Harnessing the power of Manuka honey for coughs and strep throat relief

    Throughout history, honey has been utilised for its healing properties, serving as a staple in traditional medicine. Science now supports the age-old wisdom, highlighting the effectiveness of high-grade honey varieties – like Manuka honey - in combating upper respiratory tract infections.

    Below, we will explore the unique properties of Manuka honey and its role in relieving sore throats and coughs.

    How Manuka honey helps to relieve a sore throat

    Manuka honey, renowned for its bioactive methylglyoxal (MGO), stands as a potent natural antimicrobial agent with antioxidant properties. When it comes to sore throats, the immune-boosting properties of Manuka honey, combined with its high MGO content, make it a formidable ally against infections.

    While standard sore throats are often viral, severe cases caused by Streptococcus bacteria may require antibiotics. With continued research into the effects of prolonged antibiotic use, particularly on the gut microbiome, consumers are looking for alternative methods to treat upper respiratory tract illnesses.

    Honey is emerging as an alternative medicinal source that can work in tandem with modern medicines, enhancing the body's ability to fight infections. This makes it a viable and potentially healthier alternative to frequent antibiotic use.

    One study examined the antibacterial activity of natural honey consumption in patients suffering from head and neck cancer who developed hyposalivation following irradiation treatment. 

    A measure of the total bacteria and streptococcus mutans in the saliva of the patients was performed before and after honey consumption, and while the total bacteria count was not significantly different, the streptococcus mutans count decreased significantly following honey consumption.

    And although antibiotics generally won’t assist those suffering from viral illness, results from another study seeking to evaluate the anti-influenza viral activity of honey has found that Manuka honey has potent inhibitory activity against the influenza virus.

    Using Manuka honey for coughs

    Children experiencing coughs due to weather changes or low immunity levels can benefit from the soothing properties of Manuka honey. Unlike cough syrup formulations that provide temporary relief, Manuka honey offers a safer long-term solution.

    According to a study into the effects of honey, Dextromethorphan (cough suppressant) and no treatment for children suffering from coughs, honey consistently scored the best for symptomatic relief of nocturnal cough.

    Another review by a paediatric doctor at BC Hospital in Vancouver states that many over the counter mediations for cough management carry potential risks and can cause symptoms such as insomnia or drowsiness, depending on the medication taken.

    He states, “In general, honey is inexpensive and has an excellent safety profile… Honey can be recommended as a single dose of 2.5 mL before bedtime for children older that 1 year of age with cough.”

    5 Star Review: "This product is excellent, a very good taste and I think it's effective. I was recovering from a bad flu, with a cough and after a few days of use, 1 teaspoon per day, I already feel better. The antibacterial properties of this exceptional honey do their duty." Gaetano5 Star Review: "Good came promptly. Lovely and thick and tastes great. The hony cleared up a sore throat within 3 days that my partner had for a few weeks. I take daily to ensure I don't get sick. Worth the money." Karina

    How to use Manuka honey for sore throats and coughs

    To combat bacterial and seasonal infections, having a jar of mid-to-high MGO Manuka honey in your medicine cabinet is key. The higher the MGO, the greater the antibacterial and antiviral benefits.

    Consuming Manuka honey regularly can provide quick relief and reduce the intensity of coughs or itchy throats. Many people also find even the sticky consistency of honey favourable in helping to reduce cough symptoms.

    However, it's crucial to avoid overheating medicinal Manuka honey, as high temperatures can destroy MGO. For dry and nocturnal coughs, we recommend starting with one to two teaspoons of our Medicinal Manuka Honey Range (MGO 300+ to 990+), twice daily. Once symptoms improve, reduce the dosage to one teaspoon daily.

    Switching to Everyday Strength Manuka honey can further enhance overall health and immunity. For sore throats, mix a teaspoon of Manuka honey in a glass of warm water, add lemon juice, stir well, cool and gargle. Repeat this once or twice a day until symptoms subside.

    Avoid giving honey to children under the age of 1 and people with known allergic reactions to honey or bee products. Manuka honey - particularly high MGO medicinal Manuka honey - offers a natural and effective solution for coughs and sore throat. Supported by scientific studies, its unique properties make it a valuable addition to traditional remedies and modern medicine alike.


    Further reading:

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published