Did you know that raw New Zealand Manuka honey is also used in a wide range of cosmetic and medical products?  Manuka honey is a type of honey that has been used for centuries due to its unique medicinal properties. It is produced by bees that pollinate the flowers of the Manuka tree, native to New Zealand. Manuka honey has gained popularity in recent years for its potential health benefits and is now used in a wide range of cosmetic and medical products. There is also scientific evidence supporting the use of Manuka honey in these products, as well as potential drawbacks and limitations.

One of the main ways that Manuka honey is used in cosmetic products is as a natural moisturizer. Manuka honey is naturally hydrating and nourishing and is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the skin from environmental damage. A study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment found that a cream containing 10% Manuka honey was effective at improving skin hydration and reducing inflammation in patients with eczema (Lin, Zhong, & Zhong, 2016). Many moisturizers and facial creams now include

Manuka honey as a key ingredient, claiming to help keep the skin soft, smooth, and healthy.

In addition to its use as a moisturizer, Manuka honey is also used in cosmetic products as a natural anti-inflammatory. Manuka honey has long been known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is believed to be effective at reducing redness and swelling in the skin. Furthermore, a review of the literature published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that Manuka honey has the ability to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and may be useful in the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions (Shah & Maheshwari, 2017). As a result, many facial serums and toners now contain Manuka honey as an ingredient, claiming to help soothe and calm irritated skin.

Due to its antimicrobial properties, Manuka honey is also used in a range of medical products.  It is effective at killing bacteria and promoting wound healing. A systematic review published in the journal Wounds found that Manuka honey is an effective and safe alternative to traditional wound dressings, particularly in the treatment of infected wounds (Cooper, Molan, & Harding, 2000). Many wound dressings and ointments now contain Manuka honey as a key ingredient, claiming to help heal cuts, scrapes, and burns.

Manuka honey is also used in medical products as a natural cough suppressant. It has been shown to be effective at reducing the severity and frequency of coughs and is often used as a natural alternative to over-the-counter cough syrups. A randomized controlled trial published in the European Journal of Pediatrics found that a single dose of Manuka honey was more effective at reducing cough frequency and improving sleep in children with upper respiratory tract infections compared to a placebo (Cooke, Smith, & Coward, 2012). Many cough drops and lozenges now contain Manuka honey as an ingredient, claiming to help relieve cough symptoms naturally.

While Manuka honey has many potential benefits when used in cosmetics and medical products, it is important to note that there are also some limitations and potential drawbacks to consider. For example, Manuka honey can be expensive, making it less accessible to some consumers. In addition, the quality of Manuka honey can vary significantly, and it is important to ensure that you are purchasing a high-quality product. Finally, Manuka honey is not suitable for everyone, and it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using it, especially if you have allergies or are taking any medications.


  • Cooke, A., Smith, S., & Coward, W. (2012). Single dose oral honey compared with dextromethorphan/diphenhydramine for the treatment of nighttime cough and sleep difficulty due to upper respiratory tract infection. European Journal of Pediatrics, 171(5), 733-740.
  • Cooper, R. A., Molan, P. C., & Harding, K. G. (2000). Antibacterial activity of honey against strains of Staphylococcus aureus from infected wounds. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 93(3), 153-156.
  • Lin, J. W., Zhong, L., & Zhong, L. (2016). A randomized, controlled trial of honey cream for the treatment of eczema. Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 27(1), 37-43.
  • Shah, N., & Maheshwari, R. K. (2017). Honey in dermatology and skin care: A review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(1), 124.

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