As someone who loves honey and its numerous benefits, I’ve always been curious about trying different brands and varieties. That’s how I stumbled upon Mānuka Health, a leading global Mānuka honey brand hailing from the charming rural town of Te Awamutu in New Zealand.
When I first learned about Mānuka Health, I was fascinated by their unique story. Founded in 2006, this honey-devoted collective consists of around 1.5 billion bees and 200 dedicated humans working in harmony. What really caught my attention, though, was their development of the MGO™ rating system, which is based on the groundbreaking research of Prof. Dr. Thomas Henle and his team. They discovered that methylglyoxal (MGO) is one of the key compounds in New Zealand Mānuka honey, and Mānuka Health was the first to adopt this marker on their labels.
This is why you may see an (R) symbol next to the MGO number on their labels. This is actually a trademark of Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd., and many brands have now started including this marker on their products. The number denotes the quantity of methylglyoxal, which is the natural compound that makes manuka honey so effective. The higher the MGO number, the more potent your honey will be.
In addition to their renowned manuka honey, Mānuka Health also provides a variety of other nature-inspired products, such as lip balm, propolis spray, royal jelly, and lozenges. In this blog post, I’m thrilled to share my personal experience with Mānuka Health’s manuka honey and offer a comprehensive review of its flavor, consistency, health benefits, and overall value. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of this remarkable honey.
My Review of Mānuka Health Manuka Honey
In this review, I focus primarily on their UMF16+ variety, a best-selling option within their manuka honey offerings.
Taste and Appearance
The first thing I noticed about this honey was its appearance – it reminded me of melted caramel due to its consistency and color. When I took a whiff, I detected a medicinal scent, which was intriguing.
As I tasted the honey, I was pleasantly surprised by its complex, floral flavor that was quite different from the regular store-bought honey I was accustomed to. This honey had a thicker texture and a more robust taste, which I found quite appealing. The sweetness was present, but it wasn’t overpowering in any way. There was a hint of bitterness, but it didn’t detract from the overall sweetness.
The texture was comparable to other high-quality manuka honeys on the market, and it had a mild grittiness that seemed to work as a gentle exfoliator.
One of my favorite ways to use it is as a facial mask. I simply apply a thin layer to my face and let it sit for about 20 minutes before washing it off. The mild exfoliating properties of the honey have helped to improve my skin’s texture and appearance.
I’ve found numerous ways to incorporate Mānuka Health into my daily diet and wellness routine. For instance, I love using it as a natural sweetener in my cold ginger and hibiscus tea – it adds a touch of sweetness and depth to the flavor. It’s also a fantastic replacement for refined sugar in my breakfast foods and smoothies, providing a healthier alternative without compromising on taste.
I had been dealing with a persistent MRSA boil on my leg, and after cleaning the wound, I decided to give this honey a try as a natural remedy. I applied the honey to a non-stick pad and changed it twice a day. To my amazement, the honey actually helped heal the boil!
At first, Manuka Health labeled their honey based on MGO grading alone. However, they have since broadened their grading approach to incorporate UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) as well. As a result, they are now a UMF-certified brand, proudly holding license number #1074.
The company offers eight different grades of manuka honey, ranging from UMF 5+ to UMF 22+. Manuka Health also sells multi-floral manuka honey with MGO 50+, which is a good thing because you can get a product that matches your need.
- MGO 30+: This grade of manuka honey contains at least 30 mg of methylglyoxal per kg. It’s a mild variety and doesn’t have a UMF rating.
- UMF 5+ (MGO 83+): With a UMF rating of 5+ and at least 83 mg of methylglyoxal per kg, this grade offers some health benefits, but it’s not considered strong enough for medicinal use.
- UMF 6+ (MGO 115+): This grade offers a UMF rating of 6+ and a minimum MGO level of 115 mg/kg, providing a slightly higher potency compared to the UMF 5+ grade.
- UMF 10+ (MGO 263+): With a UMF rating of 10+ and an MGO concentration of at least 263 mg/kg, this honey is a great choice for a natural sweetener that contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
- UMF 13+ (MGO 400+): This grade has a UMF rating of 13+ and a minimum MGO concentration of 400 mg/kg, providing even stronger antibacterial properties and potency than UMF 10+ grade.
- UMF 16+ (MGO 573+): With a UMF rating of 16+ and an MGO concentration of at least 573 mg/kg, this honey is suitable for use for its medicinal benefits due to its high potency.
- UMF 18+ (MGO 700+): This grade has a UMF rating of 18+ and a minimum MGO concentration of 700 mg/kg, offering even greater medicinal benefits due to its high antibacterial properties and potency.
- UMF 22+ (MGO 950+): With a UMF rating of 22+ and a minimum MGO level of 950 mg/kg, this is the highest grade of Manuka Health manuka honey available, offering the strongest antibacterial properties and potency for medicinal purposes.
Purity and Authenticity
Mānuka Health takes several steps to ensure the purity and authenticity of its products. As a consumer, this is important to me—I want to be confident about the quality of the honey that I’m buying.
Firstly, each jar of Mānuka Health honey is made, tested, and sealed in New Zealand, which is known for its pristine environment and strict food safety regulations. The company conducts numerous tests on its honey for authenticity, potency, purity, quality, and food safety. Each batch of honey is issued a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) document, which serves as confirmation that the product meets the specified requirements.
