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Is Manuka Honey Really A Superfood? Find Out All The Facts And Myths About It!

Manuka honey, a native New Zealand honey that is said to be better to all known antibiotics and can be used to cure colds, allergies and infections. Theconversation.com also said that manuka honey boost energy, detox system, lover cholesterol, and even stave off diabetes. That’s sure a lot of benefits from just a honey! Manuka honey is also been touted as a superfood. The question is… Is it true? In 2015, people have been hyping about this type of honey, and they are willing to pay up to $50 for a jar of honey. This can be considered kind of pricey when compared to normal honey. What makes Manuka honey so popular? What is the different between the manuka honey and the other honey? Is it true what Scarlett Johansson said to Style.com that when she spreads manuka honey on her skin, she gets “an amazing glow?”


To answer those questions, first we are gonna tell you the origins of Manuka honey.


What is Manuka honey?

Based on snopes.com, manuka honey is a type of honey derived from bees that feed on manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium).

While people start the trend about this honey in 2015, a group of people were already suggested about manuka honey since 1989!

While Manuka honey is naturally a native at New Zealand, in Australia, manuka honey is also produced too, where the trees used to make it are jellybush and golden tea tree.

What makes Manuka honey so special? What’s the different with normal honey?

What’s make the difference between manuka honey and normal honey, is that manuka honey appears to have additional antiseptic and antibiotic properties.

The main compound responsible for the incredible antimicrobial activity is called methylglyoxal (MGO), and manuka honey contains up to 100 times more than normal honeys! This fact has been published in National Library of Medicine (NCBI) at 2008. The higher the concentration of MGO, the stronger the antibiotic effect.

While normal honey is pasteurized and filtered to prevent fermentation, raw honey like manuka is not. Manuka honey remain in its natural state and often includes particles of wax, propolis and pollen.

As for the looks, manuka honey looks darker and thicker compared to regular honey. While regular honey is smooth and uniform in color, manuka honey will be more difficult to spread.


Top Manuka Honey Myths vs Facts

  1. Manuka Honey can cure throat

Fact! Manuka honey can disperse and kill bacteria including Streptococcus (the cause of strep throat). Manuka honey has antiviral and antibacterial properties that can reduce inflammation and attack the bacteria.


  1. Manuka honey boost immunity and energy

Fact! There are few tests that shown manuka honey contains certain substances that can stimulate cytokine production to signal proteins involved in immune reactions by the body. This mean more protective action against potential infections and disease. Honey composition of carbohydrate and glucose level result in longer lasting energy.


  1. Manuka honey is good for skin

Fact! Antimicrobial activity in manuka honey, can help keep your skin free of bacteria. Honey is a great natural way to hydrate skin.

  1. Manuka honey detox your system

Myth! There is no scientific basis or high-level evidence that show benefits of any detox programs, including using a manuka honey. Our body has our own detoxification systems such as sweat, urine, and faeces to get rid of toxins.


  1. Manuka honey can treat infections and wound

Fact! Manuka honey can kill bacteria including Staphylococcus (the cause of Golden staph infections). Manuka honey was approved by US FDA as an option for wound treatment at 2007.


  1. Manuka honey can cure hay fever

Myth! There is no scientific evidence about manuka honey helps hay fever sufferers.


  1. Manuka honey can be used to cure cancer.

Myth! There is still no scientific evidence about it. But there is some preliminary work, that honey might protect from side effects of radiation treatment.


  1. Manuka honey lower cholesterol

Myth! There is no any robust scientific evidence that manuka lowers cholesterol.


  1. Manuka honey can treat burns

Fact! Multiple studies have shown that manuka honey can decrease pain in patients suffering from burns. Based on NCBI’s paper at 2017, Manuka honey is used as an essential constituent for tissue regeneration


  1. Manuka honey stave off diabetes

Myth! There is no any robust scientific evidence that manuka can treats diabetes. However, it might help heal diabetic ulcers, as a study from Saudi Arabian and Greek showed that manuka honey wound dressing reduced healing time in diabetic foot ulcers and more effective than conventional treatment alone.


  1. Manuka honey improve sleep

Myth! There is no any robust scientific evidence that manuka improves sleep.


  1. Manuka honey reduce hair loss

Fact! Manuka honey contains high mineral, amino acids and B complex vitamins that can nourish the scalp and rejuvenate the hair follicles.


How to choose a good manuka honey?

Manuka honey is graded according its non-peroxide antibacterial potency, called Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). UMF is concentration of MG. This is similar with SPF that you can find at sunscreen or sunblock products. Usually, the higher the SPF, the better the sunscreen is. Which means the higher the UMF, the better the manuka honey is.

UMF in manuka honey is graded from 0 – 30. This is based from antimicrobial activity. While manuka honey is considered more expensive than normal honey, here is few tips before buying it: anything below UMF 10 is not worth paying a premium for it because it means its only as good as other natural honey. UMF 10 – 15 is good for additional benefits and maintaining general health. UMF 15 – 30 is very good for therapeutic effects.



If you choose to buy manuka honey, you have to consider what kind of purpose you are trying to achieve so you can buying the right kind of honey. If you want to use manuka honey to treat wounds or skin infections, consider buying a manuka honey that is appropriately packaged as a medicinal product.

While manuka honey is safe to consume and has many great benefits, if you have diabetes or allergic to bees or honey, you should consult with your doctor or health specialist. All types of honey are high in natural sugar, including manuka honey. Consuming too much manuka honey may affect blood sugar levels. It is not recommended to feed for children below 1 year, because feeding any type of honey to infants can risk botulism.

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