As an avid fan of honey, I recently stumbled upon my first intriguing jar of Manuka Honey from Manuka Doctor while browsing the aisles at Marshalls. Though the company may trace its roots back to New Zealand, its fame has reached far and wide. Intrigued by the product’s claims, I decided to approach it with a skeptical mind and try this unique variant of honey. This prompted me to pen down this honest review. In it, I will delve into every facet of my encounter with this honey. From its taste and appearance to the grades available, the brand’s reputation, the packaging and size, the price, and most importantly, its value.
Taste and Appearance
Unlike the standard honey that one might pick up from the grocery store, I found Manuka Doctor’s honey to have a distinctively less sweet flavor. I was pleased with how well it complemented my morning coffee, bread, and hot cereal as a spread. It carried a potent and earthy flavor profile that felt almost medicinal in its intensity, complete with a strong, bitter finish that was well balanced by a fresh and floral aroma.
In terms of appearance, this honey exhibited a pleasing golden-brown color. Its texture was satisfyingly good, neither too thick nor thin, but it had a slightly grainy feel. Still, this was not a deterrent but rather an enjoyable aspect of its unique persona.
Manuka Doctor offers a range of MGO (Methylglyoxal) ratings for its honey, with the higher the number implying more profound health benefits and anti-bacterial properties. The line consists of three main categories: Daily Use, Everyday Boost, and Max Strength.
- Daily Use (Multifloral manuka honeys): MGO grades 35, 45, 60, and 80.
- Everyday Boost (Monofloral manuka honeys): MGO grades 125, 225, 325, 425, and 525.
- Max Strength (Monofloral manuka honeys): MGO grades 625, 725, 825, 925, 1025, and 1125.
The specific variety I am reviewing here is MGO 925, one of the more potent options in the Manuka Doctor line-up. It is worth noting that this particular variant lacks a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) number. The UMF reflects the quality and purity of the honey. However, it’s not included in the label.
Purity and Authenticity
Manuka Doctor does not shy away from emphasizing the quality and authenticity of its products. Every honey product is subjected to double-testing by independent labs to guarantee its authenticity. Additionally, each Manuka Doctor honey can be traced back to its original source in New Zealand, providing complete traceability right back to the specific hive. However, there might occasionally be issues with their “Trace Your Batch & Check the MGO Rating” feature on their website. The page sometimes fails to load and only displays a blank screen.
The brand offers pure, raw Manuka honey that’s unpasteurized, making it more nutrient-rich than its counterparts. Moreover, the brand refrains from using antibiotics on its bees and ensures its products are free from glyphosate residues. For those concerned about authenticity and quality markers, the fact that the honey undergoes independent testing in government-approved New Zealand labs should provide some peace of mind.
I have had many positive experiences with this honey. Not only did it yield visible improvements to my complexion, healing MRSA sores, but it also remedied a sore throat. We even applied it to our pet’s wounds, which healed quicker than expected.
Manuka Doctor has made a name for itself not just in the honey industry, but also in skincare. With its origins dating back to 1909 in Auckland, New Zealand, the company has a well-established heritage. The brand’s commitment to quality is evident: all of its offerings are dermatologically tested; the honey is harvested, packed, and tested in New Zealand to meet NZ Government requirements; and their FernMark License (100241) confirms their product as genuine NZ Manuka Honey. Despite a lack of UMF rating inclusion on their labels (a puzzling omission), Manuka Doctor does hold a UMF license (#1026).
Packaging and Size
Manuka Doctor honey comes in a user-friendly plastic container with a wide lid that easily accommodates a spoon or knife for effortless scooping. The packaging seemed fresh and well-presented. The jars are also BPA-free, adding an extra layer of assurance for health-conscious consumers.
Different size variants of Manuka Doctor honey are available. The jars come in sizes of 8.75 oz (250g), 17.6 oz (1.1lb), and 2.2 lbs. Additionally, select variants are available in squeeze bottles of 10.58 oz (300g), which are convenient on-the-go.
One thing to mention is that because it’s raw honey, there’s a chance you might find some crystallization. This is a normal phenomenon and should not be mistaken for staleness. A little gentle warming can dissolve these crystals without harming the honey’s healing properties.
The packaging includes clear information regarding batch and tracing, best before date, ingredients, and company details, along with certain attributes like the New Zealand government’s science definition for Manuka honey right on the top of the lid. This provides transparency about the product’s origins and composition.
Price and Value
While Manuka Doctor honey comes with a high price tag, starting at around $75 for an 8.75 oz jar of MGO 925, its health benefits and distinct taste might justify this cost for some. Yes, it is expensive compared to other brands in the market, but it’s important to remember that Manuka honey is more than just your average honey. Each serving (1 tbsp or 21g) is packed with the goodness that regular honey lacks, making it a premium product. The brand also offers free shipping for orders over $70, providing some relief from the cost front.
The chart below compares the price of Manuka Doctor with that of its main competitors for similar grades.
Pros & Cons
Let’s summarise my thoughts on Manuka Doctor Manuka honey by listing its pros and cons.
- Potent tasting, less sweet than conventional honey
- Comes in various MGO grades
- Unpasteurized and pure
- Effective for topical use and in promoting internal health
- Slightly pricier compared to other manuka honey brands
- Missing UMF rating
- No “Subscribe & Save” option on their website
So, in summing up, the Manuka Doctor Manuka Honey presented a departure from traditional sweet honey variants, offering an earthy, floral experience. Its potent flavor may not appeal to all but it’s definitely a path worth treading for the adventurous and health-conscious.
Despite the high price tag and the absence of the UMF rating, the honey’s quality, purity, and unique properties give it a positive standing in my book. I would definitely recommend giving it a try. Based on my experience and in-depth scrutiny of the product, I am giving the Manuka Doctor Manuka Honey a solid 6.9 out of 10.