Manuka honey is one of the most famous names in the world of superfoods. It is believed to heal wounds, scrapes, insect bites, and acne when applied topically. And when consumed orally, it is scientifically proven to cure some of the most dreaded diseases known to humanity.
But are these claims valid? What makes Manuka honey so unique? How to assess the quality of this honey? What are the meanings of terms like “UMF” and “MGO” people frequently used with Manuka? And most importantly, how to choose a manuka honey brand that stays true to its label?
Right now, your mind is teeming with these questions. Don’t worry. I have selected the best Manuka honey brands after hours of research so that you don’t have to. Besides reviews, this article contains every piece of information you’ll ever need to make an informed decision.
For a quick look at my top three picks, see below.
What is Manuka Honey? – An Overview
Mānuka is a Maori word. It is the name of a specific type of tea tree (Leptospermum scoparium) native to New Zealand. To produce Manuka honey, bees will have to pollinate Manuka bushes grown in the remote, untouched native forests of the country.
Maori folks used this honey to heal everything, ranging from nasty wounds to ease the inflamed stomach.
So why is the world going crazy about Manuka honey? I mean, yes, it does have great medicinal benefits, but so do other types of honey. Why are people investing tons of money in a small jar of honey imported from NZ?
Why is Manuka Honey Creating So Much Buzz Lately?
I’m assuming that you are an extremely rational being. You started reading this article with lots of questions and doubts in your mind. You have already heard the mind-blowing claims by Manuka honey loyalists.
I am just like you. I don’t believe in just claims. I need proof. So I did some good research to find out how exactly Manuka honey manages to kill superbugs and cure a multitude of health issues. Below is the gist of my research:
I’ll keep the answer short.
Manuka honey is one of those rare organic remedies guaranteed to kill superbugs like Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, bacteria that have become resistant to the antibiotic Methicillin due to overuse. According to Dr. Dee Carter of the University of Sydney, the presence of Methylglyoxal (MGO) combined with other components in Manuka honey prevents this superbug from building immunity.
MGO acts as a catalyst to destroy bacteria, working alongside multiple enzymes and antioxidants in Manuka honey to create a powerful defense mechanism. Brutal and fascinating!
Decoding Manuka Honey Grading System: How to Check the Quality Before Buying?
All honey has some antibacterial activity due to hydrogen peroxide (HPA), but only manuka honey has a unique and unusual type of antibacterial activity that is distinct from the one common to all honey.
Dr. Peter Molan of the University of Waikato, NZ discovered in 1981 that mānuka honey has significant non-peroxide antimicrobial activity (sometimes referred to as NPA).
He devised a grading system known as the “Molan Gold Standard” for evaluating the quality of mānuka honey based on its methylglyoxal content (the higher the better).
Further research in 2008 by Peter Molan showed that methylglyoxal alone does not account for the non-peroxide activity of manuka honey. When methylglyoxal is in honey, it reacts differently to superbugs than it would on its own. Other factors can alter the way this chemical works.
The UMF™ grading system provides the ideal solution to this problem.
UMF Grading System
If you have already done your share of research before reading this article, you must have come across terms like “UMF10+”, and “UMF20+”. Let me explain what it is:
UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor. It is the international quality trademark of Manuka honey. This trademark is established by the UMF Honey Association (UMFHA) of New Zealand.
The UMF grading system takes into account four significant compounds from each batch of manuka honey— Methylglyoxal for potency, Leptosperin to ensures the authenticity of manuka honey, Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) for for shelf life, and Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) for freshness. These additional compounds play a critical role in determining the quality, origin, and effectiveness of Manuka Honey.
The higher the UMF rating of manuka honey, the more beneficial it is likely to be. The darker its color, the higher this rating will be.
UMF rating is the most reliable grading system for Manuka honey. The brands have to meet the strict standards of UMFHA to obtain the license. UMF-certified honey brands are generally expensive, but trust me, it’s worth it.
Below I have mentioned the individual benefits of each UMF level:
- UMF 5+ to 9+ : Doesn’t have a high Methylglyoxal count, meaning very low antibacterial activity. Best for regular use as a healthier alternative to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners.
