January 29, 2020 5 min read 0 Comments

Can Manuka Honey stop me getting a virus?

Viruses don’t just cause illness in winter. All through the year viruses can cause us to miss out on our favourite activities, meeting with friends and missing school.

As we write this in the heat of the beautiful summer here in New Zealand, getting common viruses like a winter cold or flu should be far from our minds. However, the developing outbreak of a new coronavirus means we're thinking about boosting our immune system right now!

We love Manuka Honey in any case, but knowing that Manuka Honey has antibacterial and antiviral properties makes it top of our list to keep us from picking up any viruses.

The Manuka Honey of NZ online marketplace features many Manuka Honey products for antiviral and immune support.

Here’s how Manuka Honey can support your body to resist viruses, boost your immune system and support healthy breathing so you can stay healthy and make the most of life.

Firstly, what is a virus?

A virus is a tiny organism that can infect humans, animals and plants. Viruses are everywhere and many of them we don’t know about. Some viruses affect animals or plants differently, explaining why a bird virus may not pass to a human.

On their own viruses can’t replicate, but once in a host cell they can. Inside the cell they use some of the host genetic material to take over its function and spread. If a virus picks up some of this genetic material and takes it to another animal it can produce a new type of virus that can spread from animal to animal or animal to people.

Viruses you might have heard of include:

  • The common cold
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles
  • Chicken pox
  • Shingles
  • Cold sores
  • Epstein-Barr (Glandular fever)
  • Ebola
  • SARS, Avian flu and the 2019-nCoV corona virus

We’re starting to hear more about a new coronavirus outbreak across China that started in late 2019. The World Health Organisation tells us that the coronavirus causes respiratory (breathing) problems, fever, cough and shortness of breath. In extreme cases it can cause severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Can Manuka Honey stop me getting a virus?

Honey has been used for centuries as a medicinal product as well as a food. New Zealand Manuka Honey is one of the most active medicinal honeys. Manuka Honey contains Methylglyoxal (MG/MGO). At certain concentrations MGO can restrict bacterial growth and help reduce inflammation. Manuka Honey also contains other compounds and enzymes that can help protect from viruses and boost our immune system to resist them.

Several research studies have found the MGO in Manuka Honey is effective at inhibiting flu viruses, including the H1N1 swine flu. It is not just the Manuka Honey on its own, when combined with other antiviral and antibacterial therapies it makes them work even better.

Although much of the research has been done on applying Manuka Honey to the skin, there is increasing research that shows Manuka Honey provides benefits when taken internally as well, such as for breathing or digestive infections.


So, can Manuka Honey stop me getting a virus? Well, it may not stop it but it does seem to be able to boost your immune system to minimise the risk of you getting a virus, reduce viral activity and help you recover quicker.


How to choose the best Manuka Honey product for preventing or treating a virus?

At Manuka Honey of NZ we’ve selected a range of the best Manuka Honey products to help you protect yourself. Research suggests that even eating medicinal grade Manuka Honey may offer benefits, or you can select from our specialist antiviral and immune boosting products.

Here are three things to remember when choosing your Manuka Honey immune support product: 

  • Check for MG/MGO rating. Medicinal grade Manuka Honey is MG 250+ or UMF 10+
  • Choose products that are suitable for kids or adults
  • Remember not to give any honey to infants (aged under one year old) unless the product specifically states that it is safe

Select your antiviral Manuka Honey products here: Anti-Viral & Immune Support

What other ingredients should I look for?

Many of the antiviral and immune boosting products we stock at Manuka Honey of NZ contain not only Manuka Honey but other natural products to help boost our immune system.

Here are three to look out for:

  • Propolis. Produced by bees to repair their nests, propolis contains many bioactive compounds that may help to reduce viral Meaning you’re more likely to be on the road to recovery sooner.
  • Vitamin C. Vitamin C can reduce the length of time and severity of common viruses like the cold, but only if you start taking it before you get sick. Adding vitamin C to Manuka Honey products can be a great way to boost your immune system if there are viruses around, but is best used as part of your regular daily wellness routine.
  • Studies have shown active compounds in the purple echinacea flower play a role in reducing inflammation and boosting immunity. Mix this in with Manuka Honey and it’s a great way to keep viruses away or recover quicker.

What else can I do to protect against catching a virus?

There are simple things you can do to help reduce the risk of catching a virus and getting sick.

  • Regularly wash your hands
  • Use an alcohol based hand gel if you can’t wash your hands
  • Use paper hand towels not dryers to dry your hands
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow (not hand) when you cough or sneeze
  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs
  • Stay home if you’re feeling unwell
  • Don’t have contact with people who are coughing and sneezing

Manuka Honey is great all year round

You want to be out there living life to the fullest, not stuck inside feeling unwell. Use Manuka Honey products all year round to boost your immune system and reduce the risk of getting sick.

Select your antiviral Manuka honey products now at Anti-Viral & Immune Support


We don’t just pull our information out of thin air. We make sure that all the information we share with you about Manuka Honey and Manuka Honey products has been carefully checked factually. If you want to read more about the topics we covered in this blog, here are our sources.

Crosta P. (2017) What to know about viruses. Medical News Today. Accessed January 2020. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/158179.php#viral-diseases

World Health Organization (2020) Coronavirus. Accessed January 2002 https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

Khan SU. et al (2018). Honey: Single food stuff comprises many drugs. Saudi journal of biological sciences25(2), 320-325.

Humpherys B & Busath DD (2019). Anti-Influenza Nutraceuticals: Antiviral and Anti-Inflammatory Effects. Advances in Complementary and Alternative Medicine 4(3)

Watanabe, K., Rahmasari, R., Matsunaga, A., Haruyama, T., & Kobayashi, N. (2014). Anti-influenza viral effects of honey in vitro: potent high activity of manuka honey. Archives of medical research45(5), 359-365.

Charyasriwong, S., Haruyama, T., & Kobayashi, N. (2016). In vitro evaluation of the antiviral activity of methylglyoxal against influenza B virus infection. Drug discoveries & therapeutics10(4), 201-210.

 Charyasriwong, S., Watanabe, K., Rahmasari, R., Matsunaga, A., Haruyama, T., & Kobayashi, N. (2015). In vitro evaluation of synergistic inhibitory effects of neuraminidase inhibitors and methylglyoxal against influenza virus infection. Archives of medical research46(1), 8-16.

 Brown, H. L., Roberts, A. E. L., Cooper, R., & Jenkins, R. (2016). A review of selected bee products as potential anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral agents.

 Pitt, S. J., Crockett, S. L., & Andreou, G. M. (2018). The contribution of hand drying in prevention of transmission of microorganisms: Comparison of the efficacy of three hand drying methods in the removal and distribution of microorganisms. Journal of Infection Prevention19(6), 310-317.

 Raman R. (2018) Echinachea: Benefits, uses, side effects and dosage. Accessed January 2019



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