7 Exceptional Benefits of Manuka Honey

7 reasons why delicious, nutritious Manuka Honey is so good for you.


Known as ‘liquid gold,’ authentic Manuka Honey is loved by nutritionists, wellness practitioners, athletes and natural-health enthusiasts all over the world. Its natural benefits are almost too many to list – supporting your immune system and digestive health, boosting your energy, healing wounds, helping your oral health and helping your skin look amazing.

As Australians, we’re lucky to live in a country where it’s possible to lead such an active lifestyle all year round, and to enjoy the natural benefits of Manuka Honey to help us stay healthy and active.

Read on to discover the top 7 benefits of Manuka Honey - Mother Nature’s marvel.


1. Manuka Honey can support a healthy immune system.

A healthy immune system is so important for fighting infections as well as helping us look and feel great each and every day. But statistics show that many New Zealanders are deficient in crucial nutrients like zinc, vitamin D, selenium and vitamin A.*

Manuka Honey’s immune-supporting properties can help, and result from its known antimicrobial activity as well as its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune modulatory bio-activities.X

Think of Manuka Honey as your secret weapon to help support your immune system – fighting off colds and maintaining optimum health and wellness. Who knew such a little jar could be so powerful?

Honey should always be consumed as part of a healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle, and – just you would incorporate a supplement capsule into your diet for targeted support – you can add a spoonful of Comvita Manuka Honey to your daily wellness ritual for increased immune and antioxidant support.

The benefits of eating Manuka Honey everyday are well documented. So try stirring it into your tea or coffee, blending it into a smoothie or juice, drizzling it onto your breakfast or spreading it liberally on your toast. Either way, it’s delicious, nutritious and can provide excellent immune system support.


2. Manuka Honey can aid digestive and gut health.

We’re all becoming more aware of the importance of gut health, and honey has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine to support gut comfort.

Due to its ability to reduce the levels of cellular oxidative damage, along with the modulation of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (immune signalling molecules), scientific evidence supports the use of Manuka Honey as a home remedy for soothing gastro-intestinal tract discomfort.

That’s the science. But all you need to know is that you can use Comvita Manuka Honey to support a healthy gut by taking a tablespoon every day, especially our high UMFTM Manuka Honey.

Enjoy it on its own, or try pairing it with natural wellness teas known for supporting gut health, such as liquorice root, dandelion, peppermint or ginger. Just remember to let the tea cool a little before stirring in the Manuka Honey so it retains its unique natural properties.


 3. Manuka Honey is a skincare superstar.

“Scientific research has confirmed the benefits of Manuka Honey for treating inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis.” - Dr. Jackie Evans, Ph.D.

With help from its naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, Mānuka Honey supports clearer, moisturised skin from head to toe, so it’s no wonder that it’s a popular ingredient in many skincare ranges particularly with our harsh Australian sun.

If you have irritated, acne-prone skin, eczema, or just dry, parched skin, use higher UMF™ levels like Comvita UMF 10+ or UMF 15+ Manuka Honey as a single-ingredient facemask, or add it to your favourite DIY clean-beauty masks. For raw, chapped lips, try applying Manuka Honey as a restorative lip mask.

Australian sunlight can have high levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, especially during the summer months, so it’s especially important to keep your skin supported and hydrated with the beauty benefits of Manuka Honey.


4. Manuka Honey is renowned as an energy booster.

Low on energy? Instead of reaching for a caffeine hit or sugar-filled energy drink, why not try a spoonful of Manuka Honey?

Athletes, coaches and everyday Aussies who value their health and wellness are choosing Comvita’s raw, certified UMF™ Manuka Honey as a clean, natural energy source before cycling, running, training, hitting the gym and more. Take your fitness routine to the next level with nature’s powerful source of energy.

It’s another good reason to start supporting your body with the many natural properties of Comvita Manuka Honey.


5. Manuka Honey is known as a powerful antioxidant.

Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals are compounds that can cause harm if their levels become too high and have been linked to many illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

Your body has its own antioxidant defences to keep free radicals under control, but these powerful forces of nature we call antioxidants are also found in food, especially plant-based and whole foods. So it’s no surprise that the world’s most extraordinary honey – Manuka Honey – also contains these little miracle workers.

According to a study into the antibacterial activity of Manuka Honey and its components by the USA’s National Library of Medicine, Manuka Honey is gaining much attention for its antimicrobial activity, and researchers have found that it is effective against a wide range of pathogens. The antibacterial potency of Manuka Honey was found to be related to the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating, which is correlated with the methylglyoxal and total phenols content.

And it’s not just Manuka Honey that is made by our clever bees. Comvita’s Immune Bee™ Propolis is created by honeybees and used to protect their hive. It contains over 300 bioactive compounds, including antioxidants that work at the cellular level to support the immune system.

Gram for gram, when tested under laboratory conditions, the natural antioxidant capability of Comvita Immune Bee™ Propolis hands down beats many well-known antioxidant rich superfoods, including blueberries, elderberries and green tea – as well as vitamins C and A!

Meaning that the flavonoids in our Comvita Immune Bee™ Propolis are plentiful and potent, with our propolis punching well above its weight when it comes to antioxidant capability!


