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Manuka Honey May Help Manage IBD- Crohn's and Ulcerative colitis

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Manuke Honey is the Superior to most types of Honey

Did you know that Manuka honey can ease your digestive symptoms? Yes, it’s true. A few tablespoons of this delicious, sweet food may be the natural remedy you’ve been looking for as part of your Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s natural treatment.

Honey is full of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits. Manuka honey is superior to most types of honey. It is a fantastic natural remedy for wounds, infections, skin problems, sinus issues, and most importantly, gut health issues. As a gut health specialist, I love including Manuka honey in my Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s natural treatment protocol.

Read on to find out why.

What is Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is a type of honey from a New Zealand scrub plant. In the early 19th century, European honey bees were introduced to the region and started making honey. Manuka honey gained popularity as a natural remedy for wounds, infections, acne, and sinus issues. In recent years, manuka honey gained popularity as a superfood all over the world. Due to high levels of the active ingredient- methylglyoxal (MGO), manuka honey is more potent than other types of honey.

Benefits of Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is celebrated for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. It is commonly used for:

- Addressing infections

- Healing cuts and scrapes

- Improving stomach aches

- Supporting and improving digestion

- Supporting the immune system

- Boosting energy

Research on Manuka Honey

As a digestive health specialist and a SIBO Naturopath, it’s important for me to offer natural treatment options that actually work. This means looking at science.

The benefits of manuka honey are not just old wives’ tales but are backed by research. Research has shown that Manuka honey offers antimicrobial benefits. According to a 2011 review published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, honey has antibacterial benefits (1). In most honey, this antimicrobial effect comes from hydrogen peroxide made with the help of bee enzymes.

Manuka honey has an extra benefit. According to a 2018 review published in AIMS Microbiology, manuka honey can protect your body from microbes with the help of MGO (2). MGO is a substance converted from dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a compound in the nectar of Manuka plants. MGO can help to clear infections and address wounds.

Research has also shown that Manuka honey may offer protection against Staphylococcus aureus, and Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections (3). Studies have shown that Manuka honey may be able to fight infections that form a biofilm (4). A biofilm is a thin, slippery layer of bacteria that may be difficult to treat. Moreover, Manuka honey doesn’t cause microbial resistance and may be helpful for infections that do not improve through antibiotic treatment (5).

Manuka Honey and Your Digestion

As a gastrointestinal specialist and a SIBO Naturopath, I am really excited about the science-backed benefits of Manuka honey for your gut health. I often recommend manuka honey for IBS-like symptoms and as part of a Crohn’s natural treatment, Ulcerative colitis natural treatment, or SIBO natural treatment protocol.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder that can cause diarrhea, constipation, cramps, bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. Manuka honey may help manage Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs)- Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. These are inflammatory digestive conditions that lead to inflammation of your gut, diarrhea, rectal pain, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, fatigue, and other symptoms.

A 2008 study published in Phytotherapy Research has found that Manuka honey offers antioxidant properties that can reduce inflammation and symptoms in IBD - Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis and IBS (6). Furthermore, according to a 2013 study published in BMC Research Notes, Manuka honey may also help to fight C. diff infections which can cause inflammation of the bowel and severe diarrhea (7).

Moreover, Manuka honey may also help to reduce the risk of H. pylori infections, related digestive symptoms, and related stomach ulcers (8, 9, 10). It may also help to decrease the symptoms and risk of gastric ulcers related to excessive alcohol consumption (8).

How to Use Manuka Honey

Always choose high-quality, real Manuka honey products with a Unique Manuka factor (UMF) rating on the label. This rating should show the level of MGO, DHA, and leptosperin, another plant compound in Manuka.

The UMF range to look for:

0 to 4: undetectable levels of Manuka compounds

5 to 9: low levels of Manuka compounds

10 to 15: useful levels of Manuka compounds

16: superior, high-grade levels of Manuka compounds

Look for 16 or high-grade Manuka honey and Manuka honey products.

