Manuka Honey Benefits [Guide]


8 minute read

Essential Takeaways

Manuka honey benefits include healing wounds and easing skin complaints, oral health, digestive health, sexual health, hormonal balance, boosting immunity, allergy relief, and so much more.

As such a versatile natural remedy, just eating manuka honey regularly can help give you an all-round health and wellness boost. Or, make your own mask or treatment for more targeted ailments.

In this guide, we explore these benefits in more detail and reveal the science behind the magic of manuka honey’s many benefits.

“I love this stuff. Nature’s liquid gold. I take a small teaspoon a day and have not been sick in a year.”

Nature’s liquid gold? We couldn’t put it better ourselves.

Manuka honey has a powerhouse reputation for a reason.

From treating serious wounds to relieving acne and allergy symptoms, easing gastritis, balancing hormones, boosting sexual health, and more, these little jars pack a punch.

In this guide, we’ll explore all the ways you can use manuka honey for its benefits.

The science behind the magic, so to speak.

And we’re ready to bet you’ll be very surprised about some of them…

In this guide to manuka honey benefits:

  • Manuka honey in food

  • Manuka honey on scars and wounds

  • Using manuka honey for skincare

  • Using manuka honey in your hair

  • How to choose your UMF™ grade

  • Get the best results with New Zealand Honey Co. manuka honey

  • Manuka honey benefits FAQs

Eat Manuka Honey for Wellness

Thanks to Dr. Peter Molan’s research in the 1980s, the popularity of manuka honey from New Zealand skyrocketed. And it’s still yet to come back to earth.

The unique antibacterial properties of manuka honey make it a versatile natural remedy for just about any medical complaint and have made it famous the world over.

And the best news?

You just have to eat it.

Here are some of the manuka honey benefits you can expect from consuming it.

It heals infection and boosts immunity

Manuka honey contains uniquely high levels of an antibacterial compound called methylglyoxal (MGO).

The higher the MGO content, the more antibacterial the honey.

This compound helps fight off infection and reduces inflammation both inside and outside of the body.

It balances the digestive system

Manuka honey is said to reduce acid reflux and balance the digestive system. It has helped in the treatment of stomach ulcers, gastritis and indigestion.

It helps maintain oral health

This might seem strange since honey contains sugar, but its antibacterial properties can do wonders for your mouth.

In moderation, manuka honey may reduce plaque, ease gingivitis and keep your breath smelling fresh.

It boosts sexual health

Manuka honey has been found to boost testosterone production which in turn can increase libido, as well as sperm production and motility.

Eating manuka honey can be good for male and female sexual health by keeping the reproductive organs healthy and functioning optimally.

It eases allergy symptoms

Manuka honey can help to ease the unpleasant symptoms of seasonal allergies, from sinusitis to sore throats.

A spoonful a day keeps those colds away.


The Effect of Manuka Honey On Scars and Wounds

There is now extensive research into the efficacy of manuka honey in wound care and tissue regeneration.

This is particularly important today given the antibacterial resistance crisis.

And it all started in our backyard, right here in New Zealand:

“With the use of Manuka honey, selected to have the right type and level of antibacterial activity, and with an appropriate dressing protocol that keeps honey present on the wound bed at all times, uncomplicated wounds will heal rapidly, painlessly, and without a visible scar.”

In 2007, manuka honey was approved as a possible wound treatment¹ by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Since then, ongoing research has been helping to promote the healing possibilities of manuka honey.

Some nurses call for it to be widely used in hospitals, while others are stressing the importance of wound care management for the ageing population.

“There is high quality evidence that honey heals partial thickness burns around 4 to 5 days more quickly than conventional dressings.”

We’ve also seen amazing results first-hand. One of our friends Rik applied manuka honey to his severely swollen and purple ankle after his hospital cast came off.

He went from a sprained ankle to a much worse state, to back to normal within weeks.

Let’s look at when you might want to apply manuka honey topically.

Examples of what manuka honey may help with:

As always, remember to discuss the specifics of your situation with your physician before taking action.

The Benefits of Manuka Honey for Skincare

The high MGO levels are golden on your face as well as in your gut.

Below are some beneficial qualities of manuka honey that you might discover from using it in your skincare routine.

It fights acne

Our skin has natural defences against the build-up and spread of microorganisms that can cause acne.

However, manuka honey can be that helping hand if your natural defences aren’t managing too well on their own.

Manuka honey can clear and protect your skin and help to keep it blemish free.

It helps you to age gracefully

The elasticity of our skin is what keeps it supple, and when wrinkles appear, it’s because of a reduction of collagen and elastin proteins.

Manuka honey is rich in vitamin C which can protect and enhance the production of collagen, in turn lessening the appearance of wrinkles.

It can reduce redness

Redness or rosacea can occur for a number of reasons.

A change in environment, sun damage, food sensitivities or bacterial infection can result in the facial skin appearing more red than usual.

Manuka honey can help calm this down for you.

It keeps your skin hydrated

Manuka honey is naturally rich in emollients, which are found in moisturisers. They help to keep the moisture in the skin, and the skin hydrated.

Seeing as manuka honey can do this on its own, it’s a great choice for using on your face.

Try a manuka honey face mask at home.

