In recent years, the interest towards the healing faculties of Manuka honey has risen to new heights. Celebrities, such as tennis player Novak Djokovic, have praised the energy-boosting capacities of Manuka. While Hollywood actresses, such as Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow have credited the honey for its beautifying qualities.

This unique to New Zealand honey is gathered exclusively from the flowering Manuka trees, making it a rare and expensive product.

The use of honey as a food and healing substance is well documented throughout the progression of human civilization. In Europe, the healing powers of honey can be traced as far back as Pythagoras time. While in Egypt, long before the Roman Empire reached their lands, honey was considered the “nectar of the gods”.

For this reason, pharaohs and kings in Egypt were buried with pots of honey next to their corpses.[1] After all, what is good for the gods, must also be good for the kings.

To this day, honey remains the only sweetener with widely recognized antibacterial properties that are not man-made or processed.

Check out a list of eight advantages that honey has over other sugars in the hidden box below.

Top 8 Honey Advantages

  1. Is rapidly assimilated.
  2. Allows your body to quickly recuperate from a physical activity or a workout.
  3. It gives a healthy energy boost.
  4. It has sedative properties that are able to quiet the body and place it in rest mode, unlike other sugars.
  5. It is effective against coughs and is antibacterial in nature.
  6. It offers arthritic relief and remedies potassium deficiencies.
  7. Does not irritate the digestive system.
  8. It is handled well by your kidneys.

Top 10 Manuka Honey Uses and Benefits

The Healing Benefits of Manuka Honey

If you spend enough time flipping the pages of old and dusty library books, or simply browsing the internet, you will find amazing tails about the healing abilities of Manuka.

From curing deep cuts from a chainsaw to healing ulcerations; the antibacterial powers of Manuka honey are spreading around like a gospel.

It is important to note, that the power of this honey comes from its high and well preserved antibacterial effectiveness. See, the antibacterial attribute of ordinary honey is destroyed by heating and even during the pasteurization process. Whereas, the healing properties of Manuka honey are not affected in this way.

Because not all Manuka bushes yield the same pollen and nectar, the antibacterial strength of one honey differs from that of another. For that reason, some Manuka bushes have become a prized specimen, often resulting in the relocation of hives by beekeepers.

Due to its variation in strength, Manuka honey has been given its own distinctive effectiveness rating. This rating system is called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF).

The higher the UMF rating, the higher the medicinal value of the honey. Also, different grades of UMF serve different health benefits. Unique Manuka Factor Grades UMF 10+ – This honey is great for strengthening the immune system and for long-term health maintenance. It has also been demonstrated to have a healing effect on mild skin infections, external ulcers, and wounds.[2]

UMF 20+ honey is thicker than the lower graded Manuka honey and has very strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It has the capacity to replace anti-inflammatory drugs and provide relief from symptoms caused by severe bacterial infections.

UMF 25+ is by far the highest commercially sold honey that you can find on the market. InVitro and clinical condition studies,[3] have demonstrated the ability of this honey to kill a wide range of bacteria in both, internal and external applications.

The lowest graded UMF honey is rated 5+. Even though its medicinal application is not as powerful, it is still great for aiding the digestive system.


The strong antibacterial properties of Manuka come from the fact that its nutritional content is up to four times that of normal flower honey. In a tablespoon of raw Manuka honey, you will find some 60 calories and 15 or so grams of carbohydrates.

  • CalciumManuka honey nutrition facts
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Amino Acids
  • B Vitamins
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Selenium
  • Fluoride

10 Health Benefits of Manuka Honey

There are many discoveries about the healing capabilities of Manuka based products. Research has made significant breakthroughs in Manuka honey’s proven effectiveness against hospital Superbugs, physical wounds, skin eczemas and many other external and internal infections.

Below is a list of the top ten Manuka honey benefits as per the latest studies in 2016:

MRSA Wound Infection

MRSA wound infection and Manuka honey

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or also known as the Superbug, has been terrorizing hospitals for a few years now. MRSA is caused by a staph bacteria that has become resistant to almost all antibiotic drugs available on the market.[4]

Most MRSA infections appear in patients who have been hospitalized in various health care settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and dialysis centers. The inability to treat such infection often leads to the necessity of invasive procedures, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints.[5]

Manuka honey dressing has been successfully used as a non-antibiotic treatment in the management of (MRSA) wound infections. Practical use of honey-impregnated dressings has greatly helped the healing process of infected wounds.

UK researchers from the Cardiff Metropolitan University have demonstrated how Manuka honey can keep MRSA infections at bay, by downregulating the most potent genes of the MRSA bacteria.

Digestive Issues, IBS, IBD, and H-Pylori

Digestive system issues

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Helicobacter Pylori (H Pylori) are the most prevalent digestive system diseases amongst the population in North America. All three conditions affect the gastrointestinal tract and cause great discomfort.

Recent research from the University of Waikiko[6] and the Chandigarh Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research have discovered some astonishing findings regarding Manuka honey’s ability to treat IBS, IBD and H Pylori:

  • The presence of Manuka honey for a period of 72 hours has shown a significant sign of inhibition of growth of H Pylori.
  • Different doses of Manuka honey granted protection against TNBS-induced colonic damage.
  • All test subjects demonstrated reduced colonic inflammation.

On one hand, honey is a traditional remedy for dyspepsia. On the other, H Pylori is often found to be the causing element for dyspepsia. For this reason, science is establishing a link that Manuka honey’s therapeutic actions can be attributed to its antibacterial properties.

Acid Reflux, Low Stomach Acid, Sibo, and Heartburnacid reflux and manuka honey healing

Acid reflux, also called GERD, low stomach acid and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) are all closely related digestive diseases.  Heartburn can be a symptom of any of those three conditions and together result in eating disorders and overall digestive system discomfort.

