A spoonful of manuka honey hovering over a bowl full of it.

Does Manuka Honey Have More Health Benefits Than Other Types of Honey?

Benefits of Manuka Honey 

Honey has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. In recent years, a particular type of honey, Manuka honey, has been making a name for itself when it comes to potential health benefits. Manuka honey is honey that is made exclusively in New Zealand and Australia where bees pollinate the leptospermum scoparium bush (tea tree). Read on to learn about the benefits of manuka honey.

The compounds found in manuka flower nectar, including methylglyoxal, are more concentrated in this type of honey, compared to other types of honey. The pollination period for the manuka plant is very small – less than six weeks a year, and as a result, manuka honey is pricier than other types of honey. But the price may be worth it, as manuka honey has more potent health benefits than other types of honey. 

Unique Properties of Manuka Honey 

Hydrogen peroxide is present in all types of honey and is responsible for providing antibiotic properties. However, manuka honey has additional unique properties thanks to the presence of a compound called methylglyoxal (MGO). MGO potentially gives manuka honey antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. This compound comes from the conversion of dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is another compound found in manuka honey. 

The Unique Manuka Factor (UMFTM) is used to rate the potency of manuka honey. It describes the concentration of three key compounds found in manuka honey: MGO, DHA, and leptosperin. UMFTM ratings range from 5+ to 25+, with higher ratings being more potent and pricier. In order for Manuka honey to be considered therapeutic for medicinal uses, it needs to have a UMFTM rating of at least 10+.

Top 5 Manuka Honey Benefits

Manuka honey benefits are due to its antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. The health benefits of manuka honey include:

  • Improved wound healing.
  • Improved skin condition. 
  • Relief of sore throat and cough. 
  • Improved oral health. 
  • Enhanced eye health.

Improved Wound Healing

Manuka honey may help to heal wounds in part due to its antibacterial properties. The good news is that compared to regular honey products whose antibacterial properties from hydrogen peroxide become less effective when mixed with serum or blood from a wound, the antibacterial properties of manuka honey come from MGO, which does not become less effective when it comes in contact with body fluids, therefore manuka honey requires fewer reapplications. When used topically to treat burns, ulcers, and wounds, make sure you use a medical grade manuka honey product with a rating of at least 15+. 

It’s important to speak to a medical professional before using manuka honey products to treat wounds.

Improved Skin Condition

Manuka honey products, including manuka honey cream and manuka honey ointment, have been used widely due to their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These manuka honey skin care products help to inhibit the growth of bacteria, and help to soothe dryness and redness of the skin that accompanies a variety of skin conditions. Manuka honey cram and ointments may help to treat the following skin conditions:

  • Acne. 
  • Eczema. 
  • Psoriasis.
  • Dry skin.

Relief of Sore Throat and Cough

All types of honey have been used as a natural remedy for easing a sore throat and cough by forming a film throughout the throat, which helps to relieve irritation. Manuka honey is especially good for relieving sore throat and cough because it helps to decrease inflammation caused by coughing and can help to speed up healing. You can take manuka honey for sore throat and cough can in various ways, including:

  • By spoonful. 
  • Mixed with hot water.
  • Mixed into tea. 

Improved Oral Health 

The antimicrobial properties of manuka honey inhibits plaque formation. It may help to improve oral health, especially when applying it to the area where the tooth meets the gum. Manuka honey benefits for oral health are obtainable by:

  • Consuming the product directly.
  • Applying it to a toothbrush.
  • Using as a mouthwash.

Consultation with a dentist is recommended before using manuka honey for oral health benefits.

Improved Eye Health

Manuka honey eye drops can help to lower the pH in the eye. It can also reduce inflammation and bacteria in the eye that leads to dry eyes. Additionally, using manuka honey eye drops after eye surgery can help to reduce swelling of the cornea. 


The following should avoid using Manuka honey:

  • Individuals who are diabetic. 
  • Persons with an allergy to bees. 
  • Individuals that are receiving chemotherapy.
  • Children under the age of one. 


Manuka honey is a potent honey product with an array of health benefits. You can use manuka honey to improve skin conditions, including acne, improve wound healing, soothe a sore throat and cough, and improve oral and eye health. You can also find genuine manuka honey products in some grocery stores and local health food stores. It’s important to speak to a medical professional before using manuka honey for medicinal uses to determine if it’s right for you.

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