably the tastiest¬†remedy you can find anywhere ūü§©ūüćĮ!

Read more about Manuka honey in our blog: All you need to know about Manuka Honey

A word of advise to start off though: 

- If you are allergic to bees there is a risk of getting an adverse reaction to consumption and treatments with honey.
- If you are diabetic, you need to monitor your blood sugar carefully as honey contains natural sugar. 
- Honey should generally not be administered to children below 12 months. 

All information gathered on this blog is for general information only and should not be treated and or substituted as medical advice from your own doctor. 

Having this out of the way let's dive into the 14 reasons to enjoy Manuka Honey on a daily basis. 

1. Manuka honey's strong anti-microbial properties make it a powerful alternative to antibiotics

A big problem faced by humanity over recent years is the increasing number of  bacteria with resistances against antibiotics. One of many reasons is the extensive deployment of antibiotics and indirectly through industrial livestock farming. A number of studies suggest honey and Manuka honey in particular as a powerful alternative to combat certain bacteria strains.

Manuka honey as an alternative to antibiotics

A study from 2009 published in The European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases found Manuka honey to be more effective in killing bacteria than most antibiotics. The reason for that is that bacteria cannot develop resistances against the active compound MGO, found in Manuka Honey.

2. Manuka Honey is an excellent way to treat sinus infections

Manuka Honey to treat sinus infections

A study from 2016 found that Manuka Honey is very "effective against biofilm-producing bacteria". The study looked at the effectiveness of Manuka Honey treatment  for patients with active chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) - a sinuses disease - and found that it might be effective enough to use alone without additional antibiotics/steroids.  

Sinus translated from Latin means bay or hollow cavity.  Humans have 4 pairs of sinuses:
- t
he frontal sinuses located above the eyes
- t
he maxillary sinuses located on each side of the nose
- the ethmoid sinuses on each side of your eyes near the bridge of the nose 
- the sphenoid sinuses behind the eyes

3. Manuka honey improves oral health

It might seem counterintuitive but Manuka honey actually helps to prevent cavities and gingivitis in patients. This is due to its superior bacteria-killing properties, making it unlikely that the contained sugars cause cavities. In addition to that Manuka honey contains zinc, calcium, and phosphorus which are important nutrients for our teeth. 

Manuka Honey improves dental health

Generally it is important for our oral health to minimize bad oral bacteria that cause plaque, but at the same time not wiping out all the good bacteria. Different studies (study from 2014, study from 2015) have shown that Manuka honey with a high antibacterial activity (MGO400 and higher) attacks bacteria that cause gum inflammation, tooth decay and plaque formation. 

Read more about MGO concentrations in our blog: All you need to know about Manuka Honey

4. Manuka honey has strong antiviral effects 

A study published in the Archives of Medical Research Journal in 2014 concluded that in particular, Manuka honey has a potent preventive effect against the influenza virus, demonstrating medicinal value.

Manuka Honey appears to have a very positive effect on strengthening the immune system's defences in the respiratory system. This contributes to its excellent properties as a cough suppressant.

5. Manuka honey fights respiratory microbes very effectively benefiting patients with cystic fibrosis

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation a "Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time". 

It causes mucus to gain an abnormally thick consistency and can amongst other organs affect the digestive system in addition to the lungs. This makes upper respiratory infections relatively common in people affected by this disorder. 

A study from 2015 examined the effect of Manuka honey on the most common bacteria strains found in connection to CF, and concluded that it is very effective in fighting these bacteria and also working in conjunction with antibiotic treatments. 

6. Manuka honey will help with sleep troubles

Manuka Honey helps to cure sleep trouble

Dr. Ron Fessenden is a known an advocate of honey and its health benefits.In his book "The honey Revolution" he describes the countless benefits of honey and medical grade honey such as Manuka Honey for your general health. Amongst other benefits he describes how honey can help to cure sleep troubles and wake up more refreshed, due to its prolonging effect on deep sleep phases.

7. Manuka honey promotes faster recovery after workouts

Manuka Honey helps recovery after workout

A study from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem found that Manuka honey attacks bacteria that cause soreness, suggesting to help recovery after work outs. The nutrient profile of Manuka honey which includes amongst others amino acids, iron and magnesium supports that notion further. 

