Manuka Honey – An Incredible Natural Antibiotic for Immunity

manuka honey

Manuka honey is one of the strongest antibiotics available. It has been used since ancient times to treat many and varied conditions. The New Zealand Maori tribe used it to treat their wounds during battle. Manuka honey stimulates the immune system and makes it more effective. This helps our body fight an infection more efficiently.

Manuka is produced by bees who pollinate the New Zealand native bush called Manuka. It protects against damage caused by bacteria and is a natural antibiotic. It stimulates cell regeneration that helps repair tissue. It also produces hydrogen peroxide and other components that provide antibacterial properties.

Also found in Manuka is methaglyoxal (MG), an antibacterial agent borne from the nectar of Manuka flowers. The higher the concentration of MG, the more antibacterial effect there is.

The rating of the Manuka is developed in order to rate its potency. It is called the UMF (Unique Manuka factor) and is measured by the concentration of MG and other antibacterial quality components. This is presented on the label by a UMF trademark certificate. A minimum rating of 10 UMF is needed to be potent enough. The higher the UMF the better.

Please note that if you plan on using Manuka honey in your diet that it can cause a rise in blood sugar. It can also interfere with blood thinners or seizure drugs. Also if you are allergic to bees, it won’t be suitable for you.


Manuka has many healing properties associated with –

  • Reducing high cholesterol
  • Treating Diabetes
  • Healing gastrointestinal problems
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Eye, ear and sinus infections

There is however, limited evidence of the effectiveness.

It is reported to help in reducing the inflammation of the esophagus caused by chemotherapy. It is said to prevent gingivitis and other gum problems by reducing the build-up of plaque.

Manuka balances the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. There is no cause for superbugs that are caused by the over-use of antibiotics as it is a natural antibiotic. It can prevent ulcers.

Honey dressings can be used for burns and is known to shorten the healing time for mild burns. It fights infection and heals wounds. It can be used to treat fungal infections too. Here are a list of fungal infections it can treat –

  • Athletes foot
  • Ringworm
  • Sinusitis
  • Fungal nail infection

Active Manuka honey or UMF Manuka honey are the ones to buy. It is astounding that over 80% of honey sold around the world is in fact fake! According to statistics, New Zealand produced 1,700 tonnes of Manuka honey in 2014. 10,000 tonnes of honey labelled as Manuka was sold worldwide. That equals to at least 8,300 tonnes plus, was fake!

Only trust Manuka honey that carries the UMF trademark and certification. That means it has been labelled in NZ by a licensed member of the Unique Manuka Honey Association of New Zealand and is therefore the real deal.

Always keep in mind that cheap Manuka honey basically doesn’t exist. It is always a more expensive kind than the standard budget honey available on the market. Don’t be fooled by cheap knock-offs.

Here is what it looks like:

Honey cannot be called Manuka unless it has 70% of its nectar from the Manuka tree. Bee keepers establish hives in areas of large amounts of Manuka trees. Each batch is tested for its antibacterial strength. The NPA ( Non-peroxide activity) is also checked for its potency and antibacterial effect. Harvesting takes place in January and February every year.

I also recommend taking Manuka orally for a common cold or flu symptoms. It really helps soothe and protect a sore throat and with all those other incredible benefits I think it is a fantastic thing to add into your diet. I usually put a teaspoon into my natural Greek yoghurt to sweeten it and it tastes great. I have that with some granola or muesli and a bit of fruit and I’m set for the day. It is meant to be brilliant for building up immunity so especially good for those winter months when colds, bugs and flu tend to circulate. To be honest I would take it all year round. Even though it seems expensive, it is no more expensive than a round of probiotics or vitamins would normally cost. I would way rather fork out for a natural product that has so many health benefits and hopefully stave off the bugs that end up needing a course of strong antibiotics to sort out.

If you want to read more about the benefits of honey, have a read of my recent blog post on Honey, DIY Skincare and Saving the Bees.

I adore honey and I always use it for my skin. If you have acne, I especially recommend trying it. Another great honey skin treatment to try for cleaning pores mixing a teaspoon of honey with a sprinkle of cinnamon and applying it for 10 minutes or so. Wipe it off with a damp cotton pad for best results. Voilà!

‘Til next week!

Ciara xxx

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  1. This is super cool. I don’t know if I have ever seen this product where I live, but I I have always loved good, natural honey for so many things!

  2. I really like honey and prefer to use it instead of sugar. Ive heard a lot about the benefits of manuka honey but have never tried it myself. Thank you for stating the benefits so clearly.

    1. Hi Lucy, its a perfect substitute for sugar or artificial sweeteners and absolutely wonderful for your health. Thanks

    1. Thanks Heather, it is a fantastic all-rounder I just love it for adding to my Greek yoghurt it sweetens it perfectly and so healthy

  3. I didn’t know all of this! I know that honey is good for you but this is great. Manuka honey is sooooo expensive here (in Australia) though. I’ve picked it up a few times and put it back. But I might reconsider now.

  4. This was a great, really in-depth article. Well-researched. I live in the Northeast, and in the winter months when everyone is getting sick, I mix Manuka honey with lemon juice in hot water every day. I swear it will clear up a cold in 1 day flat. I also used to put it on my face to help with slight acne flareups, but I didn’t see as much of an impact from that. Thanks for writing!

    1. Hi Britt, that is amazing it is so potent. It works really well as a facemark for me. I just put it on my T-Zone and it seems to de-clog pores within minutes.

  5. I’ve seen so many skin products come out recently boasting “Manuka Honey” and always wondered what the big deal was. Now, I get it. I’ll have to check into it as I use honey a lot. Why not bump up the benefits? Thanks so much for the info.

    1. Hi Valerie, I definitely recommend eating it for the best overall benefits, including the skin. In its pure form it makes a brilliant mask for clogged pores

  6. I had no idea Manuka had such great properties! Thank you for all the great info, I look forward to giving this a try!

    1. Glad to put the word out, Manuka is not found everywhere as its only made in NZ where the Manuka grows. I heard about it when I came to NZ but it is well known as an antibiotic and wound healing honey.

  7. I found this so interesting Ciara. Recently I was craving honey and had no idea why. I bought some fresh honey that was made locally and even though I had not eaten it for years, I started having it on toast and in my tea. I felt a lot better with fewer tummy troubles and my sinuses were less irritated, now I know why. I honestly had no idea of all these benefits of honey but had just listened to my body at the time. Going to have to check out this supplement now, always worth the money it if is of good quality and beneficial for my health.

    1. Hi Lisa, that is so amazing ow our bodies crave what we need to fix them. Thanks for telling me, I always have it for my breakfast with Greek yoghurt and I crave it when I don’t have it too!

  8. Even though I’m allergic to honey which is the funniest thing for me to say every time to people who offer something with honey, I still need a good one like this for my skin care.Sounds like a really great product.

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