6. Manuka Honey can help treat wounds.

Honey has been used to treat wounds and burns for centuries thanks to its naturally occurring antibacterial activity. Manuka Honey is unique in that it has a potent and broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity that’s different to other types of honey and is more stable in wounds.

The Comvita™ Medihoney™ range is formulated by clinicians using antibacterial medical grade honey, which has been clinically proven to support skin healing. Medihoney™ is made up of 80% medical grade Manuka Honey – a standardised grade of antibacterial Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka) honey as specified by scientific research.



7. Manuka Honey can help maintain oral health

Humans been benefiting from the antibacterial qualities of honey for years, but it’s only recently that we discovered an amazing natural substance called Bee Propolis (which is made by bees to protect their hives). When Propolis is combined with the soothing, beneficial properties of Manuka Honey, you have a powerful combination – honey and propolis oral care.

Bee propolis has been used for oral care for centuries and today's research continues to support its oral health benefits. It’s all great news for your mouth.

So if you’re looking for ways to maintain healthy teeth and gums without harsh chemicals or expensive treatments, Comvita’s range of Bee Propolis oral sprays and toothpaste could well be the solution.


Choosing and using Manuka Honey

There’s no other honey in the world like New Zealand Manuka Honey. It’s made by bees collecting nectar from the Manuka plant (Leptospermum scoparium) and genuine Manuka Honey is one of nature’s rare and powerful wonders, renowned the world over for its beneficial properties.

So far, so simple. But as you may have discovered, shopping for the best Manuka Honey may not be quite so easy. With so many different grading systems and distinctions, you probably find yourself wondering, what do all those letters and numbers mean? Is there honestly a difference? (The answer is yes by the way!)


Manuka Honey grading systems

The rating system for Manuka Honey is rather complex and several different systems can be used, including UMF™ (Unique Manuka Factor) and MGO (Methylglyoxal).

UMF™ is the strictest and highest graded Mānuka Honey measurement system.
The UMF™ number on the label represents the amount of MGO in the bottle as well as providing a broader guarantee of authenticity, origin and composition. That number can range from UMF™ 5+ to UMF™ 20+. The higher the UMF™ rating, the more antibacterial activity Manuka Honey has - and the more potent it is.

UMF™ is the gold standard in Mānuka ratings and is backed by the New Zealand government for its verification of quality and potency.


What is the MGO rating system?

Methylglyoxal (MGO) is a naturally-occurring compound found in Manuka Honey that gives it its unique antibacterial potency.

The number that follows ‘MGO’ refers to the amount of methylglyoxal in mg/kg. For example, an MGO250+ Manuka Honey product is certified to contain at least 250mg of methylglyoxal per kilogram of honey.


What is the UMF™ grading system?

UMF™ stands for Unique Manuka Factor, the only standardised industry-wide indicator of genuine Manuka Honey from New Zealand. It is a stamp of authority that authenticates the potency, purity, freshness and New Zealand origin of a Manuka Honey product.

The UMF™ mark is also a guarantee that the product meets the NZ government regulatory standard for Manuka honey, and that it contains the broad suite of phytochemicals that make Manuka unique. MGO is only one component and therefore does not provide the same level of assurance as the UMF™ rating.


MGO vs UMF™ – which is best?

The main difference between MGO and UMF™ is that MGO only measures the methylglyoxal element and its potency within Manuka honey.
On the other hand, UMF™ measures the four chemical compounds found in Manuka honey: dihydroxyacetone (DHA), leptosperin, methylglyoxal (MGO) and lepteridine™ 3,6,7-Trimethyllumazine. In other words, UMF™ is a better indicator of authenticity purity and quality of honey.

Read this UMF vs MGO article to learn more.



Is it best practice to eat Manuka honey every day?

We suggest eating 1 to 2 tablespoons daily, either by the spoonful or by adding it to food and drinks. Here are a few ways to enjoy delicious, nutritious Manuka Honey:

  • Stir it into your favourite tea or drinks
  • Spread it onto a slice of whole grain toast
  • Use it to naturally sweeten smoothies
  • Mix it with warm milk before bedtime
  • Stir it into yogurt
  • Drizzle it on cereal, oats, waffles or pancakes

How long does Manuka honey take to work?

If you’re looking to use Manuka Honey as a pre-workout energising snack, it’s good to consume it about 30 minutes before exercise.

What is the best time to eat Manuka honey?

It’s recommended to take Manuka Honey once in the morning and once at night. It is safe to have 2 to 4 teaspoons (10 to 20 mL) of Manuka Honey daily, but remember that it’s a natural sweetener so, like everything, consume it in moderation.

Does Manuka honey detox your body?

The amazing health properties of Manuka Honey are well known. Rich in texture and unmatchable flavor, this rare, golden wonderfood supports strong immunity, healthy digestion and natural energy, so you can glow from the inside out all year long.

But put it together with another natural sensation – apple cider vinegar – and you’ve got a powerful and tasty combination that’s thought to provide many health advantages including detoxifying the body.

This recipe is one of our favourite drinks that combines Manuka Honey with the cleansing and calming health properties of apple cider vinegar.


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