How to use Manuka honey for digestion

For optimal benefits for your digestive health, eat 1 to 2 tablespoons of high-quality Manuka honey daily. You can eat it straight with a spoonful. You may also add it to your food. You can add it to your ginger or herbal tea, fruit salads, gluten-free toast, yogurt, or smoothies.

How to use Manuka honey for immune health and respiratory illness

If you want to avoid being sick, 1 tablespoon of Manuka honey each day can be incredibly helpful. If you aren’t feeling well, increase your intake as desired. A spoonful of Manuka honey can ease the symptoms of a sore throat and support your recovery.

How to use Manuka honey for your skin

For skin inflammations, irritations, wounds, and rashes, you can apply a thin layer of Manuka honey on the affected area. Leave it for 15 minutes to an hour. For eczema and other skin issues, you may find some Manuka honey products with Manuka honey, beeswax, and olive oil. Use it as directed.

You can also use a thin layer of Manuka honey for minor scrapes and cuts. However, if you have any severe or deep cuts, consult your doctor first. Check if any stitches, antibiotics, or other treatment is necessary. If appropriate, you can apply some Manuka honey to a bandage to cover the wound. Do not apply honey directly on an open wound, but on the bandage instead. Change it frequently, especially if there is leakage.

My Recommendation

I recommend that you add manuka honey to your diet and enjoy its benefits for digestive health. If you are looking for natural treatment options for digestive issues like Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or SIBO, I urge you to make an appointment today here. As a gastrointestinal specialist and SIBO naturopath, I specialize in Crohn's natural treatment, Ulcerative colitis natural treatment, SIBO natural treatment, and many other various digestive disorders.

Manuka honey
Manuka honey


1. Mandal MD, Mandal S. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr;1(2):154-60. doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(11)60016-6. PMID: 23569748

2. Johnston M, McBride M, Dahiya D, Owusu-Apenten R, Nigam PS. Antibacterial activity of Manuka honey and its components: An overview. AIMS Microbiol. 2018 Nov 27;4(4):655-664. doi: 10.3934/microbiol.2018.4.655. PMID: 31294240

3. Hammond, E.N., Donkor, E.S. Antibacterial effect of Manuka honey on Clostridium difficile. BMC Res Notes 6, 188 (2013). Link Here

4. Carter DA, Blair SE, Cokcetin NN, Bouzo D, Brooks P, Schothauer R, Harry EJ. Therapeutic Manuka Honey: No Longer So Alternative. Front Microbiol. 2016 Apr 20;7:569. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00569. PMID: 27148246

5. Mandal MD, Mandal S. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr;1(2):154-60. doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(11)60016-6. PMID: 23569748

6. Prakash A, Medhi B, Avti PK, Saikia UN, Pandhi P, Khanduja KL. Effect of different doses of Manuka honey in experimentally induced inflammatory bowel disease in rats. Phytother Res. 2008 Nov;22(11):1511-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2523. PMID: 18688794

7. Hammond EN, Donkor ES. Antibacterial effect of Manuka honey on Clostridium difficile. BMC Res Notes. 2013 May 7;6:188. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-6-188. PMID: 23651562

8. Almasaudi SB, El-Shitany NA, Abbas AT, Abdel-dayem UA, Ali SS, Al Jaouni SK, Harakeh S. Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, and Antiulcer Potential of Manuka Honey against Gastric Ulcer in Rats. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016;2016:3643824. doi: 10.1155/2016/3643824. Epub 2015 Dec 7. PMID: 26770649

9. al Somal N, Coley KE, Molan PC, Hancock BM. Susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to the antibacterial activity of manuka honey. J R Soc Med. 1994 Jan;87(1):9-12. doi: 10.1177/014107689408700106. PMID: 8308841

10. McGovern DP, Abbas SZ, Vivian G, Dalton HR. Manuka honey against Helicobacter pylori. J R Soc Med. 1999 Aug;92(8):439. doi: 10.1177/014107689909200832. PMID: 10656024


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