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Manuka Honey: Breaking Down Top 6 Health Benefits

Manuka honey has attracted a large following over the past few decades. In addition to its rich, earthy taste, people are excited about its fantastic health benefits.

But what is manuka honey? What are the top benefits of manuka honey? This article will provide you with an explanation for these queries. Let's explore!

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is one of the native honey types in New Zealand. It’s more expensive than other honey types because the window for bees to pollinate manuka plants is less than six weeks per year.

Manuka honey contains the active ingredient methylglyoxal, or MGO, which potentially gives it antiviral, antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. You can buy manuka honey at most health stores and supermarkets.

The Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) in New Zealand developed a grading system to confirm the quality and authenticity of the honey. From 5+ to 25+, ratings determine how much MGO and leptosperin (a chemical to identify manuka) are in the honey.

Manuka honey has many health benefits, but here are the most common.

Top 6 Benefits of Manuka Honey

Treat skin conditions

People often use manuka honey in skin care products thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps amp up your hydration, exfoliate dead skin cells, and lessen the appearance of fine lines.

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People widely use manuka honey as a milia treatment. Milia are white, small bumps appearing on the skin, often around the cheeks or under the eyes. Manuka honey mixed with cinnamon can help reduce signs of bumps and inflammation.

Apply a coin-sized amount of manuka to your skin and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Remove it immediately if it begins to burn or cause itchiness.

Heal wounds

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved the use of manuka for wound treatment. Its antibacterial and antioxidant properties are vital elements in treating wounds. It’s worth noting that manuka has a lower pH than most honey, which helps promote optimal wound healing.

Manuka honey can also aid in stimulating tissue regeneration and decreasing pain among people suffering from burns. While you can use manuka honey at home for wound and burn treatment, it’s best to avoid applying it to serious or open injuries.

Soothe sore throats

Honey is generally a well-known natural remedy for soothing sore throats and coughs. Manuka honey, in particular, can reduce inflammation caused by coughs and speed up treating any scratches in the throat.

There are several ways you can consume manuka honey to help with sore throats, such as:

A plain spoonful

Mixed into tea

In hot water

Help with oral health

While it seems contradictory that something as sweet as honey could enhance your health, manuka honey’s antimicrobial properties prevent plaque formation. It’s especially true regarding the junction of the gum and the teeth.

Manuka honey may improve your oral health if you:

consume directly

use as a mouthwash

put it on a toothbrush

It’s best to consult your dentist to determine if it’s right for you and which grade you should use.

Support gut health

Acting as a prebiotic, manuka honey is an excellent source of non-digestible carbohydrates called oligosaccharides. Even though we cannot digest these carbs, the bacteria in our guts can. Levels of "good" bacteria in our digestive organs can thrive if we use oligosaccharides as fuel.

Studies show that manuka honey helps protect against gastric ulcers. With an anti-inflammatory effect, manuka honey potentially helps manage infections (i.e., helicobacter pylori) that cause ulcers and acid reflux. There’s also some evidence that manuka honey can cure gut infections caused by bacterial strains like clostridium difficile.

Improve sleep quality

Many disorders are associated with poor or constantly interrupted sleep, such as stroke, heart disease, and type II diabetes. They can affect our health and well-being negatively.

Researchers suggest that manuka honey can help promote a restful and deep slumber by slowly releasing glycogen, which is essential for bodily functions during sleep.

Consuming manuka honey before bedtime can help your body release melatonin into the brain. It’s necessary for deep and quality sleep and helps reduce the risk of severe sleep-related health issues.


Manuka honey is an expensive, sought-after type of honey exclusively found in New Zealand. Before using manuka honey, you should speak with a medical professional to see if it’s good for your health.

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