Manuka Honey for Singers: The Pick of the Pros


7 minute read

Essential Takeaways

Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Barbara Streisand, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers have all been said to request and use manuka honey for its health benefits.

Manuka honey is great for singers thanks to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

These properties help keep singers’ throats and voices in top condition, their bodies ready for performing, and it also helps to ensure that they get optimal rest and recovery.

If it’s good enough for Ed Sheeran, it’s good enough for us.

Ahead of Glastonbury in 2017, his tour rider was leaked to the press and it included manuka honey from New Zealand¹.

But we were inspired to write about honey for singers after one of the world’s most famous rock bands got in touch with us directly to ask for our honey during their New Zealand tour.

We’ve known for years that manuka honey has special antibacterial properties that make it a versatile healing and protecting powerhouse, so what about using it for musicians?

How does it benefit them specifically, and why are the top global icons so hooked?

In this guide to manuka honey for singers:

  • Why honey is good for singers

  • The best type of honey for singers

  • How to use manuka honey like the pros

  • Where to buy the best manuka honey

One, two, one, two…

Ready to rock?

Why Honey is Good for Singers

“Manuka honey pops, vocal rest, steam & water. luh you, boston. thank u again.”

Professional singers know how to take good care of their voices.

But even the most careful want to give their all at every performance, and this can cause a strain.

Taking both preventative and healing measures is key, and honey is a brilliant natural option with proven health benefits².

Honey has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties³:

  • Its antibacterial properties are great for preventing and fighting infection.

  • Its anti-inflammatory properties are effective in soothing and protecting tissues while they heal.

  • Its antioxidant properties help the body protect itself against damage and regenerate healthy cells⁴.

For all these reasons and more, honey can be used to directly treat medical conditions or just to keep the body healthy overall.

Honey is good for singers specifically because the most common problems they face are usually related to throat inflammation or infection.

Studies show that honey is a powerful antibacterial agent which helps the body to fight and recover from these conditions⁵.

Here are some examples

Using honey for laryngitis

Laryngitis is the inflammation of the larynx, or voice box⁶.

When singers push their vocal cords to vibrate harder or faster than they usually would, this can damage them and cause inflammation. It’s a common problem and usually only lasts short-term⁷.

Honey is a powerful anti-inflammatory⁸ so although eating it won’t touch the vocal cords, it’s a great holistic remedy for laryngitis.

Using honey for vocal nodules and polyps

Vocal nodules and polyps are growths on the vocal folds which can be found inside the larynx (voice box)⁹.

Nodules aren’t cancerous and are typically caused by swollen folds from straining the voice. If left unchecked, they can get larger and harder over time, impacting the voice.

Polyps are more like blisters, and they are typically bigger than nodules.

Both nodules and polyps can be difficult to get rid of and sometimes require surgery.

Although eating or drinking honey won’t bring it into direct contact with the vocal folds, it can help the body fight inflammation and infection naturally.

In consuming manuka honey, you give your body an extra dose of the beneficial nutrients it needs to heal.

Using honey for sore throats

A sore throat can be the symptom of several different things from a cold to allergies and any of the other issues discussed here¹⁰.

For singers, a sore throat can mean a raspy voice and limited range.

Honey can help target a sore throat holistically, from fighting bacteria to helping the body recover and function optimally.

Plus it’s a great all-rounder for oral health, so eating honey for singers is a win-win!

Using honey for vocal cord paralysis

Vocal cord paralysis is when you lose control of the muscles in your voicebox¹¹.

It happens when the nerve impulses to the larynx are disturbed and can impact breathing as well as speaking. So it’s a nasty and potentially dangerous condition.

Viral infections can lead to paralysis, so singers who don’t protect their voices properly might be at higher risk¹². Using honey to treat infections earlier might help to prevent paralysis.

Treating vocal cord paralysis may be more complex than the other conditions already mentioned.

Using honey alone is unlikely to fix the problem, but it can be part of a treatment plan that fights infection and helps the body regenerate healthy tissue for quick recovery.


The Best Type of Honey for Singers

“Take a strong Vitamin C drink with some manuka honey and of course get some chicken soup!”

You might have noticed that our famous singers are consistently referencing one type of honey in particular.

Manuka honey has gained its own global reputation as the gold standard in the industry.

But why?

It’s all to do with those precious antibacterial properties.

The chemical compounds found in different types of honey are influenced by their botanical origin.

In other words, bees collecting nectar from different flowers changes the composition of the honey.

We know from numerous studies that most honeys contain a compound called methylglyoxal (MGO) which is associated with antibacterial activity. We also know that manuka honey contains up to 100 times more MGO than other honey types.

This has made it a powerful and sought-after natural remedy, used by doctors and vets throughout the world for some of the most serious medical conditions.

Not only can manuka honey be used to treat sore throats and inflammation, but it’s also been shown to help regulate blood sugar and energy levels, prepare the body for strenuous activity and aid recovery afterwards, keep the brain functioning well and even promote a restful night’s sleep¹³.

So it’s no wonder that manuka honey is used by some of the world’s greatest singers and musicians to keep their voices and bodies performance-ready.


4 Singer-Approved Ways to Use Manuka Honey

Get the best from your manuka honey with these professional tips.

  1. To prevent and remedy laryngitis

“Honey, hot [warm] water, and lemon juice: For me, that is the magic formula for “pre-gaming before recording” rituals.”

Add manuka honey to a cup of warm (not hot) water, along with your other favourite health boosters like lemon, mint, cucumber, and ginger for a particularly soothing tonic.

  1. To help heal vocal nodules and polyps

“Honey not only soothes my throat, but it has so many added benefits. Sometimes I’ll just eat a tablespoon of raw honey because it’s so soothing and delicious.”

Vocal nodules and polyps could benefit from a stronger dose of methylglyoxal, so try opting for a higher grade of manuka honey and take it by the spoonful every day.

This way, you don’t risk heating and losing any of the potent beneficial compounds.

  1. To get a good night’s sleep

“Honey is a superfood, naturally sweet and has so many benefits. I think honey and lemon together in tea or even just water is beneficial, not just for your voice but the entire body.”

Manuka honey contains melatonin¹⁴ and may promote a restful night’s sleep as well as help the body repair itself as you snooze.

Make yourself an immunity-boosting drink or finish your dinner with a manuka honey dessert to wind down well.

  1. To prepare for and recover from performance

“I drink a cup of warm peppermint tea with two teaspoonfuls of liquid honey stirred in before and during each recording session, and I find that it really does make my voice much more mellifluous than tea with sugar.”

Drink your manuka honey as Laurie suggests, or try making your own pre- and post-performance snacks.

You can find our bliss ball recipe, paleo banana bread and so much more in this ultimate list of ways to use manuka honey.

Manuka honey is a versatile ingredient that can be used in food, drink, skincare, and medicine.

In fact, we’ve listed over 170 ways to use it right here.

So get creative!

Get Pitch Perfect with Manuka Honey from New Zealand Honey Co.

It’s easy to see how using manuka honey for singers makes sense.

From preventative to healing benefits, manuka honey has shown time and time again why it’s treasured throughout the world.

Thanks to its unique properties, it’s also the most regulated honey in the world.

To make sure you get the best quality and most authentic New Zealand manuka honey, always opt for a UMF™ graded jar.

That way you can be sure you’re getting the real deal every time.

Get your independently-verified, top-quality UMF™ manuka honey right here.

Not sure which grade is right for you?

Take the quiz.

Your wellness journey starts with a spoonful a day.


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