Manuka Honey for Colds


7 minute read

Essential Takeaways

One of the most common reasons that people buy manuka honey is to prevent colds and flu thanks to its potent antibacterial properties.

Its unique combination of active ingredients including methylglyoxal, leptosperin, and methyl syringate help to boost the body’s immune system and ease symptoms fast.

It’s important to use UMF™ graded manuka honey like ours so that you can be sure you’ve got the real deal.

Manuka honey contains a unique blend of powerful antibacterial properties that are great for colds and flu.

That’s why cold prevention and treatment is one of the most common reasons people try manuka honey.

So how does it work? What does the science say? It’s all here.

Bonus: we’ll also cover how to use manuka honey for colds and flu including a super simple and delicious throat lozenge recipe.

In this guide to using manuka honey for colds and flu:

  • Why use manuka honey for colds and flu

  • Why manuka is the best honey for colds

  • 4 ways to use your manuka honey for colds

  • Clear colds fast with premium manuka honey

Why Use Manuka Honey for Colds and Flu

“Colds are minor infections of the nose and throat caused by more than 200 different viruses. Rhinovirus is the most common cause, accounting for 10 to 40 percent of colds. Other common cold viruses include coronavirus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).”

There’s a reason why colds are referred to as “common”.

They account for more doctor visits in the US than any other condition¹.

They usually clear up on their own but can cause a pretty unpleasant few days filled with stuffy noses, sore throats, headaches, and fever². We’ve all been there, right?

The terms “cold” and “flu” are often used interchangeably, but they’re quite different. Influenza is only caused by one virus and can lead to more serious complications³.

When it comes to preventing and treating them naturally, however, manuka honey performs for both colds and flu.

“Our results showed that honey, in general, and particularly manuka honey, has potent inhibitory activity against the influenza virus, demonstrating a potential medicinal value.”

(For context, RSV stands for respiratory syncytial virus and is one of the most common causes of colds):

“...Methylglyoxal may play a part in the greater potency of Manuka honeys against RSV. It is concluded from the findings in this study that honey may possibly be an effective antiviral treatment for the therapy of respiratory viral infections.”

The antibacterial activity of manuka honey comes from a unique combination of ingredients, including one naturally occurring compound called methylglyoxal (MGO).

It contains around 100 times more MGO than regular honey, making it a potent antimicrobial agent - ideal for fighting colds and flu.

And the best part?

You can use it to prevent illness in the first place and keep your body healthy simply by adding it to your daily wellness routine.

(Here are over 170 ways to use manuka honey).

Enrich your every day with one ingredient and 2000 natural compounds.

Does manuka honey actually help a cold?

Yes, studies have shown that manuka honey helps to relieve the symptoms of cold and flu.

It contains the natural compound methylglyoxal (MGO) in large quantities which can ease inflamed airways⁴, relieve a cough⁵, reduce infection⁶, and help boost the immune system⁷.

“I’ve been ordering these for the past few years and I sincerely believe that the honey has helped boost my kids’ immunity! They don’t fall sick as often and bounce back much faster if they do. Highly recommend!”

Is it safe to treat coughs and colds in children with manuka honey?

Yes, it’s safe to give manuka honey to children over two years old, and it can be very helpful in preventing and treating colds. Just make sure not to feed honey to babies.

“Most prescribed and over-the-counter preparations for cough in children are not effective and might carry the risk of adverse events. A single dose of honey before bedtime was shown in recent studies to diminish cough and the discomfort experienced by children and their parents.”

Does manuka honey break up phlegm?

Manuka honey can ease the mucus in your airways by relieving inflammation⁸.

The best way to use it is to eat it raw off the spoon, but you can also make your own sinus wash or mouthwash to get it straight to the problem areas.


Why Manuka Honey is the Best Honey for Treating Colds and Sore Throats

Manuka honey contains a number of active ingredients that make it an ideal natural remedy for colds and flu:

  • Leptosperin: This comes from the mānuka plant itself and has been found to boost the immune system⁹.

  • Methyl syringate: An abundant antioxidant found in manuka honey¹⁰.

  • Myeloperoxidase (MPO) and hypohalous acids: MPO is a naturally occurring enzyme found in the body associated with easing inflammation¹¹. The combination of leptosperin and methyl syringate in manuka honey triggers this enzyme to produce hypohalous acids. These are powerful, pathogen-destroying antioxidants¹².

Taking manuka honey can deliver your body the dose of wellness it needs to fight off colds and flu from every angle.

Whilst regular honey can offer some benefits too, manuka honey has proven to be much more potent.

It contains around 100 times more MGO than regular honey, for example.

So be sure to choose UMF™ manuka honey for the best pure, raw, monofloral honey with the most health benefits.

4 Ways to Use Manuka Honey for Your Colds and Flus

Before you run out and buy every cold and flu medication with “manuka honey” on the packaging, here’s why you shouldn’t.

Anything but pure, raw manuka honey will have something added to it.

And the science shows that you don’t need anything else. Manuka honey offers impressive health benefits in its natural form.

Even the bacteria developing resistance to our traditional antibiotics aren’t able to touch manuka honey¹³.

Here’s how you can use manuka honey for colds and flu in its most natural state.

  1. Eat it

The quickest way to get your wellness fix from manuka honey is to lick it straight off the spoon. We know, it tastes great!

A spoonful of honey a day can help prevent colds and flu. But if it’s too late for that, try two to three spoonfuls before or with a meal.

You can also cook with manuka honey and get more creative.

Here are just a few ideas:

Find loads more here.

  1. Drink it

The next best way to get manuka honey into your system is to drink it. You just need to be careful not to heat the honey too much and lose the beneficial compounds.

Here are a few manuka honey drink recipes:

  1. Inhale it

If it’s tricky airways that you’re tackling, you can make your own nasal inhalant with manuka honey.

Check out our blog about sinus infections to get the steps.

  1. Suck it

Are you a fan of throat lozenges? If so, you can make your own using manuka honey.

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup of water

  • Either green tea, lemon and ginger tea, or another herbal tea of your choice

  • 2 tbsp New Zealand Honey Co. manuka honey

  • 2 tbsp carrageenan, gelatin, or an emulsifier of your choice

  • A gummy mould to shape your lozenges

The steps:

  1. Boil your herbal tea in a saucepan with a little less water than you would normally use. Squeeze the bag and make sure the tea is strong.

  2. Allow the tea to cool down to room temperature.

  3. Add the carrageenan or gelatin and leave it for 10 minutes.

  4. Put the saucepan back on low-medium heat and stir the mixture until completely smooth. It should take 2-3 minutes - if slower, turn up the heat slightly.

  5. Let the mixture cool again to room temperature. Add the manuka honey and stir.

  6. Poor the mixture into your moulds and place them in the fridge. They’ll probably need at least an hour to harden.

  7. When ready, store your manuka honey tea lozenges in an airtight container away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

Your lozenges should stay fresh for at least a week if stored correctly.

Happy soothing!


Clear Colds Fast with New Zealand Honey Co. Manuka Honey

The global reputation of manuka honey as a wellness hero has led to plenty of counterfeit products on the shelves.

Our UMF™ graded manuka honey has been independently tested for quality and authenticity so that you can trust that you’re getting the real deal.

“Our go-to honey! We absolutely love the quality of New Zealand Honey Co's honey. The taste is wonderful and the benefits are amazing We order the 15+ once a month so have decided to subscribe, it's that great!”

Shop your premium manuka honey here.

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