It gives you a natural, dewy glow

Skincare doesn’t stop at your face! The humectants - substances that promote moisture retention - in manuka honey means it’s good on the skin all over.

Try a DIY manuka honey body butter.

When Manuka Honey is Used for Hair

The manuka honey benefits for your skin are also great for your hair.

Those emollient, humectant, and antibacterial properties are all fantastic for maintaining healthy hair and a moisturised scalp.

It helps lock in moisture and relieve dryness

Hair that is particularly dry or damaged, like African-American hair, can benefit from using manuka honey.

By making your own easy hair mask, you can let it get to work revitalising your scalp and split ends naturally.

How to Choose Your UMF™ Grade

The UMF™ grading system is used to ensure that manuka honey is pure, raw, monofloral and produced and packaged exclusively in New Zealand.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of fakes on the market. So this independent verification system helps to regulate the good stuff.

The UMF™ grade directly corresponds with the MGO content of the honey. The higher the grade, the more potent its antibacterial properties.

If you’re unsure which grade is right for you, check out our table for recommendations:

Rating Typical consumer Typical uses Ideas & Information
UMF™ 5+ At the start of the spectrum, UMF™ 5+ is great for daily or regular consumption for both children and adults. A natural energy boost, it has a relatively mild flavor, so is easy to add to other foods for a little extra sweetness.
UMF™ 10+ Next up on the spectrum, UMF™ 10+ is also great for teens and the family to eat on a regular basis. These could be used with spreads, in drinks, baked goods or for breakfast.
UMF™ 15+ UMF™ 15+ offers a little extra MGO kick for mixing into foods, making your own wellness masks at home, simply consuming from the spoon, or adding it to your morning rituals. This is our most popular grading, loved by families and young adults. With a little more MGO, they will also be beneficial for topical applications on the skin, though you may want a higher concentration for acne or wounds.
UMF™ 20+ The start of the premium grades, UMF™ 20+ is the first step up for people wanting to do more with Manuka than just eat it. This is popular with mums, young professionals and people with acne, scars, and wounds. Whether you want a strong dietary supplement or milder support agent, UMF™ 20+ is a very good option.
UMF™ 24+ Getting into the more potent gradings, UMF™ 24+ is almost the strongest on the market and gives you a big boost of MGO. It’s commonly applied externally, but you can still eat it from the jar if you like! The higher price point of this means it’s popular with people especially seeking out health benefits from honey. Delicious in food but potentially more effective as an antibacterial agent, this is a good complementary acne, wound, or scar support ingredient.
UMF™ 26+ UMF™ 26+ is our highest grade. It will give you the highest potency of MGO, hence this one is great for medicinal uses and preventative health. This is our best manuka honey for antibacterial activity, making it ideally suited to medicinal uses - but only with the permission of your doctor. Being the most pure, it is also used in many religious practices. It really is for eating from the spoon, savouring, storing, gifting, or collecting.

Still unsure?

Take our quick and easy quiz.

Get the Best Results with New Zealand Honey Co. Manuka Honey

We work with the most reputable beekeepers throughout New Zealand to provide the best quality, UMF™-graded manuka honey.

Every batch is fully traceable, non-GMO, and glyphosate-free.

Find out more about our accreditations here.

Shop for your jar of premium manuka honey.

Manuka Honey Benefits FAQs

Quick-fire answers to your top manuka honey questions.

Why is manuka honey so healing?

Manuka honey contains a chemical compound called methylglyoxal (MGO). Whilst other honeys might also contain MGO, manuka has been found to have much more. This compound, along with the other beneficial nutrients and antioxidants found in manuka honey, are believed to make it a powerful antibacterial agent.

Is manuka honey better than other honey?

It depends on what you want your honey to do. If you just want a delicious sugar substitute with some health benefits, then most pure, raw honeys will do the trick. But manuka honey offers more potent antibacterial properties that can heal from the inside out. If you want honey as a natural remedy for health and wellness, then manuka honey is the best.

Is manuka honey really worth it?

Manuka honey is worth it if you want to boost your overall health and wellness or to treat a specific ailment. It is great for wounds, burns, scars, and acne, as well as stomach problems, oral health, sexual health, allergy relief, and even balancing hormones.

Why is manuka honey so expensive?

Manuka honey from New Zealand is typically more expensive than other honey because it has a global and scientifically-proven reputation for health and wellness; it’s rare and limited in supply with a short window for harvesting; and it’s the most regulated honey in the world. Although you’ll pay more for UMF™-graded manuka honey, you’ll know for sure that you’re getting the real deal.

Is it ok to have manuka honey every day?

Yes, a spoonful of manuka honey a day is a great way to maintain your overall health and wellness. With its unique antibacterial properties, manuka honey can help you look and feel your best.

How long does manuka honey take to work?

Everyone will respond differently to manuka honey, just like any other natural or artificial remedy. If you use high-grade manuka honey correctly on a wound or on acne, you can often see results in just a few days. For internal ailments, regular consumption should help speed up your results.

Is there anything negative about using manuka honey?

Honey should never be given to infants, or be used by someone with a bee allergy. Honey can be great for managing diabetes, but a doctor must be consulted. Otherwise, manuka honey should be perfectly safe to use every day as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle.

Your wellness journey starts with a spoonful a day.


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