Everything You Need to Know About Kanuka Honey

Throughout history, honey has been regarded as one of the world’s oldest medicines, with even Ancient Egyptians understanding how to use honey to heal infected wounds. In recent years, Mānuka honey has gained great scientific interest with research showing it has unique and powerful antibacterial properties. However, there may be a new honey lining up for the crown — Kānuka honey. 

What is Kānuka Honey?

Kānuka honey is made from the nectar and pollen of the Kānuka tree (Kunzea ericoides). It has silky texture and a unique taste, with hints of dark caramel, burnt marshmallow and cola. 

The Kānuka tree is a member of the myrtle family (a.k.a. tea trees) making Kānuka honey a cousin to Mānuka honey. 

Research indicates Kānuka honey has high levels of hydrogen peroxide, which contributes to a powerful antibacterial effect. 

Kānuka honey has also been observed to have low levels of Methylglyoxal – the naturally occurring molecule that gives Mānuka Honey its fast-acting antibacterial properties. 

Additionally, Kānuka honey has been tested against a range of skin conditions and results suggest it could be an effective treatment for rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis and a range of skin conditions.

What can Kānuka Honey do for me?

1. Heals chronic wounds

Researchers have found that Kānuka honey has powerful anti-inflammatory properties suggesting that it could potentially be used to treat chronic wounds, burns or infections that are struggling to heal. 

Its relatively high naturally-occurring hydrogen peroxide content works along with other helpful compounds to kill off harmful microorganisms and treat infections and inflammation.

2. Naturally reduces the symptoms of Rosacea

Kānuka is not just effective for treating wounds and burns – it’s also effective in reducing the symptoms of some skin conditions, such as rosacea.

Rosacea affects 5 – 10% of adults and its symptoms include red rashes and bumps on the face that flare up for weeks or even months. Kānuka honey has been shown to be an effective treatment for rosacea, reducing symptoms associated with this skin condition.

Rosacea is typically treated with antibiotics and topical treatments that could have damaging or uncomfortable side-effects – Kānuka honey provides a safe and natural alternative to traditional treatments.

3. Successfully treats Actinic Keratosis

In a remarkable case study, a patient with actinic keratosis found that regular application of Kānuka honey completely eradicated all symptoms of the skin condition.

Actinic keratosis is a rough and scaly spot or patch that forms on your skin, often in sun-exposed areas like your face, ears and back of your hands.  It has the potential to develop into more serious conditions.

A 66-year-old patient who had a patch of growing actinic keratosis on his hand for several years applied Kānuka honey to the patch almost daily for a number of months. After three months, the scaly skin had disappeared leaving only a red patch of skin. After six months there were no signs of the condition, and two years later there was no sign of recurrence. 

4. A natural remedy for Cold Sores

Researchers have found that Kānuka honey is an effective treatment for cold sores performing just as well as pharmaceutical medications.

Cold sores are small blisters that form around the mouth and nose, particularly around the lips, and are caused by the herpes simplex virus. Most people will contract the virus at some time in their lives, but only a third of those will experience cold sores. 

In 2017, a large study tested Kānuka honey’s effectiveness in treating cold sores. Over 850 participants were split into two groups; one group used Kānuka to treat their cold sores and the other used Aciclovir, an antiviral medication. After 14 days of daily application, both groups showed an equal amount of improvement suggesting that Kānuka was an effective cold sore treatment and may be preferred to avoid the unpleasant side effects of standard medications.

Where can I buy Kānuka Honey?

Considering the Kānuka tree is exclusive to New Zealand, you should ensure you purchase Kānuka from a reputable New Zealand honey brand. 

Mountain Valley Honey offers raw Kānuka Honey in a range of jar sizes and has worldwide shipping available on our range of Kānuka in plastic jars. Our Kānuka is sourced from the beautiful Marlborough Sounds and Mt. Richmond Forest Park regions in the top of the South Island of New Zealand. 

Mountain Valley Honey hives in native New Zealand forests in the Marlborough region.


Mānuka honey began like Kānuka — relatively unknown and unappreciated, but it quickly rose in popularity as the most in-demand honey in the entire world. However, now the world is catching on that Kānuka, ever the shy cousin also has a few unique properties that could prove very useful in the medical field.

If you want to experience the wonders of Kānuka honey, we’ve got you covered. Based in New Zealand, Mountain Valley Honey is dedicated to providing world-class honey to people from all walks of life, while honouring our bees and everything they do. If you want to support us, head over to our shop and browse our honey.

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