If you are searching for the best manuka honey, you have come to the right place. We have gone over dozens of honey brands to help you hone down on the best of the best.
If you don’t already know, manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate around the manuka bush. Experts say that manuka honey can be used to treat wounds, infections, and other ailments when rubbed on your body. Honey has long been used for medicinal purposes because it has natural antibacterial qualities.
It not only protects against damage caused by bacteria but also helps repair tissue damage induced by infection and has anti-inflammatory properties. The main component of manuka honey is hydrogen peroxide, which gives it antibiotic properties.
Not all manuka honey works as different brands have different active ingredient compositions, we have narrowed down the list to only what we think to work the best in terms of medicinal purpose as well as tastes. Please see below for our list.
Kiva Raw UMF 15+ Manuka Honey – Best Value
Kiva Raw is the best manuka honey if you are looking for value. What we mean by value is it is definitely not the strongest commercial-grade manuka honey out there (we give that honor to Manukora), but also it is not the most expensive.
It is a good bang for the buck if you are simply not looking for or don’t care about having the strongest medicine out there.
Best Manuka Honey Products
- New Zealand Honey Co. Raw Manuka Honey – Best overall
- Kiva Certified UMF 15+ Raw Manuka Honey (Top Pick)
- Manukora Manuka Honey UMF 20+
- Comvita Manuka Honey UMF 10+
What is in Manuka Honey?
The main active ingredient in manuka honey is naturally produced Hydrogen Peroxide (pH), which is a great antibiotic. Hydrogen peroxide destroys bacteria by tearing down their cell walls and in turn converts blood and cells into water and oxygen. Manuka honey also contains methylglyoxal, which is also an antibiotic. Methylglyoxal combined with hydrogen peroxide acts together to kill bacteria.
There are other compounds in manuka honey that help prevent microbial growth as well, such as a high osmolarity, bee defending-1, flavonoids, and a low pH. Since honey is around 75% sugar (people call it good sugar), this high concentration causes hypertonic conditions that contribute to the potential lysis of microbial walls.
Both bee defensin-1 and flavonoids have also been separately identified in experiments to have antimicrobial properties. Additionally, manuka honey also stimulates lymphocytic and phagocytic activities, which are largely linked to helping your body fight off responses. In a recent study by Syndey University, medical-grade manuka honey managed to kill off every type of bacteria including antibiotic-resistant ones.
Health Benefits of Manuka Honey from New Zealand
While the main purpose of manuka honey is to treat minor wounds and burns, you can also use it to treat cancer, diabetes, eye & ear infections, stomach problems, reduce cholesterol, and reduce general inflammation. These later treatments and reductions have not been medically proven to be 100% effective, so please keep that in mind as well.
Note that this applies to medical-grade manuka honey. Please don’t just take a jar of honey in the food section and rub it on yourself. It will not likely do anything and will result in you just looking silly. Medical grade honey to treat wounds is specially sterilized and prepared.
You can also eat Manuka Honey because it is completely safe. Methylglyoxal is stable in the mouth and throat and when it reaches the stomach and intestines, it gets degraded into lactic acid. Therefore, methylglyoxal is not absorbed into the body and does not pose a risk to consumers. However, you can probably find better-tasting stand-alone honey for eating out there.
You generally apply manuka honey as a topical solution on your skin to treat skin infections, cuts, and bites, Taking manuka honey orally can also help soothe the throat. Manuka honey is also anti-viral so you can use it to treat illnesses caused by viruses by ingesting it.
In terms of side effects, there are no terrible ones. You may get an allergic reaction on your skin or a rise in blood sugar. Otherwise, it is completely safe and there have been no studies that suggest there are serious side effects when manuka honey is either ingested or applied to your skin.
Quality Manuka Honey Grading System
The UMF grading system is the globally recognized certification for manuka honey. So if you buy the honey, and have the UMF logo on it, then you are in the presence of a real manuka product.
There are two other popular grading systems. These are the KFactor and MGO. The Kfactor often is mainly focused on the pollen content in honey. It is easier to get the K-factor and that is why you’ll find it on a number of products. This does not mean the honey is of lower quality.
