Manuka Honey Immune System Benefits

Research shows that raw Manuka honey is full of antioxidants and nutrients that predominantly come from the pollen it contains. Manuka honey also has strong antibacterial properties and other enzymes that are highly beneficial for the immune system. Additionally, research has shown Manuka Honey has anti-inflammatory properties, further supporting the idea it has immune system benefits.

Raw honey was used as a treatment for diseases since ancient times. This makes honey one of the oldest medicines known to man. But only now, through scientific research, are we beginning to understand why honey is so special.

When winter comes along it’s an important time to focus on our health and make sure our immune system is in good shape to protect us from winter colds and flu.

We all need a little extra care in winter and the natural goodness of raw Manuka honey is just the thing to give your body a boost. But what exactly contributes to the reported Manuka Honey immune system benefits?

How Manuka Honey Boosts Your Immune System

There are a number of theories on why Manuka Honey may be beneficial to the immune system, and research is still in its infancy. However, one study showed promising results in understanding the underlying mechanisms behind Manuka Honey’s immune system benefit. The paper, published in 2020, showed that Manuka increased the release of a number of cytokines, important for the immune response. Cytokines are responsible for helping white blood cells find and eliminate infected or damaged tissues.

Honey Bee on Manuka Flower New Zealand
A honey bee collecting nectar from a Mānuka flower.

For those unfamiliar with Manuka honey’s unique and powerful properties, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Manuka honey contains high levels of methylglyoxal (MGO) which is the organic compound responsible for Mānuka honey’s uniquely strong antibacterial properties. 
  1. The amount of methylglyoxal in Manuka honey is represented by an MGO rating. Higher MGO ratings represent higher levels of methylglyoxal. For example, Manuka Honey MGO 83+ will have 83mg of methylglyoxal per kilogram of honey.
  1. Methylglyoxal is found in many types of honey, but at very low levels. Manuka can have MGO levels up to 100 times that of other honeys, which is why it is often described as a superfood. Some scientists believe it acts as a natural type of antibiotic
  1. Over the last couple of decades, scientists have tested Manuka honey against a wide variety of bacteria strains and found Manuka was effective in reducing almost all bacteria tested, including some that were resistant to antibiotics. Furthermore, attempts to breed a honey-resistant strain of bacteria have not been successful.
  1. Manuka honey has also been found to aid in wound healing and tissue regeneration by facilitating the body’s natural ability to heal itself. 
  1. Honey is generally a better alternative sweetener to sugar. It has a lower glycemic index, meaning it is less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar, making it a safer sweetener for those with Diabetes to eat.

While there is plenty more research to do, there is a growing body of evidence that Manuka honey is not just your ordinary honey — it has the potential to provide a range of health benefits.

Where You Can Get Manuka Honey

You can purchase Manuka honey from a range of different sources. Due to its popularity, Manuka is available in many groceries and speciality stores. 

However, we recommend checking that your Manuka honey is raw and unadulterated and keep an eye out for the methylglyoxal levels of the honey you purchase.

Opt for an MGO rating of at least 83+ so that you know you’re getting a high-quality Manuka with tested and certified levels of methylglyoxal. 

Conclusion: Manuka Honey Immune System Benefits

While Manuka sure is impressive, New Zealand has a wide variety of truly unique and delicious honeys — each with their own unique tastes and health-related benefits.

That’s why it’s great when you go straight to the producer. They’ll also be able to guide you with your choices so that you can find the perfect honey to fall in love with!

Are you looking to buy raw honey direct from the producer? We’re a family-owned operation in Nelson, New Zealand but we can ship all over the world. Feel free to get in touch if you have a question, we’d love to hear from you.

Raw Manuka Honey Mountain Valley Spoonful MGO 83
Mountain Valley’s Manuka Honey MGO 83+
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