Manuka honey is one of the most unique and beneficial forms of honey in the world. And I’m not exaggerating.
It’s honey on steroids.
But unlike most honeys, Manuka honey isn’t something you to add to your foods or tea. Manuka honey is something you store in the medicine cabinet.
In other words, it’s medicine and not “food.”
In fact, this remarkably therapeutic honey has been used by New Zealand’s indigenous cultures for thousands of years.
Real honey alone is a profound substance for your body. Time and time again, studies have shown that honey can provide an impressive list of benefits including allergy relief, energy regulation, and memory enhancement. It also can be used as a topical for wounds that helps heal and fight off bacterial infections.
Manuka honey provides all the benefits of normal honey plus a ton more.
From acne and eczema to burns and wounds, Manuka honey is a powerful elixir to add to your medicine cabinet.
Generally speaking, Manuka honey is a much more powerful version of honey.
What Makes Manuka Honey so Powerful?
Real Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the Manuka bush.
And this is what separates normal honey from Manuka honey.
Scientists have found that when bees make honey from the pollen of the Manuka flowers, the honey becomes rich in naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide, methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone.
This trifecta of substances are responsible for the unique health benefits of Manuka honey.
If manuka honey lacks these chemicals, then it cannot be considered Manuka honey.
Top 11 Manuka Honey Health Benefits & Uses
The health benefits of Manuka honey have been recognized for centuries. And for some time, it seemed to have been forgotten in the noise of modern medicine.
But thanks to a growing body of evidence and testimonials, Manuka honey is making a powerful comeback.
With that said, let’s take a look at the list of ways you can medicinally use Manuka honey.
1. Clear Up Acne
Manuka honey is known to be a “miracle” cure for acne (and even eczema). Do a quick search on Google and you will see the countless testimonials.
Unfortunately, no clinical trials have looked at this connection. But that’s no reason to dismiss Manuka honey as a cure for your skin problems.
You see, Manuka honey has been proven to have powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Since acne is the result of clogged & infected skin pores, antibiotic substances are often very effective in clearing acne up.
Also, the dreaded red coloring you see around pimples is due to inflammation. This inflammation is triggered by the bacterial infection.
By fighting local inflammation, you can expect to see a reduction of redness and the visibility of your acne with Manuka honey.
So not only will Manuka honey clear up and prevent acne due to its antibacterial effects, it can also reduce any embarrassing redness you get from acne.
2. Burns & Wounds
Manuka honey is the ultimate wound & burn salve.
Whenever you get a wound such as a cut or burn, just cover your wound (or the gauze) with around 1tsp of Manuka honey and wrap it up.
Manuka honey is a fantastic wound dressing because it fights off infection, reduces inflammation & pain, and is a powerful anti-oxidant. All of these benefits help speed up the healing process.
3. Seasonal Allergies
There was a point in my life when I would get unbearable allergies in the early summer—and it seemed to get worse every year. I would get sinusitis, throbbing headaches, and felt as if my head was in a thick, foggy cloud.
At one point, I was sick of suffering and did some research. I then stumbled across honey, tried it, and I haven’t had seasonal allergies since.
Countless other people have similar stories across the web.
And even scientific evidence has shown that honey is a powerful remedy for allergy relief.
One study compared two groups of people who were plagued with seasonal allergies. The first group (the control) consisted of people who took allergy medication to manage their seasonal allergies. The other group was given honey to compare it against allergy medications.
The results were impressive to say the least:
Those who took honey reported a 60% reduction in the severity of their allergy symptoms and twice as many days with no symptoms at all.
So what does this all mean?
Taking Manuka honey on a regular basis is an effective way to naturally reduce the severity of your seasonal allergies.
4. Trouble With Bad Sleep or Insomnia
When you’re asleep at night, your brain uses up a lot of energy. In fact, your brain can use up to 20% of your body’s available energy.
A good portion of this energy is taken from sugar stores, called glycogen, that are found in your liver. But if these stores are low, you can quickly run out and your body will eventually resort to breaking down fat and converting it into sugar. This is called gluconeogenesis.
Gluconeogenesis is inefficient and requires your body to work harder. As a result, your body may not be able to enter a deep and restful state of sleep.