- UMF 10+ to 14+ : Honey rated above 10+ is known as Active Manuka Honey. The range between UMF 10-14 possesses mild therapeutic effects and is suitable for treating minor cold and fever.
- UMF 15+ to 25+ : If you are purchasing Manuka honey for treating specific health issues, don’t settle for anything less than 15+. From heartburn, painful sinusitis, high cholesterol, and tooth decay to heartbreaking skin breakouts, a high UMF-rated Manuka honey is a one-stop solution to all these problems.
As you can see, each grade serves a different purpose. Which grade of UMF is best for you entirely depends on your individual purpose. For maximum health benefits, you should always go with a product rated at least UMF 15+.
Although UMF is the most surefire way to determine the quality of Manuka honey, many top brands rely on the MGO rating as well. MGO measures the amount of Methylglyoxal in Manuka honey. This key chemical marker contributes to the antibacterial strength of the honey.
Both UMF and MGO measure the antibacterial strength of the honey. The only difference between them is that UMF takes into account total non-peroxide activity, while MGO examines only for Methylglyoxal level.
If the label says MGO 514+, it means that 514mg of Methylglyoxal is present in every one kilogram of that honey.
To facilitate a better understanding of the relationship between UMF and MGO, I’ve prepared a table below.
The K-Factor grading system is used exclusively by the brand Wedderspoon. It measures the following markers in Manuka honey:
- Percentage of pollen.
- Live enzymes.
- pH levels.
It does not measure the MGO, Leptosperin, or NPA. That’s why it doesn’t say anything about the antibacterial power of Manuka honey. It only tests the “purity” of the product.
There are 3 different levels of K-factor:
- K-Factor 12 = 60% Manuka pollen present in the honey.
- K-Factor 16 = 75% Manuka pollen.
- K-Factor 22 = 90% Manuka pollen.
It would be wrong to say that K-Factor 12 is equivalent to UMF 10+. Both are entirely different grading systems, measuring two completely different aspects of the honey.
Other Grading Systems
Many Manuka honey brands use grading systems like A (Active), TA (Total Activity), and Bio-active on their product labels. Let me bluntly tell you that these grading systems are mostly misleading.
These do not guarantee the pharmaceutical strength or purity of Manuka honey. 80% of all the Manuka honey brands in the world do not have UMF or MGO certification.
So if you’re going to buy manuka honey, be sure that it is from New Zealand and has been rated with both MGO levels and UMF grade.
Now that you have become an expert on the Manuka honey grading system, it’s time for you to start browsing through the catalog of products.
My List of the Top Ten Manuka Honey Brands
I have narrowed down your options to 10 brands to make your job easier:
1. Comvita Certified Raw Manuka Honey
When it comes to the best Manuka honey the market has to offer, the brand I can blindly trust is Comvita. This brand is a member of the UMF Honey Association of New Zealand.
Obtaining a UMF trademark license is not an easy job. The Manuka honey has to meet the high purity standards of UMFHA to get the certification. This tells you loud and clear that their honey is the real deal, loaded with therapeutic values.
Take a look at the top features of this product to know why Comvita is a cut above the rest:
Product Highlights :
- Comes in levels as low as UMF 5+ and as high as UMF 25+.
- UMF Honey Association tests every batch individually to measure key chemical markers i.e., non-peroxide activity (NPA), Leptosperin, MGO, and DHA.
- It is a medical-grade honey used by hospitals worldwide to treat burns and improve immunity.
- Unadulterated, Halal, Kosher, Non-GMO, and Gluten-free.
It goes without saying that the higher the UMF rating, the more potent the honey is. Manuka honey carrying a UMF number higher than 10 is labeled as Active Manuka Honey.
You should always go for at least 10+ if you are going to use honey for treating skin problems such as cystic acne, pimples, eczema, and blemishes. UMF 15+ rated honey is ideal for individuals wanting to get rid of cold sores, flu, congested nose as well as general skin problems.
UMF 20+ honey has an MGO count of 829+, meaning it is packed with strong antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits. One spoon daily will improve your immune system, and gut health, speed up the healing of wounds, and burns, and prevent gingivitis.
However, you can go for the UMF 5+ version if you only want to include Manuka as a part of a healthy diet, to steer clear of unwanted calories.