Due to its antibiotic qualities, recent studies have found that Manuka honey can eliminate Clostridium difficult, a dangerous bacteria found in all three diseases.[7] Destroying this bacteria will help balance the digestive system and restore normal functions to the stomach and intestinal tract.

Physical Wounds, Burns, and Ulcers

Manuka honey used for physical wounds

The use of Manuka honey leads to improved wound healing, pain relief and decreased inflammatory response in burnt patients and effective healing of venous ulcers.[8] Due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial characteristics, some forms of Manuka products have been licensed in Europe and Australia for medicinal use.

Research on this subject is still fairly new, but very promising. So far, randomized controlled trials show that honey has equal or slightly superior effects on acute wounds when compared to traditional treatments.

Tooth Decay and Gingivitis

tooth decay and Manuka

A form of gum disease, gingivitis can often lead to irritation, redness, and swelling of gums. If left ntreated, can lead to serious conditions, such as loss of teeth.

In 2004, a pilot study showed that Manuka honey with UMF 15+ can be used to reduce dental plaque and clinical levels of gingivitis by up to 35%.[9] The study involved a rather fun task of chewing a sugarless honey stick for 10 minutes, three times a day after food consumption.

Skin Acne and Eczema

eczema and Manuka treatments

The Internet space is full of wondrous reviews and stories about the skin treatment benefits of Manuka honey. As a consequence, the market has quickly filled up its virtual and physical aisles with a wide array of Manuka based skin products.

So, let me say that there are no clinical studies that have yet made a considerable contribution to the link of Manuka’s anti-bacterial properties and eczema or skin acne treatment. However, considering Manuka honey’s strong antimicrobial and healing attributes, treatment of skin conditions is quite possible.

At the very least, it is expected that applying honey to an irritated skin, would at the very least fight off the infection and prevent further dissemination. Here is what else Manuka honey can do for your skin:

  • It can kill bacteria affecting the skin by quite successfully drawing out the moisture.
  • It will keep the pores unclogged, preventing future skin acne breakouts.
  • It will no irritate the skin like some processed and well-advertised skin products.
  • It will protect the skin by nurturing and moisturizing it.

Sore Throat and Immune System

sore throat

Cytokines are cell signalling molecules essential to the immune system. These chemical messengers aid cell to cell communication in order to stimulate the movement of cells towards infected and traumatized sites.

Recent scientific study[10] has effectively demonstrated how Manuka honey can stimulate the production of cytokines; therefore, strengthening the immune system. Since sore throat is an inflammation of the throat caused by a bacteria, it is no wonder honey does such wonders in eliminating it.

Allergies and Sinusitis 

Manuka honey fights off allergies

In 2011 an interesting research[11] regarding the benefits of Manuka honey on birch pollen allergies showed remarkable conclusions. Patients from the Manuka controlled group reported up to 60% lower symptom scores, and up to 70% fewer days with acute symptoms.

The patients who were subjected to the Manuka treatment experienced a considerably better control of their symptoms when compared to patients who used conventional medicine.

Chronic sinus infection is caused by solidly concentrated bacteria colonies. Sinusitis leads to persistent facial pain, reduced sense of smell and of course, nasal congestion. A 2009 study, published in the Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery journal, demonstrates the effectiveness of Manuka honey in destroying Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas bacteria which is the common cause of sinus infections.

Beauty Treatments

Manuka for beauty treatments

As a natural moisturizer, Manuka honey has proven very effective in skin enhancement treatments. Its antioxidant properties make it a great remedy for the elimination of fine lines and blemishes of the skin.

Moisturizing Manuka Honey Mask

For this deliciously smelling face mask you will need:

  • ¼ of an Avocado
  • 1 teaspoon for coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey (preferably UMF 15+)

Mash the avocado in a mixing bowl until it is smooth and then add the coconut oil and honey. Mix the three ingredients thoroughly.

Wash your face and leave it slightly damp.

Using your fingers, gently apply the mixture on your face clockwise and leave it on for about 20 minutes.

Remove the mask using warm water and soap (if necessary).

As the last step, splash some cold water on your face in order to close the pores.

Improved Sleep

Manuka honey contains the ideal ratio of fructose to glucose in order to support the liver – the organ that works non-stop when you sleep.

At night, our brains use a lot of energy. The most efficient type of brain energy is called liver glycogen, and not surprisingly it originates in the liver. So, a teaspoon of raw honey before bed will re-stock your liver glycogen for the entire duration of your sleep. This way your brain will not have to go into crisis mode in search for fuel in the middle of the night.

Summary of Manuka Honey’s Wound and Skin Healing Activities

  • Provides a moist sterile environment for tissue re-growth.
  • It has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial characteristics.
  • Strong anti-microbial activity in UMF 15+ honey.
  • It helps heal tissue damage.
  • Reduced tissue deformity by promoting its growth.
  • Provides a bendable barrier between a wound and its dressing.
  • It has anti-fungal properties that effectively treat ringworm and other fungal problems.
  • It reduces the odor associated with skin ulcers by actively encouraging bacteria to produce lactic acid rather than ammonia.
  • It fights off scabs and dead skin in order to provide a clean and healthy wound bed for the regeneration of skin tissue.
  • It has an osmotic effect that pulls up serum from the body into a wound.
How to Use Manuka Honey

If you are looking to boost your immune system or deal with some digestive issues, you can start by taking 1 or 2 spoons of UMF 15+ certified Manuka honey a day. Give it 10 days to notice the healing powers of this honey.

For external use, such as treating open wounds, I would say you should advice with a health practitioner first. Especially if some sort of antibiotic is already being applied to the wounds.

For face masks, and beauty treatments, you can start applying Manuka honey on a daily basis.