Manuka honey is used by the body to stock up on liver glycogen. The same goes for most raw honey products as well.
I was a little skeptical of this at first too. I originally thought it was best to avoid most sugars at night.
While this is mostly true, honey is an exception because it’s quickly converted into liver glycogen. Whereas refined sugar is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream.
So if you want to sleep better at night, consider taking 1-2 teaspoons of Manuka honey before bed. This will let your body stock up on its liver glycogen levels so that they don’t become depleted while you sleep. This should result in a nice restful night of sleep.
5. Digestive Issues
Although the existing evidence out there is somewhat weak, it’s thought that Manuka honey can also help those with IBS or other similar digestive issues.
In one study, Manuka honey was found to heal intestinal inflammation / pain, repair free radical damage, and protect the digestive tract from damage.
Some other studies have indicated that Manuka honey has no effect on digestive health. But the point is that unless you’re allergic to honey, the worst it can do is nothing (or help you sleep if you take it at night).
So if you have IBS or other digestive issues, Manuka honey is certainly worth a try.
6. Sore Throat
Have you ever heard someone tell you to take a spoonful of honey when you have a sore throat or if you’re feeling under the weather?
I have and I often do take it for these reasons.
It turns out that this “folk-cure” is very effective. No surprise there.
Studies have found there is a benefit to taking honey when you have a sore throat or aren’t feeling well.
Specifically, Manuka honey has been found to stimulate immune cell production and even stop the growth of bacteria that cause sore & strep throat!
So when strep throat is going around, you begin to get a scratchy throat or are feeling under the weather, just take 1/2-1 tablespoon of Manuka honey a day. Even if your body doesn’t need the immune boost, the honey will soothe your dry throat.
7. Tooth Decay & Gingivitis
The powerful antimicrobial properties of Manuka honey make it an effective cure for gingivitis and even tooth decay.
Chewing or sucking on Manuka honey was found to reduce plaque by up to 35%. In another study, Manuka honey was found to reduce just as much plaque as chlorhexidine which is a chemical found in mouthwashes such as Listerine.
When you keep your plaque buildups at a minimum, you are preventing tooth decay. This is because the bacteria in plaque use the sugars in your food to produce acids. These acids break down your tooth enamel which eventually results in a cavity.
The thing is, chlorhexidine is actually extremely toxic if it comes into contact with your eyes. Plus, mouth washes contain a bunch of other potentially harmful chemicals such as fluoride, food dyes, and sodium lauryl sulfate.
So if Manuka honey is equally as effective as a chemical mouth wash, there’s no reason to not take the natural route.
Since I’m always looking for natural ways to keep my teeth clean, this remedy is definitely one that I will use.
8. Staph Infections (MRSA)
For quite some time now, we have overused antibiotics and its causing a great deal of problems such as allergies and digestive issues.
One of the most well-known consequences of this behavior is the development of antibiotic resistant superbugs such as MRSA.
In case you haven’t heard of it, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), is a bacterium that causes difficult-to-treat infections. These infections are so difficult to treat because this bacterium has developed a resistance to commonly used antibiotics.
It’s a huge problem in hospitals and other health care settings.
While most antibiotics fail to fight off MRSA infections, Manuka honey has been found to be an effective cure for MRSA infections.
My only question is why isn’t this cure being used in mainstream medicine yet?
For those of you who ever have suffered from blepharitis, you are probably are well aware of how persistent and difficult it is to get rid of. It can also be really embarrassing to deal with.
Blepharitis is a condition that occurs when the oil ducts in the eyelids become clogged and inflamed. This can lead to infection and it leaves the eyes looking extremely puffy, red, and sometimes crusty.
As you can probably imagine, it’s a tough condition to deal with, especially since there is no known (mainstream) cure.
But there are countless testimonials out there of people using Manuka honey to cure blepharitis.
The reason I don’t balk at this anecdotal evidence is because it makes sense.
Blepharitis is accompanied by infection, inflammation, and damaged tissues. All of these things can be cured by Manuka honey.
So if you are thinking about using Manuka honey to cure blepharitis, you may want to check out this in-depth guide to naturally curing blepharitis. The section on Manuka honey will tell you how to use it.