Comvita Manuka honey has a distinct floral taste. Some would say that it’s overly sweet, but that doesn’t matter here. If you aim to benefit from the skin-nourishing properties of Manuka honey, go ahead and apply it to your face without worrying about anything.
For best results, leave it overnight. Might feel sticky and uncomfortable, but the end result would be worth it.
- Comes in various UMF strengths for various purposes.
- Safe for topical application.
- Very sweet
- Can be used as a sugar substitute.
- One bottle lasts pretty long.
- Excellent remedy for sinus infection and severe flu.
- The price is a bit on the higher side.
- Weighs slightly less than what the label says.
This UMF-certified honey brand might be heavy on the pocket. But you will get exactly what you pay for. This is one of those rare brands that guarantee quality. From healing painful burn wounds to killing flu bugs, this one has all the medicinal benefits Manuka honey is known for.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REVIEW | Overall Rating: 8/10 (Very Good)
2. New Zealand Honey Co. Raw Manuka Honey
The bacteria-killing properties and presence of high levels of antioxidants make this particular honey an excellent remedy for flu, cough, and sinusitis. By boosting your immune system, it enables your body to fight off the viruses associated with these problems.
The New Zealand Honey Co. is a licensed member of the UMF honey association. This alone speaks volumes about the honey’s authenticity and credibility. I will elaborate more on this, but before that, take a quick look at the main features of this honey.
Product Highlights :
- Available in 7 varieties: UMF 5+, 10+, 15+, 20+, 24+, 26+ and 28+.
- Amazingly thick texture and aroma.
- The honey can be traced back to the apiary.
- Certifications and a detailed report of independent lab tests of the honey are available online.
The UMF 15+ version of this honey has to be the most potent UMF 15+ rated Manuka honey in its price range. Its powerful healing abilities can be used for treating ulcerative colitis, tooth decay, and sinus infection.
Unless you are allergic to bee pollen, you can add a spoon of this honey to your face mask or scrub to get rid of a multitude of skin diseases. Due to its anti-inflammatory nature and presence of antioxidants, it can be an effective natural remedy for hard-to-heal wounds as well.
If you have budget constraints and want to try Manuka honey to boost your immune system and improve metabolism, the UMF 5+ or 10+ will serve you just fine.
I was genuinely impressed by the dense and creamy texture of the honey. It is not too sweet and has a faint medicinal taste. That’s not a bad thing as it proves the honey is raw and has undergone a minimal filtration process to keep its benefits unaffected.
- Thick and creamy.
- Ideal for treating cold/flu and respiratory illnesses.
- The UMF 15+ is a great remedy for a disturbed gastrointestinal tract.
- Clears up acne and heals wounds.
- The honey meets the strict purity standards of UMFHA.
- The texture varies from batch to batch.
This UMF-certified honey has a separate fan base that swears by its ability to cure sore throat, cough, sinus congestion, and stomach issues. It is a powerful formula, and even the low UMF-rated variants can do absolute wonders if consumed daily.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REVIEW | Overall Rating: 8/10 (Very Good)
3. Manuka Health Manuka Honey
This brand is one of the first to use a Methylglyoxal (MGO) grading system for Manuka honey, and it determines how much of this compound exists in 1 kg of honey. MGO 400+ Manuka Honey, for example, contains 400 mg of Methylglyoxal per 1 kg. The highest MGO count found in this brand’s honey is MGO 950+, which is equivalent to UMF 22+.
The high concentration of MGO makes this honey a perfect natural weapon for killing bacteria, germs, and viruses associated with a myriad of health and skin issues. Here are the properties of Manuka Health premium raw Manuka Honey.
Product Highlights :
- Available in 8 variants i.e. MGO 30+, 83+, 100+, 263+, 400+, 573+, 700+, and 950+.
- Smooth texture and delectable taste.
- Tried and tested for quality in ISO17025 certified lab.
- Traceable to its source.
When it comes to the brands holding MGO licenses, Manuka Health is the first name that pops up in my mind. A lot of people who are reading this review might think, what’s the point of buying a non-UMF Manuka honey, anyway?
