Best Manuka Honey for Sore Throat


Is your sore throat so bad that you can’t swallow or speak without wincing in pain? Read to find out how manuka honey can save you.

That sore throat just won’t go away and it’s ruining your day. Swallowing and speaking is starting to be impossible. Every time you swallow you feel excruciating pain. Well, a spoonful of manuka honey three times daily in between your meals will do you a lot of good.

To make everything easy for you, we have compiled the five best manuka honeys out there that have enough medicinal value to treat your sore throat.

Comparison Table

The following comparison table features 5 manuka honeys, each of which we will review in detail:

ProductUMF Check on Amazon
Kiva Manuka Honey 20check price here
Mercier Kitchen Manuka Honey15check price here
Steens Manuka Honey20check price here
Wild Cape Manuka Honey15check price here
Happy Valley Manuka Honey15check price here

Best Manuka Honey for Sore Throat Reviews

1. Kiva Manuka Honey – Independent Testing

Kiva Manuka HoneyThe potency of manuka honey is determined using a rating known as the Universal Manuka Factor (UMF). It determines the concentration of methylglyoxal (MG): the major antibacterial component which makes manuka honey useful as an alternative health treatment.

For manuka honey to be considered potent enough to be of any use as a therapeutic treatment, it must have a grading of at least UMF 10+. The Kiva manuka honey has a UMF 20+ rating, which means it’s highly potent and you can use it to treat your sore throat.

The UMF 20+ rating is equivalent to MGO 825+. The MGO rating is an equally trusted rating system used by manuka honey producers to maintain high standards of purity and quality in their industry and ensure consumers are protected from low-potency, low-quality honey.

To further guarantee reliability of quality, each batch of Kiva honey undergoes independent testing and verification.

Furthermore, Kiva manuka honey is traceable, so you can verify where it comes from. The honey is from New Zealand, the home of manuka honey, where the manuka flower grows in the wild and bees feed on its nectar to make this unique honey. The manuka flower’s nectar contains the high methylglyoxal conentration that makes manuka honey so valuable for treating sore throats and other problems.


-UMF 20+

-Independently tested and verified



-Has a very medicinal flavor

View price on Amazon


2. Mercier Kitchen Manuka Honey – Minimal Processing

Kitchen Manuka HoneyWith a UMF 15+ rating, this honey has what it takes to heal your sore throat. Unlike the low grade honey which is often labeled “active” or “bioactive”, UMF-certified honey is reliable and upheld to a high standard of purity and quality.

The honey is harvested from the hills and coastal areas of New Zealand.

Purity and quality are a necessity, and this honey guarantees that through independent testing and verification of each batch. This ensures authenticity and verifies that the UMF rating is accurate.

If you are keen to verify the reliability of the honey, you can do so. Mercier Kitchen provides a Honey ID app which should enable you to trace all batches to the source. This will help you verify if the honey really comes from New Zealand.

Furthermore, the brand uses Pfund color grading. A Pfund color grader is a device that the honey industry uses to provide continuous readings that cover the entire color range of honey.

The honey is mostly natural, with processing kept at a minimum. Mercier Kitchen minimizes heat treating and avoids pasteurization of the honey as that could damage UMF levels in the long term and alter the quality of the honey.

Mercier Kitchen does not put additives or preservatives in its honey.


-UMF 15+

-Independent testing and verifying


-Minimal processing, no pasteurization

-No additives or preservatives


-The taste takes some getting used to


View price on Amazon


3. Steens Manuka Honey – Not Heat-Pressed

Steens Manuka Honey Steens manuka honey’s high rating of UMF 20+ makes it an exceptionally powerful treatment for sore throats, coughs, digestive and respiratory illnesses, dry skin, acne, eczema, pimples, oral hygiene, and other health problems.

Steens’ extraction methods consists of taking the whole raw honeycomb, crushing it, and removing wax, while retaining the wholesome superfood known as bee bread (consists of bee pollen mixed with honey, enzymes, and probiotics). Overall, Steens is a highly nutritious and therapeutic honey.

This extraction method, however, of taking the entire comb, would not appeal to people who have an affinity for the vegan way of thinking.

To ascertain that its purity and quality is of a high standard, the honey is taken through independent verification by the official UMF Honey Association. This is a body tasked with upholding the standards of manuka honey.

The label contains a trace code which you may use to trace the honey to its source. New Zealand is the home and origin of manuka honey and most of the best brands, including Steens, sell New Zealand-made honey. Some, however, unscrupulously market their honey as being from New Zealand even when it’s not. The trace code helps put your mind at rest as far as that is concerned.

Furthermore the honey is not heat-pressed. Heating denatures the properties of honey to some extent. Steens honey is processed at hive temperatures (360C), which ensures that the nutritional plant phenols, enzymes, and flavanoids remain in the honey.


-UMF 20+

-Highly nutritious and natural

-Independent testing and verifying

-Trace code

-Not heat-pressed


-Extraction of entire honeycomb is not fair to the bees


View price on Amazon


4. Wild Cape Manuka Honey – Ethical Harvesting

Wild Cape Manuka HoneyWild Cape manuka honey comes from a region of New Zealand where the honey typically has a mild flavor (while retaining therapeutic properties). Manuka honey from other regions has a somewhat acrid and bitter flavor.

Wild Cape honey is rated at UMF 15+, which means it is definitely capable of healing sore throats and other health problems.

Wild Cape is a member of the UMF Honey Association.

Vegans do not eat honey as they believe that taking food away from bees is cruel. Many beekeepers try to practice ethical beekeeping by harvesting only the excess honey and leaving the rest for the bees. Wild Cape practices ethical harvesting by leaving the wax comb intact so that the bees can use it again and again.

