The therapeutic impact of Manuka honey on IBD symptoms

    Living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be extremely challenging. It is a life-long autoimmune disorder encompassing both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis; chronic conditions that can take a significant toll on your physical, mental and emotional health.

    Although there is no current cure, IBD symptoms can be treated with medication and surgery. Lifestyle factors such as exercise may also help manage discomfort, as can incorporating anti-inflammatory foods like high-grade medicinal Manuka honey into your diet.

    Understanding Manuka honey’s anti-inflammatory qualities

    Manuka honey has long been recognized for its healing properties. Addressing various health ailments, including gastrointestinal disorders such as IBD, Manuka honey is naturally bioactive with known anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial and  antiseptic qualities.

    Key to its therapeutic effects is the unique antibacterial activity, primarily attributed to methylglyoxal (MGO). But it also contains polyphenols and other bioactive compounds, which contribute significantly to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

    One newly discovered bioactive compound is a pteridine derivative. Exhibiting anti-inflammatory properties, this compound is unique to Manuka honey. When consumed orally, preliminary research suggests this pteridine derivative can survive the digestive tract, enabling it to potentially target chronic inflammation in the bowel. 

    Dr Peter Brooks, lead researcher at UniSC, explains how the phenols and bioactive compounds in Manuka honey give it the unique ability to act as an anti-inflammatory in the gastrointestinal tract.

    What does the data say about Manuka honey’s efficacy in managing IBD symptoms

    From clinical studies that have been undertaken, results indicate the anti-inflammatory effect of Manuka honey could have a very positive impact on IBD symptoms.

    One such study involved inducing colitis in rodents and then treating them once daily over a period of time with a range of different treatments, including honey, prednisolone (steroid hormone used to treat auto-immune disorders) and saline. This study found the administration of honey in an inflammatory model of colitis was just as effective as prednisolone.

    In another study, scientists carried out an experiment to measure the effect of different doses of Manuka honey in rodents with induced inflammatory bowel disease. Dividing the rodents into five groups, they were given a range of treatments over 14 days, including two different measures of Manuka honey - 5g/kg and 10g/kg. The study found both doses of Manuka honey significantly reduced the colonic inflammation. 

    While further tests are yet to be conducted to measure the efficacy of Manuka honey in treating humans with IBD, these studies show very promising results. 

    Incorporating Manuka Honey into your IBD diet

    High-strength medicinal Manuka honey is a naturally therapeutic functional food. With its known anti-inflammatory and bioactive properties, it is widely used to help ease IBD symptoms and support overall health.



    Before incorporating high-strength Manuka into your diet, it’s important to first consult with your healthcare provider to ensure it supports your overall IBD management plan. For instance, if you are following the FODMAPS diet, Manuka honey may not be advisable during IBD flareups. It may instead be better to slowly introduce it into your diet once symptoms have disappeared.


    To learn more about our superior strength, high MGO-rated Manuka Honey, please feel free to reach out via our website chat or Contact page.




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