Coronavirus: shoppers empty shelves of ‘antiviral’ Manuka honey

Sales of expensive Manuka honey have tripled in the past week, according to one of the UK’s top suppliers.

While many Britons stockpile hand sanitizer and soap for fear of a coronavirus epidemic, it seems that others also buy the honey of sticky flowers.

Honey company, Doctor Manuka , reported that their sales increased 195% around the same time last year and that they sold their strongest honeys.

The special honey is native to New Zealand and is believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects – so much so that buyers appear to be hoping it will help them protect them from Covid-19.

As no trials have been conducted to test this, we cannot confirm that Manuka honey will help against the virus.

Honey has been proven to promote better oral health, prevent gastric ulcers, and treat acne.

It is even believed that Manuka honey may help relieve symptoms of cystic fibrosis.

Honey is produced by bees which pollinate the Leptospermum scoparium flower or the Manuka bush.

Manuka honey can often cost a seemingly outrageous amount.

The Manuka Doctor MGO 30 costs £ 24.99 for 250g at Holland and Barrett .

Stronger pots can sell for £ 150 for 250g.

Apparently, this is because honey contains high levels of methylglyoxal (MGO).



Manuka honey is believed to have a multitude of beneficial properties – although it is not known if it will help against the coronavirus.

Some scientists claim that MGO gives Manuka honey antimicrobial and insect-fighting benefits.

A trial conducted by the University of Newcastle found that the special substance can inhibit the growth of bacteria and prevent wounds from becoming infected.

Gwyneth Paltrow is a known fan of the broadcast special.

And panicked germaphobes lead to stock depletion.

According to the company, a customer purchased 60 jars of this product from the Manuka Doctor website.

Unfortunately for suppliers, it may take around 18 weeks for the product to be restocked in the UK due to its remote origin and shipping delays in sea freight.

A spokesperson for Manuka Doctor said, “It is normal for Manuka honey sales to peak in cold weather.

“As spring approaches, we expected sales to stabilize, but it’s the opposite.

“Last week was one of our highest selling times on record and we’re struggling to keep some of our strongest Manuka in stock.”


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