Well, the first and foremost reason is pocket-pinch. It costs less than premium, UMF-certified brands. Next and most importantly, its medicinal benefits are scientifically proven. Each batch is independently tested in ISO17025 accredited laboratory to confirm the authenticity and pharmaceutical value of the honey.
A lower concentration of MGO could be used as a sugar substitute. You should go for honey rated 400+ or above if you want to avail of its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits to treat GI issues, sinus infections, bacterial skin infections, and a host of other severe health conditions.
A lower concentration of MGO could be used as a sugar substitute, and for boosting gut health, getting rid of cold symptoms, and building a stronger immune system. MGO 400+ and higher versions are ideal for healing lesions and wounds. The texture of this version is neither too smooth nor too gritty, which is perfect for sensitive and injured skin.
This honey has thixotropic consistency typical of Manuka honey. It makes the honey easily spreadable when stirred. It has a soothing woody flavor and can substitute refined sugar, artificial sweeteners as well as maple syrup.
- All certifications are provided in the package to vouch for its quality.
- The high concentration of Methylglyoxal kills tons of harmful bacteria and viruses.
- Substitute for refined sugar and artificial sweeteners.
- It is great for external applications as well.
- A bit grainy, but it’s not bad.
- Has a hint of bitterness.
I bought this product to apply to my face, as I heard it is effective for the treatment of skin conditions. It is indeed very thick and doesn’t drip off your face—I would say it’s the best honey mask I’ve ever tried! On top of that, it tastes delicious and can be included in your diet if you are watching your calories.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REVIEW | Overall Rating: 8/10 (Very Good)
4. Manukora Raw Manuka Honey
Here’s another brand that uses state-of-the-art harvesting and minimal post-processing to keep the potency of Manuka honey intact. This member of the UMF Honey Association carefully extracts the honey from the hive and makes it undergo a unique whipping process to achieve a luscious creamy texture.
Before I go into further details, have a look at the qualities that make this product stand out.
Product Highlights :
- Comes in MGO 50+, MGO 100+, MGO 200+, MGO 600+, MGO 850+, and MGO 1123+ variants.
- Goes through a special creaming process to achieve a completely different texture.
- Minimal filtration to keep the antibacterial activity unaffected.
- Uses a unique traceability system to help you find out the origin of the honey.
The UMF 16+ and UMF 20+ variants of this honey have MGO counts of 600+ and 850+, respectively. This implies the tremendous antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory nature of the honey.
Although you can use it for treating a variety of ailments, it is especially beneficial for controlling acid reflux, soothing sore throat, clearing the stuffy nose, and healing muscle pain.
Due to its unique bacteria-killing properties and creamy texture, you can include it in your daily skincare routine, too — a huge share of its loyal fan base vouch for its ability to cure skin infections.
However, if you only want a healthier alternative to sugar for your breakfast bowl, desserts, shakes, and smoothies, opt for the MGO 50+ or MGO 100+ version. Even though these have a lower concentration of Methylglyoxal, they will still provide you with mild antibacterial properties.
- Rich, creamy texture, soothing fragrance, and great taste.
- Has a very high concentration of methylglyoxal.
- Minimal processing to keep the nutrients and enzymes intact.
- Ideal for people suffering from esophagus problems.
- The origin of the honey can be traced easily.
- Came with some crystallization.
- The price is a bit high.
- A bit dry and granular sometimes.
- This is not suitable for diabetics.
In this extremely competitive market, Manukora is making its mark by paying attention to both the taste and the pharmaceutical value of its honey.
It debunks the myth that “If it’s healthy, it must taste bad.” Drizzle it on your waffles, add it to your face scrub or shampoo, and eat a spoonful a day to get the most out of this product.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REVIEW | Overall Rating: 8/10 (Very Good)
5. Steens Raw Manuka Honey
Competing with A-list brands like Comvita or Wedderspoon and still gaining tremendous popularity isn’t easy unless the brand has something exceptional to offer.
The quick healing effect of this UMF rated honey is what makes it truly unique and special. Before I begin explaining the reason behind its fast action, I need you to take a quick look at its key qualities:
Product Highlights :
- Minimal processing maintains a high concentration of pollen, enzymes, antioxidants, and prebiotic substances, also known as bee bread.