The honey is packaged in BPA-free plastic jars


-UMF 15+

-Testing and verification for reliability

-Ethical harvesting

-BPA-free jars


-Strange taste


View price on Amazon


5. Happy Valley Manuka Honey – UMF 15+ Certification

Happy Valley Manuka HoneyHappy Valley honey comes from New Zealand and has a lab-certified rating of UMF 15+, which is equivalent to MGO 510+. If you have a sore throat, cough, acne, or any other honey-treatable condition, this honey has enough purity and potency to do the job.

For reliability, its quality is verified by the UMF Honey Association of New Zealand, which is a body of honey producers that governs the manuka UMF rating system. The association ensures protection of consumers from misleading honey labels such as “active” and “bioactive”.

Each batch of Happy Valley honey is put through individual testing by an independent laboratory to certify the UMF rating.


-UMF 15+

-Independently tested


-Has medicinal taste


View price on Amazon


How Does Manuka Honey Relieve Sore Throat?

A sore throat is when you feel pain, irritation, or scratchiness in your throat. It’s a condition that can get so bad that you are unable to swallow your food. Sore throat (pharyngitis) is commonly caused by a viral infection such as cold or flu. A virus-caused sore throat will typically resolve on its own.

On the other hand, strep throat (streptococcal pharyngitis), which is a less common type of sore throat, occurs due to bacteria. As such, it needs treatment with antibiotics.

Examples of bacteria that cause sore throat include streptococcus, haemophilus, and mycoplasma.

Other causes of sore throat include allergies, irritants, muscle strain due to yelling, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and tumors in the throat.

Symptoms of sore throat vary, depending on the cause. They might include pain/scratchy sensation in throat, pain that worsens when you swallow or talk, difficulty in swallowing, red and swollen tonsils, sore and swollen glands in your neck or jaw, hoarse/muffled voice, and so forth.

Sore throats are treated by consuming throat lozenges, anti-inflammatory chemicals, or drinking warm fluids.

Manuka honey is also a potential treatment for sore throat, thanks to the antibacterial compound methylglyoxal.

Though not as widely researched as manuka honey’s potency against bacterial infections, evidence suggests that manuka honey can also function as a home remedy for some viral infections.

The following are the means by which manuka honey treats or relieves sore throats:

  1. The Antimicrobial Effect

Sore throats can be treated with manuka honey due to the antimicrobial effect of methylglyoxal.

Manuka honey is effective at dealing with streptococcus pyogenes­ bacteria– the one that causes strep throat. According to the findings of a research study conducted in 2012, manuka honey has the ability to inhibit the development of streptococcus pyogenes biofilms.

In another study, researchers found that manuka honey is effective at reducing salivary levels of mutans streptococci bacteria in children. Using manuka honey helps reduce the levels of the bacteria and enhances oral hygiene.

These two studies are evidence that manuka honey, due its methylglyoxal richness, has a potent antibacterial effect.

Furthermore, the anecdotal evidence from the many people who have healed their sore throat infections with manuka honey, is compelling.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Effect

Sore throat typically involves inflammation in the throat. The medical term for a sore throat is pharyngitis and it occurs due to inflammation of the throat (pharynx). The pharynx is the area located behind your tonsils. The inflammation explains the throat pain you experience when you have a sore throat.

The compound methylglyoxal in manuka honey has anti-inflammatory properties that helps it deal with sore throat and its adverse symptoms.

A research study took upon itself to find out the role 4 New Zealand honeys (one of which was manuka) have in wound healing. The study examined the anti-inflammatory effect these honeys had on wound healing.

The findings of the research were that manuka and kanuka honeys play an important role in modulating the inflammatory response associated with wound healing.


How to Take Manuka Honey for Your Sore Throat

Manuka honey contains the compound methylglyoxal in a higher concentration than other types of honey. The greater the amount of methylglyoxal the honey has, the higher its Unique Manuka Factor (UMF).

For that reason, ensure that you only buy manuka honey that features a UMF rating on the label. For medicinal purposes, manuka honey should not have a rating lower than UMF 10.

Since honey is a natural food there is no specific dosage like other medicines. A good regimen would be taking a teaspoon of manuka honey 3 times a day in between meals.

You may consume it by dissolving in water that is cold or lukewarm. Note, however, that taking it straight from the spoon is a more effective way of consuming honey. High temperatures degrade the medicinal properties.

A research study demonstrated that it is safe to consume UMF 20+ manuka honey and that it does not cause allergic responses. That is not to say that it’s completely safe for everybody – some people may be allergic due to a pre-existing allergy to pollen.

Children under 1 year should not take manuka honey as that could cause botulism poisoning. Diabetic patients may consume it, but they must be cautious about their blood sugar levels.


Wrapping It Up

The best of these five honeys is Steens manuka honey thanks to its UMF 20+ rating. The second-best is Kiva manuka honey and it too has a UMF 20+ rating.

The Steens honey features a trace code to help you verify that it is truly New Zealand honey. It is not heat-pressed as that can denature the honey and reduce its nutritious or medicinal value. It does not contain any additives or preservatives.

Steens manuka honey’s extraction method involves crushing the whole comb and removing wax, while retaining bee bread. The result is a super-nutritious manuka honey.

Which honey sounds most appealing to you?


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Nancy is a part time floriculturist and writer. She has over 12 years experience in the field, and has developed multiple award winning carnations. Her favorite flower is the rare Snowdonia Hawkweed, the rediscovering of which inspired her passion for floriculture. When she is not working in the lab, Nancy is actively engaged in saving the bee population. She constantly underscores the importance of bees to all aspects of agriculture, and has taken to increasing bee protection awareness efforts in her state. Nancy is big on organic food. She has invested in a community farming program that looks to increase efforts towards organic farming in her suburban locale.


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