The MGO symbol is also highly regarded as a globally recognized certification that is difficult to get. As with the UMF certification, it has a scale of Manuka honey grading systems on the side of the jar. The higher the grade, the better the honey. Note that it is widely accepted that unpasteurized Manuka honey is one of the best varieties.
Buying any authentic manuka honey with the above MGO, UMF, or KFactor logo makes sure you are getting high-quality honey from the right country (Australia or New Zealand).
Buy authentic manuka honey brand
Not all types of honey are equal. And that is true with manuka honey which has exceptional health benefits. Pure, authentic manuka honey that has been sourced from New Zealand is easy to find if you know what you are looking for.
And the only and easiest way to verify this is to look for a manuka honey brand that is UMF or MGO certified (see previous section). What you need to do is to look for the UMF or MGO symbols on the side of the jar. Or look for the Kfactor label.
How to consume raw manuka honey?
It’s best to use raw honey in its pure form without heating it up because heat can destroy its beneficial properties.
Experts are clear on this matter, it is best not to use a metal spoon when you eat New Zealand manuka honey. The reason is that manuka honey can lose some of its positive chemical properties, while this is not the case with regular honey.
So, it is better for you to use a wooden spoon. You may also drink it straight from the jar, but this may not be appropriate.
Medical grade manuka honey
If you’re looking to use manuka honey for its medicinal properties, it’s important to choose the best quality honey that meets certain standards. In order for a manuka medicinal solution to be considered of medical grade with high peroxide activity, it needs to have at least UMF10+ and MGO573+.
When shopping for Manuka healthy products, make sure to check the labels carefully. The UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) rating is a measure of the antibacterial strength of the honey and ranges from 0-30+. A UMF rating of at least 10 is recommended for medicinal purposes. Additionally, MGO (methylglyoxal) measures the amount of this compound in the honey which contributes to its antibacterial properties. And a 573+ and above would be best to reach that medicinal level.
Is buckwheat honey better than Manuka honey?
With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which honey is right for you. Two types of honey that are often compared are buckwheat honey and Manuka honey. Both honey products have their own unique set of benefits, making it challenging to determine which one is better.
Buckwheat honey is known for its strong taste and nice overwhelming dark color. It contains high levels of antioxidants and has been shown to have antibacterial properties. Some people prefer the taste of buckwheat honey over other types because it has a more robust flavor profile. It is also an excellent source of energy due to its high sugar content. Researchers have shown that this honey can reduce blood pressure.
On the other hand, Manuka is a lighter-colored honey. It also has a milder flavor. What is interesting is that this honey is really good at treating wounds and digestive issues.
Overall, all kinds of honey have unique properties. Depending on what you want to do, you’ll have to select the specific honey that deals with the health issue you are targeting (acne, antioxidants, etc.).
How to best use manuka honey?
One of the unique properties of manuka honey is that it contains MGO (methylglyoxal), which is believed to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. This makes it an ideal ingredient for wound healing, digestive issues, and even sore throat relief.
Aside from its medicinal properties, manuka honey can also be used as a sweetener in cooking and baking.
Overall here are a few ideas:
- Mix it with warm milk before bedtime.
- Stir it into your favorite tea or drinks.
- Use it to naturally sweeten smoothies.
- Spread it onto a slice of whole-grain toast.
- Apply it to your skin against acne.
- Add it to yogurt.
How to Pick the Best Manuka Honey Brands – Buying Guide
There are hundreds of manuka honey brands out there on the market as they became popular and are now mass-produced. First and foremost, you should know that real manuka honey can only be produced in Australia and New Zealand because it is where the manuka tree grows.
Usually, raw and unfiltered manuka honey has the best healing properties because they toss away most of the unwanted chemicals.
Producers of Manuka Honey have come up with their own scale as to the potency of the honey. This rating is the Unique Manuka Factor or the UMF.
The UMF is meant to be correlated with the concentration of methylglyoxal and other antimicrobial compounds. In general manuka honey needs to have a rating of above 10 UMF to be considered manuka honey or active manuka honey.
