Let food be thy medicine…and medicine be thy food

Advice from Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician (460 – 370 BC), who also said ‘Foolish is the doctor who despises the knowledge acquired by the ancients’

The healing characteristics of Mānuka honey with UMF

New Zealand wasn’t known or populated at the time of Hippocrates, so he could not have been aware of Mānuka honey, but he would have been aware of the healing properties of the honey in general as it was commonly used to help heal the wounds of the soldiers of Greece and Rome. Had he known about Manuka honey, he certainly would have said something about its remarkable healing characteristics.

The Chinese have known honey is good for you for centuries. Here is a comment about the use of honey in both the East and West:

‘There are times when our ability to explain things in medical terms can’t be done because there have not been rigorous ‘scientific’ studies to provide the information. However, human experience is also an important judge. People in China didn’t need a Western medical authority to tell them whether or not honey is good for the stomach or explain exactly the components involved. They have been taking it for centuries for indigestion, arguably as long as honey has been used in the West for wounds and burns. Honey is an important component of Chinese medicine, and users have no doubts that it works.‘

Extracted from ‘Mānuka the biography of an extraordinary HONEY’      Cliff Van Eaton 2014

And so it is with Mānuka Honey with UMF. There have been no rigorous scientific studies of its medical efficacy, but there has been enough observation of the results of using the honey for the treatment of wounds and burns, sore throats and digestive disorders for us to be confident of its use in those circumstances. Perhaps the many practical experiences and observations are the equivalent of scientific rigour….The knowledge acquired by the ancients?

COVID-19… Can Mānuka honey help?

The New Zealand Ministry of Health advises that the people most at risk of severe illness for COVID-19 include:

  • People with severe respiratory disease such as chronic lung disease or moderate or severe asthma;
  • People over 70, particularly those who have underlying health issues, including respiratory issues


Although there is no scientific evidence of Manuka honey’s impact on the COVID-19 virus, medical grades of Manuka honey have immune strengthening properties and preliminary scientific research shows that they increase the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment of respiratory diseases. The research shows that they have been more effective in dealing with Cystic Fibrosis (a disorder of the upper respiratory system) than conventional antibiotics and have a 90% success rate when used in conjunction with those conventional antibiotics.

Respiratory problems are one of the symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. Medical grade Manuka honey may help with dealing with that element of the disease. Medical grades are UMF15+ and UMF20+.

Links to our products are: UMF15+ 250g, 500g, 1kg and UMF20+ 250g, 500g.
The knowledge acquired by the ancients?

External Health – Wound Healing

There is considerable evidence of the wound healing qualities of Mānuka honey with higher values of UMF, where the application of the honey has cured wounds, ulcers and bed sores that were not responding to conventional antibiotics because the sufferers’ bodies had built up resistance to them. It is also a known fact that bodies build resistance to man-made antibiotics, and as one antibiotic becomes ineffective, another has to be tried.

Medical grade Mānuka with UMF (15+ or 20+) overcomes these problems. Bodies to not develop resistance against it, and it can deal with many different types of bacteria.

The landmark evidence of this was in England, where the wounds from amputated lower legs and fingertips of a young boy wouldn’t heal after 9 months of various treatments. Mānuka honey was applied, and the wounds were completely healed within 9 weeks. The achievement was so novel at the time that the BBC made a documentary about it. A book, now out of print, describes the matter well. Copies of the pages describing the experience can be supplied on request.

Mānuka Honey is now widely used in some hospitals in New Zealand and overseas. As can be seen from the illustrations at this link, it can be applied at home. (Warning: Some people might find the pictures disturbing. They are of the healing of a leg ulcer before, during and after application of Manuka UMF 20.)

Internal Health – What can’t be seen

The Chinese have been taking honey for indigestion and sore throats for centuries. “Science” has not applied its rigour to determining the reason why it works, but billions of Chinese over the centuries know it does. “Science” would only reinforce what they know, and perhaps explain possible reasons why honey works the way it does.

All honey has anti-bacterial elements, and the Chinese learned of the attributes of honey long before Mānuka honey came on the scene. It makes sense that a honey with considerably greater anti-bacterial qualities will do a better job, and that is what we have found in the Western world.

Mānuka honey gives considerable relief to suffers who have stomach ulcers. Waitemata Honey Co knows this from personal experience. The original owner of the company suffered from stomach ulcers. The only relief he could get was from Mānuka honey. Other varieties of honey had no effect. This knowledge was part of the motivation for Waitemata Honey Co to explore the medical possibilities of Mānuka honey. The reasoning was if the honey could deal with nasty bacteria in the stomach – perhaps it can do the same work elsewhere in or on the body.

It also known that ordinary honey is effective in the treatment of gastroenteritis, and there is good reason to believe that Mānuka honey with UMF would be more effective.

The apparent reason why there hasn’t been rigourus science applied to the benefits of Mānuka honey is that natural products don’t interest pharmaceutical companies …. So; we have to rely on the wisdom of the ages, observations of practical applications and common sense to form an opinion on these matters.

The book referred to above is an interesting and absorbing read.

Speciality Honey NZ Ltd and its officers and employees are not health professionals. We bring the above to your attention for your information regarding health and healing matters of which we are aware. We recommend that before you use Manuka Honey for medicinal purposes you discuss the matters with your medical doctor.

Honey is better for coughs and colds than drugs
Oxford University scientists, August, 2020

It has taken a long time for the West to “scientifically” prove what the East has always known; that honey is better for coughs and colds than drugs.


What isn’t known is whether Manuka honeys with a UMF rating is more effective for coughs and colds than other honeys. Our instincts are that they would be, because of their ability to enhance immune systems However, we don’t have the “scientific” evidence. The scientists make the observation that any honey, is better than drugs, so a selection of our least expensive high quality honey is below. Choose a variety of 250 gram jars or lozenges to explore which tasty treat suits you best when beating your coughs and colds.

Lemon and Ginger

Lemon and Menthol


Lozenges with 8%
Manuka UMF 10+ honey






Manuka Blend


Manuka UMF 5+

© Waitemata Manuka Honey Direct Ltd

© 2019 - Waitemata Manuka Honey Direct Ltd
© 2019 - Waitemata Manuka Honey Direct Ltd