- Available in four UMF varieties i.e. UMF 10+, 15+, 20+, 24+.
- The jar comes with a barcode that lets you trace the source of the honey.
- Thick, creamy, not overly sweet, and has a dark amber color.
This brand uses the cold-pressing technique to preserve bee bread, which is a highly nutritious blend of pollen, nectar, enzymes, and more than 250 other active substances. Worker bees derive their nourishment from this.
For humans, the bee bread in Manuka honey can lower the risk of heart disease, control cholesterol levels, eliminate free radicals to reduce the risk of cancer and improve metabolism. It has several other health benefits, but I will have to write a whole new article to talk about them.
So moving on, another aspect that makes this brand worth the money is the minimal filtering process. It keeps the amino acids in the honey intact. Our body needs amino acids to build muscles and get rid of muscle soreness. The topical application of this honey on blisters and wounds will promote faster healing.
You should go for UMF 22+ or 24+ (which contains an MGO count of 1122+) for severe health conditions like GI tract ailments, high cholesterol, ulcer, joint pain, eczema, and so on.
However, mind you that this honey is extremely strong. Even the small UMF levels can be very impactful. If you are planning to buy it for kids, the range between UMF 5+ to UMF 15+ will be more suitable.
Its thixotropic and grainy texture makes it a perfect addition to DIY face packs as well. You can use its amazing antibacterial properties to kill harmful bacteria that are immune to OTC antibiotics.
- Preserves bee bread in the honey to aid a myriad of health benefits.
- Contains a high level of amino acids and prebiotic substances.
- Can kill pathogenic bacteria which have developed resistance to OTC antibiotics.
- Tastes great.
- The jar comes with a trace to help you trace the source of the honey.
- It’s sad to see such a high-quality product packaged in a transparent plastic jar.
The healing properties of this UMF-certified honey are unparalleled. The preservation of bee bread, a magical mixture of pollen, nectar, and over 250 active ingredients, increases its medicinal value manifold. Plus, it tastes yummy too.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REVIEW | Overall Rating: 7.8/10 (Good)
6. Wedderspoon Raw Manuka Honey
Unlike the much sought-after and ultra-prestigious UMF rating, the Manuka honey by this brand uses K-Factor to determine the purity of honey. As we have previously discussed, K-Factor is a patented grading system of Wedderspoon only.
This system is approved by NZ’s Ministry of Primary Industries. Manuka honey purists might frown upon it. But the majority of their consumers have showered the product with praise. Here are the distinct qualities of Wedderspoon Manuka honey before I start with the in-depth review.
Product Highlights :
- Comes in K-factor 12, 16, and 22.
- Has a mild taste and thick, creamy texture.
- Is certified by the Ministry of Primary Industries, NZ.
- Comes in BPA-free, non-leaching poly jars.
Wedderspoon Manuka honey has a vibrant golden color, and creamy texture, and is mildly sweet. It is more suitable for the generic palate than other Manuka honey brands. Due to its texture and taste, it can be used for sweetening a variety of dishes.
From breakfast bowls to post-workout shakes for restoring energy, put it in every dish or beverage you want instead of sugar.
Depending on your specific purpose, you can choose from the K-factor 12, 16, and 22 versions. For reducing the symptoms of a cold or easing mild gas pain, the K-factor 12 variant will work just fine. One spoon in a pre-workout or post-workout meal will keep you pumped up all day.
However, for best results, go for either the K-factor 16 or 22. The high amount of live enzymes in this honey lends it a high therapeutic value. It can be used for treating a variety of issues such as GI inflammation, poor bowel movement, stuffy nose, fever blisters, and even bronchitis.
- Tastes great and can be used for sweetening various dishes and beverages.
- Can be a part of your daily skincare regime.
- Great for stomach issues, allergies, and sinus problems.
- The bottle is BPA-free.
- The k-factor grading system is not as reliable as UMF.
If you are looking for a multipurpose Manuka honey that can be for holistic healing as well as a sugar substitute, this is it. It is also one of the most affordable Manuka honey brands on this list.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REVIEW | Overall Rating: 6/10 (Above Average)
7. WildCape Manuka Honey
Does the pungent, bitter taste of Manuka honey make you go “ughh”? And is this the sole reason why you are reluctant to consume it?
