14 Proven Manuka Honey Benefits (That You Need to Know!)

Manuka Honey Benefits

Manuka honey has grown massively in popularity over recent years, with the market size expected to increase further by 2028.

Derived from the manuka tree (or tea tree), manuka honey is produced in Australia and New Zealand and used in a range of different products.

Whether you’re looking to improve your digestion or treat a wound, there are a whole range of manuka honey benefits you need to know:

Benefit 1: Can Be Used as a Natural Antibiotic

1: Can Be Used as a Natural Antibiotic

The best benefit of manuka honey has to be the fact that this amazing super sweet product can actually be used as an antibiotic!

A deep look at all the relevant research demonstrated the importance of manuka honey’s antibacterial qualities.

In fact researchers said that the medicinal benefits of the honey can’t be underestimated.

Without getting too deep in to the science:

Manuka honey has a stimulating effect on macrophages, which are the cells found in tissue, particularly at the site of an infection.

It effectively encourages the tissue to heal while helping to reduce infection.

Benefit 2: Treats Wounds and Burns

2: Treats Wounds and Burns

Manuka honey is so magical that it has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for the management of wounds.

Whether it’s a pressure wound, diabetic ulcer or even a surgical wound, manuka honey has been shown to help.

By applying manuka honey topically it creates a protective barrier to the wound, helping to protect it from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

It’s thought the reason it’s so good for wounds and burns is because manuka honey in particular has antibacterial qualities even on top of honey’s usual value.

As previously mentioned, it can also help tissue to regenerate, encouraging wounds and burns to heal quicker.

Benefit 3: Builds Your Immune System

3: Builds Your Immune System

Not only does manuka honey have antibacterial qualities, but it also has the amazing ability to protect your body from different diseases.

A major study in 2018, focusing on how manuka honey could be used for medicinal purposes, found it helps to boost the immune system.

It does this by inducing anti-inflammatory cytokines, which are signaling molecules that help to encourage healing and reduce inflammation.

However it is important to ensure that you purchase a genuine manuka honey product to get the true benefits.

Manuka Doctor, who use only genuine manuka honey, and are certified by the New Zealand Government, offer a range of different supplements.

On the front of their pots you’ll find a number that represents the mg per kg of MGO (methylglyoxal). The higher the number, the stronger the antimicrobial activity!

Benefit 4: Improves Digestion

4: Improves Digestion

Up to 70 million people across the US suffer from one of many different digestive diseases.

Could New Zealand have the answer?

Thought-provoking research in 2008 looked at functional food ingredients derived from New Zealand to see how they impacted on gut health.

Manuka honey was tested alongside other food ingredients including bee pollen, rosehips and blackcurrant oil.

Results identified manuka honey as the most promising candidate. It helped the body manage gut bacteria and increase overall gut health.

Benefit 5: Clears a Stuffed Nose

5: Clears a Stuffed Nose

If you’re looking for a remedy to clear a stuffy nose then manuka honey could be the perfect solution.

Research published in 2016 sought to discover whether the honey could be used for sinus irrigation in the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis.

Positive findings were reported, with researchers concluding that manuka honey (when used alone) is effective when it comes to clearing your sinuses.

Benefit 6: Relieves a Sore Throat

6: Relieves a Sore Throat

Manuka honey is shown to inhibit the bacteria that causes a sore throat, giving you short term relief, thanks to its antibacterial activities.

Combine this in a drink with the healing power of ginger and you can enjoy a soothing drink for your strep throat

Benefit 7: Encourages Better Sleep

7: Encourages Better Sleep

If you’ve tried just about everything to help you sleep, then it could be time to turn to manuka honey.

It might seem odd to eat honey before bed, but it’s actually shown to help you sleep better.


Well, because it keeps your liver full, creating the right amount of glycogen that you need for a great night’s sleep.

Honey also spikes your insulin levels eventually forming melatonin, which helps you wake up feeling well-rested.

Benefit 8: Benefits for Acne Sufferers

8: Benefits for Acne Sufferers

Living with acne can be a real struggle, so if you’ve tried everything it could be worth dabbling with a little manuka honey?

Manuka honey has antibacterial qualities, a low ph value and anti-inflammatory properties, with users explaining that it took the anger out of their skin.

It is however recommended that you start with a good quality manuka honey, to ensure you benefit from the best qualities.

Manuka Doctor, who use only genuine manuka honey, and are certified by the New Zealand Government, have a range of skincare products.

Their ApiClear Anti-Redness Calming Moisturizer, has been created for irritated skin, offering intense hydration to help reduce redness

Benefit 9: Treats Blepharitis

9: Treats Blepharitis

When looking for alternative therapies for blepharitis, researchers focused on manuka honey microemulsion eye cream.

53 participants used the cream overnight for three months to gauge the effectiveness of the cream.

Significant improvements were recorded in the condition of the eye surface, as well as reduced lid margin staining and bacterial load.

Benefit 10: Helps Those with Cystic Fibrosis

10: Helps Those with Cystic Fibrosis

Another huge benefit of manuka honey’s antibacterial qualities is the way it can help to treat bacterial infections in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Using lung tissue from pigs, scientists grew the type of bacterial infections that those with cystic fibrosis are particularly prone to.

Prescribed antibiotics could kill 29% of antimicrobial resistant bacteria, however manuka honey was found to kill an incredible 39%.

When combined, antibiotics and manuka honey were found to kill a staggering 90% of the bacteria tested.

Research is preliminary at this stage. However the experts that conducted the study at Swansea University, felt the results were extremely promising and called for further investigation.

Benefit 11: Can Help Treat Ulcers

11: Can Help Treat Ulcers

Health professionals have highlighted the fact that gastric ulcers are a major worldwide problem but there is yet be an effective treatment solution identified.

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, manuka honey was researched as a treatment option.

Look closely at the results, and you’ll see it offers even more:

They found that manuka honey possesses a potent antiulcer properties which helps to reduce cell damage.

Benefit 12: Benefits for Breast Cancer Patients

12: Benefits for Breast Cancer Patients

Research in 2011 suggested a role for manuka honey in treating the condition. The study that focussed on 81 women, required participants to apply manuka honey twice daily.

Again, the honey’s anti-inflammatory properties proved powerful, combined with the high levels of antioxidants in the product.

There was a lower incidence of dermatitis, and improvements were described as “more clearly observable” to doctors.

Benefit 13: Helps Those with Eczema

13: Helps Those with Eczema

A small sample of adults were tested in a 2017 project to see whether manuka honey could be an effective treatment for eczema (also know as atopic dermatitis).

These adults all had lesions, and were asked to apply the honey to the affected area and leave it on overnight for seven consecutive days.

Lesions improved significantly, leading the researchers involved to call for larger scale studies in to its effectiveness for the condition.

Benefit 14: Reduces Dental Plaque

14: Reduces Dental Plaque

A number of pieces of research have been carried out to see whether manuka honey’s antibacterial qualities extend to dental care.

Amazingly, they do!

In a 2010 project, manuka honey was compared to other dental products such as mouthwash and chewing gum.

Incredibly manuka honey was put on a par with chlorhexidine mouthwash, both reducing plaque formation better than xylitol chewing gum.

Further research conducted in 2018 focusing on school children, aged between 12 and 15, showed that a manuka honey mouthwash helped to reduce plaque and improve gingival scores.

Laura Smith


Laura Smith

Associate Editorial Manager

Specialist health & wellbeing writer, passionate about discovering new technologies & sharing the latest research.