The claim: A medical-grade version of this honey is used in sterile wrappings. As with most honeys it has hydrogen peroxide, which gives it its antibiotic qualities. It also has methylglyoxal, an antibacterial component, in much higher quantities than found in other honeys. Studies have suggested that manuka honey might help to ease symptoms of infections such as coughs, but it’s not clear whether the honey is having an antimicrobial effect or whether it is just soothing like all syrups.
Mellor’s verdict: Any of the claims for eating manuka honey, all of which have been rejected by regulators, are vague. Any health benefits must be balanced against the very high quantities of sugar compared with the very small amounts of these proposed active compounds.