Well, if that’s the case for you, then you’ll be glad to know better-tasting Manuka honey also exists. And WildCape is one of the major patrons to delicious UMF-certified Manuka honey. Before I start with the detailed review, here are the key benefits of this honey in a nutshell:
Product Highlights :
- Honey sourced from the East Cape region has a mild and pleasant taste.
- The bees are not harmed in any way while procuring the honey.
- Come in 4 variations i.e UMF 5+, 8+, 10+, and 15+.
- The brand is a member of the UMFHA association.
- Comes beautifully packaged in BPA-free jars.
The taste and texture of Manuka honey solely depend on the region they are sourced from. The East Cape region of NZ is known for producing Manuka honey that is neither overly sweet nor bitter. Therefore, it can easily replace the harmful refined sugar in desserts and beverages.
However, the taste is not the most critical parameter when evaluating the quality and potency of Manuka honey. No matter how awesome it tastes, at the end of the day, it all comes down to its medicinal value.
All the top Manuka honey brands in the world meet the strict guidelines of UMFHA to ensure premium quality, including this one. WildCape UMF 5+ and 8+ could be a cost-effective solution for people looking for a natural remedy to boost their immunity, and energy, and steer clear of seasonal flu.
However, my personal advice to my readers would be to go for the 15+ or higher number
Apply it raw on your face and put some in your face pack or scrub to clear up acne, large pimples, and skin blemishes.
I was also intrigued by the packaging of the product. The jar looks pretty solid. They come in BPA-free jars, which further helps to maintain the purity of the honey. Another reason to love this brand is its ethical honey-harvesting practice. The honey is removed gently to keep the beeswax in the honeycombs unharmed so that the bees can re-use it.
- You can trace the exact origin of the honey.
- Mildly sweet in taste, and works great as a sugar substitute.
- Great for clearing up sinuses, and treating stomach ailments and skin infections.
- Comes in BPA-free plastic jars.
- Uses an ethical harvesting process.
- The watery texture and mild taste might not please Manuka honey purists.
If you are looking for a medical-grade Manuka honey that tastes awesome, then this one is worth checking out. It’s also a suitable option for environment-conscious folks who prioritize ethical harvesting practice over everything else.
8. Kiva Raw Manuka Honey
The location of the Manuka tree and post-processing play a significant role in determining the quality of the final product. That’s why Kiva obtains honey from the trees grown in the vast and mysterious forests, hills, and coastal areas of NZ.
Like Comvita, Kiva manuka honey bottles also carry UMF certification to vouch for its quality. Below I listed down the key attributes of Kiva that make their Manuka honey a stellar bargain for the money.
Product Highlights :
- Available in UMF 10+, 15+, and 20+.
- Raw and unpasteurized to keep maintain its original therapeutic value.
- Each batch is tested for quality and authenticity in hi-tech labs in New Zealand.
- The UMF 10+ version comes in a box of 28 travel-friendly, to-go sachets.
I was quite impressed to see that Kiva sells their UMF 10+ Manuka honey in convenient to-go packets. If I am traveling overseas, I sure as hell won’t want to carry glass jars with me.
These easy-to-open sachets could supply me with the necessary dose of energy and keep my acid reflux in check wherever I go. The UMF 10+ rated version is also ideal for people suffering from sore throat and congested nose. Use it in your smoothies, tea, and coffee instead of sugar to boost your immunity and of course, to stay in good shape.
However, for the treatment of more serious ailments like sinusitis, bronchial spasm, and skin infections, you should go for either the 15+ or the 20+ version. The 20+ Kiva Manuka is equivalent to MGO 850+, meaning it has antibacterial superpowers.
The 15+ certified version is equivalent to MGO 514+, which makes it great for treating respiratory problems, and gastritis, and improving digestive health. What’s more, you can also add a spoonful of it to your DIY face packs to double the benefits.
- UMF certified.
- Loaded with antioxidants and antibacterial properties.
- Travel-friendly packaging of the UMF 10+ version.
- Can be used in DIY face packs.
- Has a variety of health benefits.
- A lot of users have complained about the poor design of the plastic jar.
