Is Manuka Honey Good For Your Liver?

Manuka Honey is indirectly good for all organs, due to the anti-inflammatory properties it has, and it’s great nutritional profile of varied vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

But is it good for the liver specifically? Can it help alleviate liver damage, fatty liver, hepatitis symptoms and so on?

In this article we’ll look into some of the research between honey and the liver to see what benefits Manuka honey may offer.

First off, let’s talk a little bit about the liver.

The liver is the largest solid organ in the entire human body. It provides many important functions:

  • Collecting and removing toxins from the body
  • Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels
  • Breaking down poisonous substances such as alcohol and drugs
  • Production of bile to digest fats and disintegrate waste
  • Creating essential nutrients
  • Regulate blood clotting
  • Processing glucose and storing it as glycogen

Because the liver is such an essential organ, disease of the liver can be extremely detrimental to one’s health.

One common condition is fatty liver – where storage of extra fat is found in the liver. Major risk factors of this are type 2 diabetes and obesity. Symptoms can be abdominal pain, weight loss and fatigue.

Liver disease refers to general damage of the liver, which can impair some or most of its functions. This can lead to liver failure which can be fatal.

Is manuka honey healthy for the liver?

There are several studies that explore the relationship between Manuka Honey and the liver.

This 2018 study found that Manuka honey prevented CISP-induced histopathological changes observed in the liver and decreased the changes seen in the kidneys. 

This 2020 study explored the relationship between flavanoids and the liver (flavanoids are found in high concentration in most honeys). It found that flavonoids have positive effects on insulin resistance, lipid metabolism, inflammation, and oxidative stress that are prominent pathophysiological pathways in NAFLD (non alcoholic fatty liver disease).

This 2008 study also found that honey helped prevent liver damage – Honey was found to be beneficial in the prevention of hepatic damage due to obstruction of the common bile duct.

There are several reasons why Manuka honey might contribute to good liver health.

One is good blood sugar control – as we know glucose is processed in the liver and insufficient glycogen storage can be stressful on the body. Honey is known to have a lower glycemic effect that regular table sugar, meaning it’s a better option for keeping stable blood sugar levels.

Another is the anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties of Manuka honey are conducive to good gut health. By purging harmful bacteria, yeast and candida in the gut, healthier gut flora is allowed to thrive which can lead to less toxins in the body. This alleviates much of the workload of the liver.

Manuka honey is also as strong antioxidant, which helps to prevent liver injury.

While Manuka honey might not be a direct cure to liver disease(s), it has many properties which definitely support good liver health and adding it to your daily diet will certainly be a positive for the state of your liver. Protecting against insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, fatty liver and unstable blood sugar are all things that Manuka honey can contribute to which will both reduce your liver’s workload and support and strengthen it to perform its bodily functions.

Who are we?

I'm Erin, and my husband and I have been raising bees in Northern New Zealand for over 30 years. We no longer raise bees on Manuka flowers, but it remains one of our favorites, and we eat it daily, among other honeys like Kamahi and Rata. Since Manuka has grown in popularity overseas in recent years, we thought we should educate people on the true benefits of Manuka and how to find quality Manuka honey. Above is our guide, written by us and designed by our brilliant computer whiz of a son, Byron. We hope you find it helpful! Learn more about us here.