Also read: All you need to know about Manuka Honey 

8. Manuka honey is better anti-cough medicine than most over the counter drugs 

Manuka honey as a cough suppressant is more effective than most over the counter drugs

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2010 found that honey has a better effect on children and their parents on nightly cough and sleep medicine than most over the counter drugs. A medical grade honey such as Manuka Honey will certainly be the better and tastier choice. 

9. Manuka Honey can contribute to your diet and support weight loss

Manuka honey contributes to weight loss

A research paper in the Journal of Medicinal Food concluded that the consumption of raw natural honey will increase insulin levels after 30, 120 and 180 minutes, reduce cholesterol and blood lipids, when compared to refined sugar, making it a better alternative to sucrose sugar, for people that cannot pass on sweet treats. 

10. Manuka Honey has shown to inhibit cancer growth

Manuka honey inhibits tumor growth

A study of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates concluded that the use of Manuka Honey in conjunction with chemotherapy slowed tumor growth by 33%. The testing was done on three individual cancer types, being human breast cancer, murine melanoma (B16.F1) and colorectal carcinoma (CT26). Another side effect was a significant improvement of survival rates in the host and reduced levels of toxicity from the after effects of the chemotherapy. 

11. Manuka honey significantly elevates symptoms of numerous skin diseases

It is well known that Manuka honey treatment externally on the skin or in vitro (when consumed) has beneficial effects for a variety of skin diseases and disorders such as acne, wound, and burn wounds.

The reason for that Manuka honey stops inflammation caused by a lot of these diseases, in addition to being an excellent way of keeping for dry skin and eczema hydrated. 

The healthline blog suggests honey as alternative remedy for acne backed by scientific evidence. With Manuka Honey being the most potent when it comes to its anti-microbial properties this certainly makes it the best candidate. 

Even more surprisingly a study in 2012 found that the consumption of Manuka honey helped elevate symptoms of patients with shingles. Manuka honey is therefore being researched as an alternative remedy for this serious skin disorders such as shingles (study from 2012). 

12. Manuka honey has strong benefits on the gastric system.

A study in Phytotherapy Research in 2008 showed that Manuka honey will help alleviate symptoms for people with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). which is a widely spread disorder of the digestive system. The researchers conclude that regular consumption of Manuka Honey can decrease symptoms of IBS. 

Manuka honey has been found to be very effective in fighting Clostridium difficile bacteria, which are responsible for inflammation of the bowel and severe diarrhea (study from 2013). 

As a  disclaimer, it is worth mentioning that the studies were done under laboratory testing conditions and require further research to accurately determine its effectiveness in humans. 

13. Manuka honey may prevent gastric ulcers

The study published in 2016  suggest that Manuka Honey can prevent gastric ulcers and significantly improve the symptoms of patients with gastric ulcers. The reason for that are the honey's extraordinary anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Another study in 2015 concluded that Manuka honey prevents alcohol induced gastric ulcers in rats, showcasing its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. 

14. Manuka honey will improve wound healing

Similarly to Manuka honeys positive properties in relation to skin disorders, the honey is also excellent to treat wounds. The reason for that is twofold, for once the honey acts as a superb moisturiser and in addition to that it keeps the wound free of infections from bacteria and viruses (study from 2013). 

A variety of studies highlight Manuka honey's ability to accelerate wound healing by stimulating faster tissue growth (study from 2017), as well as relieving pain from burn wounds. 

To that effect, Manuka honey has even been approved as an alternative wound treatment by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the USA. A 2017 study also suggest a less painful scarring of wounds when treated with Manuka honey as opposed to vaseline. The study tested around 50 patients post eyelid surgery.

Manuka Honey wound dressings more effective than traditional wound dressings

As mentioned before does Manuka honey offer an effective remedy at killing antibiotic resistant bacteria strains such as Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which causes wound infections (study from 2014, study from 2017). It also suggests that Manuka honey may prevent MRSA strains in wounds to occur at all (study from 2011). 

Lastly, studies in Saudi Arabia and Greece found that Manuka honey wound dressings healed diabetic ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers quicker and more effectively, with the positive side effect of disinfecting the patients wounds.