This UMF certified honey is an effective natural remedy for keeping blood sugar levels under control, reducing the painful inflammation in the GI tract, and healing sinus infections. Also, if you are looking for organic honey for your face packs, this one could well be worth your time.
9. Manuka Honey by Tahi
This brand is widely recognized for its ethical bee-keeping practice. It doesn’t feed sugar syrup to the bees or use chemicals to extract the honey. In addition to that, Tahi is also dedicated to preserving the natural habitat of bees and has saved several bird species from going extinct.
Coming to the quality and medicinal value of their honey, Tahi ensures that each jar undergoes rigorous testing to achieve the UMF quality trademark. More on this in the upcoming section. But before that, here’s an overview of what this brand has to offer:
Product Highlights :
- Comes in 6 variants to choose from i.e. UMF 5+, 8+, 10+, 12+, 15+, and 20+.
- Goes through a minimal filtration process to keep the honey activity intact.
- Tahi practices ethical beekeeping practice.
- Meets the strict guidelines of the UMF Honey Association of New Zealand.
Unlike most other top Manuka honey brands, this one has a rather thin texture. I was a little put off by that at first, but its pharmaceutical benefits eventually changed my opinion.
I don’t care for the taste or texture as long as the honey delivers what it promises. Due to the high Methylglyoxal count, even the lower UMF numbers would work like a charm against flu bugs, sore throat, and digestive problems.
However, go for the UMF 15+ or 20+ if you have more severe issues to address. The high antibacterial activity of honey can soothe the ravaged gastrointestinal tract.
It provides instant relief from a stuffy nose and muscle soreness. Two spoons of honey in your daily skincare regime should eliminate the bacteria leading to frequent skin breakouts.
I loved the fact that the brand doesn’t use any chemicals to extract honey for gaining profits. What you get in the jar is the purest form of Manuka honey, just slightly heated for 3-4 seconds to activate the enzymes and Methylglyoxal.
- The honey is as pure as it gets, with no chemicals involved in the honey removal process.
- Not overly sweet.
- BPA-free packaging.
- Kills flu bugs and builds stronger immunity.
- Ideal for people dealing with esophagitis.
- Runny texture.
If you are a fan of eco-friendly organic products with guaranteed medicinal benefits, Tahi could be your go-to brand. While it doesn’t taste like heaven, the sheer number of health benefits and fast action make it worth every penny.
10. Happy Valley Manuka Honey
Happy Valley is another brand I can trust with my eyes closed as they are also a member of the UMF Honey Association. Their UMF certified honey jars go through rigorous testing in an individual lab before hitting the market.
This has to be the tastiest Manuka honey in this segment so far. It is dense and creamy, and one spoon is enough to sweeten a variety of foods. Let me list down the main qualities of this honey before moving on to a more detailed review.
Product Highlights :
- Comes in UMF 5+, 10+, 15+ and 18+ variants.
- The detailed report of the independent lab test is printed on the bottle label.
- Thick and creamy texture with a caramel-like taste.
- The jar is made from an FDA-approved food-grade polymer.
This brand sources its honey from the lush forest region native to NZ. It uses ethical harvesting to keep most parts of the honeycomb intact after extracting honey. If you are a vegan or just an environment lover looking for high-quality, cruelty-free honey, this is it.
The gentle processing of the honey gives it a rich and creamy texture and lends it a delicious flavor. Due to the dense texture of the product, you can easily spread it all over your skin to get rid of multiple skin ailments.
I’d advise my readers to use it as an exfoliator. Its grainy texture combined with strong antibacterial properties can bring back the long-lost glow of your skin. Use it to wash your face once a day to keep acne, blackheads, and pimples at bay. You can also apply it on blisters and wounds to speed up the healing process.
Its amazing medicinal properties make it an excellent natural remedy for sore throat, stomach problems, heartburn, and plenty of other health issues. Just remember to purchase UMF10+ or a higher level for treatment purposes.
If you are going to buy the 18+ variant, eat a spoon on every alternative day as it is very strong and potent. For regular dietary intake and energy-boosting, you can go for the more affordable UMF 5+ bottle. However, I won’t personally go for anything rated less than 10+.
