Give your dose of honey the Manuka Doctor upgrade!

Guest post by

Charlotte Haigh

Charlotte Haigh is a London-based health writer, contributing regularly to titles including Stylist, Marie Claire, Woman & Home, Healthy, Women's Health, Grazia and Health & Fitness.

Author views are not our own.

We all love honey, right? And with good reason. Honey isn’t just delicious, it also has some wellness benefits. And yes, that applies to all honey. But Manuka honey has some standout properties that may make it an even more positive choice for your wellbeing. And if you’re going for Manuka, make it Manuka Doctor. It’s guaranteed to be genuine Manuka honey, as defined by strict guidelines laid out by the New Zealand government, complete with full traceability and transparency. You can track the lab certificates of every single jar of Manuka Doctor honey in the online checker.

Here are some of the wellbeing benefits of honey – plus the reasons an upgrade to Manuka Doctor honey is a good idea!

Honey healing power #1: It’s a cough and cold champion

Honey is antimicrobial, and NICE – the organisation that produces evidence-based health guidance for doctors and the public in the UK – recommends it as superior to over-the-counter medicines for soothing coughs.[1]  And it’s great for all the family, with a study finding a spoonful of honey before bed is more effective than many medicines for kids with coughs (caveat: don’t give it to babies under the age of one because there’s a risk of botulism).[2] It’s no surprise so many of us reach for a hot honey and lemon drink at the first sign of a cold.

The Manuka Doctor upgrade: If you’re choosing honey to soothe cold symptoms like coughs, why not make it Manuka? It’s been shown to have powerful antimicrobial effects, potentially helping it inhibit bacteria[3] and possibly viruses too.[4] And it has anti-inflammatory properties.[5] Although research is in its infancy, Manuka honey may even have some potential in supporting your body to defend itself against Covid-19, by increasing immune system cells to battle the virus, while modulating inflammation.[6] In other words, it’s possible you may be getting more than simple cough-soothing benefits. Take it neat on a spoon or stir it into hot water and lemon, as you would with other honey.

Honey healing power #2: It could ease allergy symptoms

Some research has found honey may help balance the immune system’s overreaction in allergic syndromes that produce symptoms like sneezing and runny noses, including hay fever. One paper looked at people with allergic rhinitis who took 1g of honey per kilo of their body weight daily for a month. They also took allergy medication. A second group took only the medication and not the honey. The researchers found the group that took honey had a significant easing of symptoms and theorised it may be down to honey’s immune-modulating, anti-inflammatory effects.[7]

The Manuka Doctor upgrade: Manuka honey contains phytochemicals known to help ease allergic symptoms and has been found to help modulate the release of histamines - so, in theory, it may be especially helpful in battling streaming eyes and sneezing.[8] Treat it as part of your toolkit against allergies – and if you have asthma, it’s important to note hay fever can be a trigger for an asthma attack, so check with your GP to make sure both conditions are well managed.

Honey healing power #3: It may support gut health

In recent years, a lot of research has focused on the importance of a healthy gut microbiome, that must-have community of friendly bacteria, necessary not only for efficient digestion but also for good immunity and mental health. Studies have found honey contains types of prebiotic called fructo-oligosaccharides, which act as manure for good gut bugs like lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.[9]

The Manuka Doctor upgrade: If you’re prioritising digestive health, Manuka may have some extra benefits. There’s some limited early research to suggest it may be more beneficial than standard honey for feeding good gut bacteria.[10] And it’s been shown to inhibit the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers.[11] Let’s face it, this is a very enjoyable way to help your gut!

The upshot? Honey’s great, and Manuka Doctor honey may be even better! Stir it into porridge or smoothies, slather it on toast, melt it into hot drinks or savour it direct from the spoon. Choose from a range of magical Manuka honey.

[1] https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/antibiotics-should-not-be-issued-as-first-line-of-treatment-for-a-cough-says-nice-and-phe

[2] Cohen HA et al. Effect of Honey on Nocturnal Cough and Sleep Quality: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. PEDIATRICS Volume 130, Number 3, September 2012

3 Watanabe K et al. Anti-influenza viral effects of honey in vitro: potent high activity of manuka honey. Arch Med Res. 2014 Jul;45(5):359-65

[3] Johnston M et al. Antibacterial activity of Manuka honey and its components: an overview. AIMS Microbiol. 2018; 4(4): 655–664.

[4] Watanabe K et al. Anti-influenza Viral Effects of Honey In Vitro: Potent High Activity of Manuka Honey. Archives of Medical Research, Volume 45, Issue 6, August 2014, Pages 516

[5] Minden-Birkenmeier B et al. The Effect of Manuka Honey on dHL-60 Cytokine, Chemokine, and Matrix-Degrading Enzyme Release under Inflammatory Conditions. Med One. 2019; 4(2): e190005.

[6] Hossein KS et al. Prospects of honey in fighting against COVID-19: pharmacological insights and therapeutic promises. Heliyon. Volume 6, Issue 12, December 2020, e05798

[7] Asha’ari ZA et al. Ingestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Ann Saudi Med. 2013 Sep-Oct; 33(5): 469–475

[8] Poi Yi Aw Yong et al. The Potential use of Honey as a Remedy for Allergic Diseases: A Mini Review. Front Pharmacol. 2020; 11: 599080.

[9] Landry BKU et al. Honey, probiotics and prebiotics: review. Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences 7(5):2428 · September 2016

[10] Rosendale DI et al. High‐throughput microbial bioassays to screen potential New Zealand functional food ingredients intended to manage the growth of probiotic and pathogenic gut bacteria

[11] Mandal MD. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr; 1(2): 154–160.

Mānuka Honey
Catch up with the latest news and articles about our honey
Skincare
Keep up to date with what’s happening with our skincare
SUPPLEMENTS
Keep up to date with our newest product range
News
Stay in the know, with all the latest news from Manuka Doctor