Mānuka Health also relies on third-party testing to certify the authenticity of their honey. Their honey is tested in MPI-recognised laboratories, which are administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) – a government agency that operates independently from the honey sector.
One of the key aspects of Mānuka Health’s quality assurance process is their triple testing method to measure MGO (methylglyoxal) levels. The MGO™ grading system they employ is scientific, accurate, and transparent, eliminating any possibility of misrepresentation. This clarity makes it simple for consumers like myself to grasp the honey’s quality: for instance, MGO™ 100+ manuka honey indicates that there are 100 mg of methylglyoxal in every kg of honey.
In addition to their in-house testing, Mānuka Health utilizes the UMF™ four-factor quality test, which measures MGO (methylglyoxal) for potency; Leptosperin for authenticity; DHA (dihydroxyacetone) to ensure shelf life; and HMF (hydroxymethylfurfural), which indicates freshness.
The company also has a batch testing program that tests for pesticides (including Glyphosates, Coumaphos, and Flumethrin), antibiotics (such as Oxytetracycline and Tylosin), and heavy metals.
One aspect of Mānuka Health that I found fascinating was the traceability of their honey. The QR code on the lid of each jar allowed me to see the honey’s origin, potency, and quality credentials, which gave me confidence in the product I was consuming. This level of transparency is truly commendable.
The brand’s history of collaborating with experts like Professor Thomas Henle and Professor Peter Molan impressed me because it shows that the company is committed to making products that are safe, effective, and backed by science.
The brand’s dedication to sustainability is also noteworthy. They aim to plant 1 million Mānuka trees by 2025, and their orders are packed in recyclable cardboard and paper packaging.
I was highly impressed by their dedication to sustainable beekeeping, evident in their product quality and attentive care for each hive. The absence of antibiotics and hormones in their hives, along with their commitment to not overstocking, ensures a healthy environment for bees to flourish.
According to reviews I read on Amazon, other customers also appreciate the taste and benefits of this honey as much as I do—the brand has over 20k reviews, which is a good indicator of how popular it is.
Packaging and Size
found the packaging of Mānuka Health manuka honey to be quite impressive as it effectively maintains the honey’s freshness. When I received my order, it was up-to-date and in excellent condition.
The jar itself comes with a tightly sealed blue lid, which ensures that the honey remains fresh and uncontaminated. Additionally, the BPA-free recyclable plastic used for the jar is an environmentally friendly choice.
Mānuka Health offers a variety of sizes for their manuka honey, including 8.8oz and 17.6oz jars. They also sell some grades in 13.2oz squeeze bottles, making them easier to use on the go. For those who prefer smaller portions, MGO 115+ grade honey is available in 0.176oz sachets, which are perfect for travel or keeping in a first aid kit or sports bag.
When it comes to their MGO 950+ and other limited edition varieties, the packaging is even more luxurious. These honey variants come in glass jars, housed in a premium-looking box adorned with a gold-colored tamper-proof ribbon. This definitely adds to the visual appeal of the product.
However, I do wish they offered larger sizes or bundle options for their jars, as this would be more convenient for those who consume honey regularly. Overall, I am quite satisfied with the packaging and presentation of this honey.
Price and Value
When comparing its cost to other manuka honey brands I’ve tried, I find it to be slightly more expensive for the size. I’ve noticed that I could purchase other brands at nearly half the price.
One thing to note is that this particular brand is available at almost all big box stores, so you might be able to find it at your local store. If not, you can always order online and have delivery right into your hands!
The chart below compares the cost of Manuka Health’s manuka honey to that of other popular brands on the market for similar grades.
I’ve found that buying it online is a much better deal: I can purchase their UMF 16+ manuka honey in a 250g/8.8oz jar for $54.49, compared to paying $64.49 at the store!
Occasionally, Mānuka Health also offers discounts of up to 30%, which makes the price more reasonable. Additionally, they provide a subscribe and save option that gives a 20% discount, further enhancing its value.
Because of its high cost, I use this honey sparingly. I recommend trying a smaller size first to see if it helps alleviate your condition. Since it works for us, we find buying the larger jar to be more economical, since the health food stores where I live only stock the smaller jars.
Pros & Cons
- Great for troubled skin
- Available in different MGO strengths
- Environmentally responsible
- Kosher and Halal certified
- Traceability and proof of origin
- The price is a bit high
- This is not a diabetic-friendly product
- A bit grainy
- Has a hint of bitterness
In summary, I have been genuinely impressed by Mānuka Health’s manuka honey. I appreciate the authenticity of this product, as it contains real raw honey with bits of wax present, ensuring its high quality.
Lower levels of MGO can be used as a sugar alternative, especially for people who are making healthy choices. For those seeking to treat gastrointestinal issues, sinus infections and skin infections I highly recommend opting for the MGO 400+ rating or above.
As a honey mask, it exceeded my expectations. The thickness of the honey allowed it to stay on my face without dripping, making it the best honey mask I’ve tried so far. Additionally, the medicinal potency of this manuka provides immunity support, which is a fantastic bonus.
The freshness of this honey is noteworthy, and proper storage in a cool, shaded environment will ensure it lasts for months. While it is a premium brand with a premium price, I believe the benefits and quality justify the expense.
I wholeheartedly recommend Mānuka Health’s manuka honey for its taste, quality, and health benefits. It has become a staple in my household, and I believe it would make a valuable addition to yours as well.