- Has a delicious taste and dense texture.
- Kills germs and bacteria linked with various skin problems.
- Great for improving digestive health and cholesterol levels.
- Uses FDA approved, food-grade plastic.
- Uses sustainable harvesting techniques to source honey.
- The medicinal taste might be a bit too strong for some people.
If genuineness and ethical harvesting are your top concerns while shopping for Manuka honey and you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, do check this one out. This UMF-rated honey provides all the major and minor health and skin benefits Manuka honey is hailed for.
So that brings us to the end of the reviews. But that’s not the end of this article. Before I wrap it up, I need you to learn a few more basics to help you achieve the dream results of Manuka Honey.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Manuka Honey
You should always buy raw and unpasteurized Manuka honey and eat it straight up. If you are using a low UMF or MGO number honey, you can eat two spoons a day. However, high UMF or MGO-rated products are robust, and you should take only one spoon on alternative days.
You can also include it in your regular diet by mixing it in tea, coffee, shakes, and smoothies. Drizzle some on your pancakes or cookies. Do not put it in boiling water as high temperatures can affect the therapeutic substances of the honey.
Potential Risks Associated with Using Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is generally considered safe for everyone. However, since all types of high are high on (natural) sugar, diabetic patients should speak to their doctors before consuming the honey.
It’s not just the sugar. The high concentration of Methylglyoxal in Manuka honey can also pose a severe risk to diabetic patients. It can potentially trigger insulin resistance and the production of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs).
This can severely affect the wound healing ability of a person who has chronic diabetes.
To avoid any side effects from Manuka honey, here are a few safety instructions you need to learn by heart:
- Do not apply manuka honey on fresh/open wounds, especially if it’s still bleeding. It can make it worse.
- If you have a pollen allergy, manuka honey is not suitable for you.
- Do not use this honey as an alternative to the medication prescribed by your doctor, especially if it’s a serious health condition.
- Manuka honey is not recommended for individuals undergoing chemotherapy.
- Not suitable for children below 1 year.
- Wrap a bandage or gauze on your face if you are applying manuka honey on the face as it is very sticky.
Where to Buy Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is readily available in most supermarkets and health stores. Any place that sells honey in your city most probably has it in stock.
You can also buy them online from E-commerce companies like Amazon. No matter where you buy it from, make sure the brand is a registered UMF license holder. If UMF-certified honey is too expensive for your budget, look for an MGO rating.
The Proper Way to Store Manuka Honey
Real Manuka honey has a hefty pocket pinch. So you need to make sure to store it properly to make it last longer.
Keeping your medicine cabinet or cupboard, away from direct sunlight is the best way to store it. It should be kept at room temperature, below 77 degrees F or 25 degrees C.
And yes, you can safely store a UMF-certified Manuka honey in your refrigerator. It will make the honey crystallize quickly, which is completely alright. Crystallization does not hamper the medicinal benefits of honey. It is rather a good sign. Crystallization indicates the presence of high amounts of nutrients in the honey.
Does All Manuka Honey Have to Come From New Zealand?
Yes. Manuka honey has to be derived from the plant Leptospermum scoparium native to New Zealand. It cannot be called Manuka honey unless it is made from the nectar of this particular species of Leptospermum.
Two trees used most often to make manuka honey in Australia are jellybush and golden tea tree. Australia harbors 83 different species of Leptospermum family, while NZ has only two. For example, Australia produces Berringa honey (which they fondly call Super Manuka honey) from Leptospermum Polygalifolium.
Some tests have claimed that it has a much higher MGO count than Manuka honey.
The bottom line is that not all Leptospermum honey is Manuka honey. Australia could be a proud patron of several types of Leptospermum honey. But none of them are Manuka honey. That specific type of honey belongs to New Zealand. Period.
The UMFHA has recently appealed to the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office to protect the trade name “Manuka Honey.”
So finally we have come to the end of the Manuka honey saga. I hope that by now, you have gained enough knowledge to claim yourself a Manuka honey expert.
Terms like UMF, and NPA shouldn’t be Greek to you anymore. I am also hoping that you have already made up your mind about which brand to buy. Thanks a lot for patiently reading the whole thing, and I hope whatever product you buy serves your purpose.