10. Beauty / Skin Treatment
Manuka honey (and normal raw honey) can be used in a homemade face wash to exfoliate and keep your skin looking young.
Manuka honey has antioxidant properties which means it helps fight free radicals in the skin.
Free radicals are substances that cause damage to our cells. This damage can cause our skin to look older and lose its elasticity (which is when lines & wrinkles start to show).
So not only will Manuka honey help keep your skin clear of acne, it will also help keep it looking young and fresh!
11. General Health
Manuka honey can also be taken for general health, vitality, and energy. Thanks to its impressive nutrient profile, ability to fight free radical damage, and potentially improve your gut health, Manuka honey can be a powerful addition to your natural lifestyle.
But if you plan on using or buying Manuka honey anytime, there are some things you need to be aware of first.
How to Pick Out Real Manuka Honey
Since Manuka honey is usually more expensive compared to normal honey, you want to make sure you’re paying for the real thing right?
Fortunately for us consumers, there is a system in place that verifies and even measures the potency of different Manuka honeys.
This rating system is called UMF (unique Manuka factor).
UMF is a globally recognized rating system to measure the antibacterial strength of Manuka honeys.
The UMF is a way for consumers like you to be sure they are buying REAL and medicinal quality honey. That way you’re not ripped off.
With that said, not all Manuka honeys are equal. Some Manuka honeys have the higher cost but are not UMF Manuka honey; meaning they will not provide the health benefits of Manuka honey.
This is why we have the UMF rating system.
The UMF Rating System
UMF Manuka honey is rated on a scale from 5+ to 24+. Anything with a UMF less than 5 is considered to have no additional health benefits (a waste of money).
The higher the UMF rating, the higher the quality is and its antibacterial properties. In other words, it’s a measure of how much unique Manuka factors (or natural chemicals) are present in the honey.
Generally speaking, anything that has UMF-16 or higher is considered to be superior quality Manuka honey.
Real Manuka honey must have these three things:
- The container will have the UMF logo clearly displayed on the front of the container. This is where you will clearly see the UMF rating too.
- It will have a UMF rating number between 5+ and 24+. Any Manuka honey that does not provide a rating is not genuine.
- The company’s name and license number will be present on the container. As their product has to be tested by the UMF association and approved.
But how do you know what grade UMF Manuka honey to use?
It all depends on how often you intend to use it and what you are using it for.
As a general rule of thumb:
- UMF 0-4: These are not helpful in any way. Might as well spend less money and get normal honey.
- UMF 4-9: Recommended for general health purposes like increased vitality, immunity, and minor infections.
- UMF 10-15: Significantly useful and therapeutic level. High level of antibiotic activity. Useful for cuts, infections, natural healing, and bacterial balance.
- UMF 16+ Superior quality Manuka honey and should strictly be used for medicinal purposes. It’s recommended that you shouldn’t exceed more than 1 tbsp at a time.
I typically recommend 16+ for most medicinal uses and 10+ for general health purposes.
If you don’t feel like doing the research yourself, I personally use this raw Manuka honey. It’s great quality. Don’t forget this is medicine and not food. I was thrown back by the price at first too but the jar will go down much slower compared to the honey you use for food.
Manuka Honey Side Effects & Warnings
Although Manuka honey has very few side effects and dangers there are some things you need to look out for:
- Some people who are very allergic to bees can be allergic to honey and / or Manuka honey.
- Infants should NOT be taking any form of honey. Therefore if you are breastfeeding, you should also not be consuming Manuka honey.
How to use Manuka Honey Medicinally
For the most part, this will depend on what you are taking Manuka honey for.
If you are using Manuka honey for blepharitis or acne, for example, you will apply 1-2 tablespoons (depending on how big the area is) to your skin.
If you are taking it internally, it is recommended that you should take around 1-2 tablespoons per day—but no more than that. Since honey tastes great, you could always add it to your yogurt, herbal tea, or even coffee.
Whichever way you need to take it, I’m sure you will be impressed by the results.
Comment below if you have any stories or questions about Manuka honey. The community would love to hear from you.