In January Manuka Honey of NZ (our sister store) wrote this blog on the power of Manuka Honey in treating viruses. It has been picked up by various sources throughout the world and been referenced in many tweets and posts. Given the spread of COVID-19 (a new coronavirus) throughout the world since then, this blog has now been updated.
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, we see the increasingly fast spread of COVID-19 throughout the World. Few countries remain untouched, New Zealand included. We see the World Health Organisation and various governments take drastic steps to protect people.
We believe protection starts at home, with a strict hygiene regime, but we can also help each other by boosting our immune systems.
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, as well as supporting our bodies in fighting viruses and various illnesses. It makes sense to give your body as much support as you can over the next few weeks and months.
View our Antiviral & Immune Support Manuka Honey products in our abeeco store here.
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)
- Chicken pox
- Cold sores
- Epstein-Barr (Glandular fever)
- SARS, Avian flu and now the COVID-19 coronavirus.
COVID-19 is spread from person to person. When a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, touches or talks they may spread droplets of the virus to other surfaces. It’s really important to use good hygiene, regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands and use good cough etiquette.
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.
Here are some of our products containing Manuka Honey
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 that makes a difference. More importantly, when it is 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 combatting 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.
It’s been trusted for centuries by healers all over the world. At a time when we receive a lot of mixed messaging, perhaps now is the time to trust in natural ingredients that have stood the test of time. Use High MGO Manuka Honey as part of your COVID-19 protection plans.
How to choose the best Manuka Honey product for preventing or treating a virus?
At abeeco 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.
What other ingredients should I look for?
Many of the antiviral and immune-boosting products we stock at abeeco contain not only Manuka Honey but other natural products to help boost our immune system.
Here are three to look out for:
Produced by bees to repair their nests, propolis contains many bioactive compounds that may help to reduce viral infections meaning you’re more likely to be on the road to recovery sooner.
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 how active compounds in the purple echinacea flower play a role in reducing inflammation and boosting immunity. Mixed in with Manuka Honey echinacea is 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. This is especially important in reducing the spreads of COVID-19.
- 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 here.
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.
World Health Organization (2020) Coronavirus. Accessed January 2002
Khan SU. et al (2018). Honey: Single food stuff comprises many drugs. Saudi journal of biological sciences, 25(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 research, 45(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 & therapeutics, 10(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 research, 46(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 Prevention, 19(6), 310-317.
Raman R. (2018) Echinachea: Benefits, uses, side effects and dosage. Accessed January 2019
Written on 29 January 2020 by the Manuka Honey of NZ team