Health benefits of Kelulut honey versus Manuka honey

Many people know of manuka honey from Australia, but kelulut honey has been a relatively well-kept secret of Southeast Asia. Until now.

Manuka honey hails from Australia and New Zealand, where it has been traditionally used for treating minor wounds and burns and to fight inflammation. Made by Apis mellifera bees, manuka honey is sweet, containing approximately 70 calories and 16 grams of sugar per teaspoon.

On the other hand, kelulut honey (also known as stingless bee honey) has its origins in Southeast Asia, such as on the island of Borneo. Kelulut honey has been traditionally used against infections from bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms, as well as to treat upper respiratory tract infections.

Made by stingless Trigona bees, this sweet-sour honey has only one third the Glycemic Index (GI) compared to manuka honey, thanks to its low sugar content. Trigona bees are customarily reared for pollinating fruits, and not so much for their honey. Thus, the honey they produce from fruit nectar is almost pure fructose with little glucose, in terms of sugar content. Kelulut honey is also known for its more complex flavour profile, with a mild sourness that adds depth to the sweetness of honey. Further research has found kelulut honey to be with trehalulose sugar which is 70% as sweet as common sugar but significantly healthier. Trehalulose breaks down 3 times slower than regular sugar which makes it beneficial for patients with high blood sugar levels.


Kelulut honey has also been known to kill up to 83% of bacteria, and it does so in a more consistent manner than manuka honey. The antibacterial power of manuka honey depends on the nectar that the Apis mellifera bees can collect, whereas the antibacterial activity of kelulut honey comes from the composition of the Trigona beehives themselves. Trigona bees infuse propolis, which is a natural antibiotic, into the beeswax that forms the walls of their hives.

This feature of Kelulut honey makes it also appropriate for skincare, like manuka honey. Its superior antibacterial properties make it good against acne and skin blemishes. Some people even apply it directly to their faces.

natural honey

Why you should pay attention to kelulut honey

If you’re curious about the claims of superiority of kelulut versus manuka, here are some fast facts about kelulut honey and Trigona bees:

  • Trigona bees have a higher tolerance to pests and diseases, compared to Apis mellifera bees. This might be related to the fact that Trigona bees build their hives with propolis mixed into the beeswax that forms the hive walls.
  • Trigona bees do not require maintenance feeding, unlike Apis mellifera. They can take care of themselves.
  • Trigona bees are great pollinators, like Apis mellifera. However, they do not have to travel as one hive, unlike Apis mellifera. Trigona hives can be split to pollinate different crops.
  • Trigona hives require much less invasive care, with inspections every three to four months compared to weekly inspections for Apis mellifera hives.
  • Because Trigona bees are small, they can only travel within a radius of 300 to 500 metres from their hive. Thus, their hives are usually located within fruit orchards. In comparison, Apis mellifera can travel up to five kilometres from their hives.
  • A hive of Trigona bees produces only about 0.5 kilogrammes of honey a year compared to 30 kilogrammes for Apis mellifera, making their honey much rarer and more precious.

Kelulut honey is more nutritious. According to the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), kelulut honey is two times as nutritious as common honey. It contains high mineral content, according to an extensive study on honey by Mohammed Moniruzzaman et. al., published in BioMed Research International Volume 2014. This is one big reason that MARDI has crowned kelulut honey as its first natural superfood.

Additionally, the traditional health benefits claimed by kelulut honey have been summarised by Barakhbah S. A. et al. in 2007, including:

  • Anti-ageing,
  • Enhanced libido,
  • Enhanced immunity,
  • Increased antibacterial activity,
  • Treating bronchial catarrh,
  • Treating sore throat, coughs and colds,
  • Soothing pain,
  • Improved recovery after an illness,
  • Antiseptic effect,
  • Aids in healing of burns, carbuncles, boils and diabetic wounds.

On top of these, multiple reports have documented the beneficial effects of kelulut honey in different contexts and confirmed its antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.

Introducing Dinokelulut, the premier kelulut honey from Malaysia’s rainforests

Convinced of the benefits of kelulut honey? Then you must check out Dinokelulut, sustainably grown using a proprietary breakthrough hive technology spearheaded by an ex-IBM software engineer. As a premier source of natural kelulut honey, Dinokelulut is known for the following health benefits and more.

Helps in preventing heart disease and cancer

One of the main benefits of kelulut honey is that it aids your body in fighting diseases related to the heart or cancer. Prevention is always better than cure.

Reduces throat irritation and cough

Pure honey helps in reducing irritation of the throat and coughs that result from it.

Strengthens the immune system

Kelulut honey strengthens your immunity with its antibacterial activity, helping you feel energetic all the time.

Helps in healing burns and wounds

Honey has always been used to treat minor burns and wounds. Pure kelulut honey is ideal for this.

Increases memory activity

Regular consumption will aid you in both short-term and long-term recall.

Reduces ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders

Kelulut honey is great for reducing ulcers, gastrointestinal disorders and diseases related to the stomach and liver.

Helps increase athletic performance

Sportsmen and athletes will notice a significant boost in energy and strength for physical exertions.

Antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory

Kelulut honey naturally destroys unhelpful fungi, bacteria and viruses, thereby reducing inflammation.

Balances the elements

As a holistic superfood, kelulut honey brings balance to the body’s elements, helping one to thrive in harmony.

Natural probiotic

More and more, science is discovering the importance of gut health as a foundation for overall health. Kelulut honey is a powerful probiotic, which will bring balance to the gut flora for whole-body health.

As a provider of the first natural superfood recognised by MARDI, Dinokelulut is waiting to bring all these health benefits to you and yours. Maybe it is time to give it a try?