How to Soothe Your Sore Throat With Manuka Honey
The changing of the seasons is always an inspiring and exciting time for me, but it also often signals the beginning of allergy or cold season. The good news is that for sore throats and sniffles, manuka honey is an excellent natural treatment.
Researchers at Oxford University have looked at various traditional remedies for upper respiratory tract infections and found honey was the best treatment — but we have known this from anecdotal evidence, as our grannies and forebears have generously passed this natural remedy down to us through the centuries.
In the same Oxford study, it was also noted that honey reduced the average duration of cough infections by two days. Those extra days mean a lot when feeling poorly!
It isn’t magic, though — manuka honey is such a powerful treatment thanks to its antibacterial properties and unique throat-soothing texture. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits and how I recommend using manuka honey to relieve bothersome allergies and sore throats.
Why Manuka Honey Is Useful Against Allergies and Sore Throats
Manuka honey is particularly beneficial compared to other types of honey due to its strong antibacterial properties that help fight off infection. Amazingly, this natural remedy is even effective against strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
Functional foods that boost immunity are very handy to have on hand and manuka honey is definitely a key one that I recommend to have in the cupboard. Manuka also has a wonderfully thick consistency that coats the throat, soothing the irritation and inflammation that make a sore throat so unpleasant.
But, buyer beware! One must note that all honey is not created equally, as research tells us that as much as 70% of U.S. store-bought honey is fake. It was found the honey had been so finely filtered that no pollen was detected, adulteration had occurred with the addition of inexpensive high fructose corn syrup or 13 other illegal sweeteners and in some instances there was the presence of illegal antibiotics. Of course there is also the issue of subjecting the honey to high-heat processing techniques that cause it to lose beneficial properties.
Steens Manuka honey, on the other hand, is minimally processed and contains unique Methylglyoxal (MGO) and phenolic compounds. These give manuka the healing properties that regular honey doesn’t have — and none of nature’s goodness is lost during harsh processing.
If you want to use honey as a healer, my advice is to find an authentic brand with a reliable and high Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) grade or Methylglyoxal (MGO) level.
Learn more about how we use the UMF and MGO grading systems to ensure the quality and strength of our manuka honey.
How to Use Manuka Honey as a Home Remedy
The key when using manuka honey as a remedy for the throat and sinuses is to be consistent with your treatments and to use an authentic, high-strength product.
It’s always best to start your manuka honey treatments as soon as symptoms begin, so you can get ahead of throat soreness and potential infections. How exactly you use the honey will depend on whether the root issue is the throat or the sinuses.
Allergies and Sinus Infections
My husband Paul is a sinus sufferer, and he uses a mix of manuka honey and water to calm the symptoms down when it gets terrible. And believe me, it gets terrible.
Paul’s sinus treatment is quite easy. He fills up a 250 ml sinus rinse container with warm water and 2 teaspoons of UMF 20+ manuka honey and rinses every morning and evening. It doesn’t take long at all and provides him great relief.
When I myself am feeling under the weather, I like to first do a test of sorts. To find out if my throat infection is bacterial, I allow a teaspoon of high-strength manuka honey to slowly trickle down my throat. If it’s a bacterial infection, the aggravation usually subsides very quickly. Unfortunately, it also returns quickly, but you can continue the process with regular small amounts of honey, which is a wonderful remedy for sore throats.
I recommend taking the honey little and often throughout the day and during wakeful times in the night if they occur. Another method that many find helpful is to mix a teaspoon of manuka with warm water and fresh lemon — a concoction gifted to us by our forebears, that science is now proving to have strong antifungal properties.
Manuka Honey Strengths
The strength of the manuka you use for these treatments depends on a few factors. We test our honey using UMF and MGO ratings — a higher rating means a higher concentration of beneficial properties.
If you’re feeling poorly, it’s best to go with high-strength manuka honey; start with a UMF of 10+ at least. Dr. Peter Molan from the University of Waikato, who is noted for being the first to discover the medicinal properties of manuka, told us personally that he would only ever advocate a UMF of 10+ or above when used in treatment due to efficacy.
If your infection is particularly severe or you want to speed up your recovery time, you should opt for a higher-grade manuka. I personally always reach for the UMF 20+ raw manuka honey. Then, once symptoms subside, you can reduce the UMF activity of the honey to maintain health.
Use Authentic Manuka Honey To Soothe Your Throat
Manuka honey has a wealth of wonderful medicinal properties, and treating sore throats and sinuses is one area where it shines brightly. It’s packed full of beneficial compounds like antioxidants and antibacterial properties that processed, store-bought honey can’t provide. We’ve wielded the power of raw honey to soothe the throat for thousands of years, but today it is finally being confirmed by scientific research. Explore our targeted range of manuka honey products for throat pain and immune health.
Be well and enjoy!