The UMF is independently tested in labs and determined by the UMF Honey Association. If you don’t see the UMF trademark, we wouldn’t recommend you use the manuka honey for medicinal purposes because there has been no independent testing or certification.
Generally speaking, we want to see UMF ratings in the 15-20 range, which shows that there is a healthy amount of healing properties in the honey.
1. New Zealand Honey Co. Raw Manuka Honey
If you’re looking for one of the purest and most delicious honey in the world, you’ll want to try New Zealand Honey Co. Raw Monofloral Manuka Honey. This honey is made from the nectar of the Manuka bush, a plant native to New Zealand that is renowned for its special properties. Manuka honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits and is said to support overall wellness and promote natural healing.
This honey is UMF 20+ and MGO 829+ certified. With each 8.8oz jar, you’ll receive an abundance of essential vitality and nutrients to help you achieve enhanced well-being. Not only is this honey a delicious premium food supplement, but it’s also a versatile skincare aid. As a uniquely healing product, it can be applied directly to the skin to assist with recovery.
According to the provider, just one spoonful a day can boost your energy and wellness.
Note that New Zealand Honey Co. has been beekeeping for three generations, since the 1930s. The company says that they are transparent and highly reliable. The method they use to prove this is that they use a QR code. When you use the QR code, it will show you your batch number and track your honey so that you see its test results. So with this company, you’ll always know that you’re getting the highest quality honey. So whether you’re looking for a natural way to support your health, or simply love the taste of honey, give this a try and taste the difference for yourself.
2. Kiva Certified UMF 15+ Raw Genuine Manuka Honey
Kiva Raw is the best manuka honey if you are looking for value. What we mean by value is it is it definitely not the strongest commercial-grade manuka honey out there ( we give that honor to Manukora), but also it is not the most expensive.
It is a good bang for the buck if you are simply not looking for or don’t care about having the strongest medicine out there. For all intents and purposes, UMF 15+ is great and the average person won’t be able to tell the difference.
And because it is UMF 15+, it means it is definitely not fake low-grade honey. For those of you who don’t know, UMF is an associate that officially certifies manuka, honey. 15+ UMF rating is solid and represents somewhere in the upper average of manuka honey in terms of strength.
With the Kiva, you can either drink it to help cure sore throats and colds or bad digestion. You can also apply it to your wounds to kill off bacteria. And because it is raw, there are no other chemicals added or removed to give it more flavors and make it more marketable.
We actually like the taste of it raw and it definitely does not taste medicinal at all. Of course, there is better-tasting honey out there but for medicinal purposes, this honey is pretty great already. Kiva does a great job treating all sorts of ailments.
We like the soothing feeling it gives you when you rub it on and it works wonders when you ingest it. It is almost like a revitalizing energy drink. Mix it with some yogurt and it is a great snack or even meal. We are very satisfied with the Kiva Raw and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. The price is perfect for what you are getting.
3. Manukora Manuka Honey UMF 20+ – The best from New Zealand
If you are looking for the best manuka honey with the highest possible potency, definitely go with Maukora. First and foremost, it is UMF 20+, which means it is a real honey company in New Zealand that is certified by an independent lab.
In order to even get a UMF grading, Manukora had to show it contains methylglyoxal, dihydroxyacetone, and leptosperin (a naturally occurring chemical, found only in the nectar of Manuka plant and transferred to the honey via the bees collecting pollen), three compounds that are antimicrobial.
Also, the official UMF association independently tests the products in their labs and gives them their stamp of approval. This means a lot as they’re tons of off-market non-certified products out there. If you are going to buy manuka honey, be sure it is UMF certified.
Usually, a 10+ UMF rating is sufficient, so a 20+ UMF rating is extraordinary. This just means it is close to medical-grade manuka honey and is quite powerful as a healing agent. In terms of methylglyoxal content, there is 825+, which is a strong positive signal that this stuff works.
It is sourced straight from the forests of New Zealand and the company Manukora works with a few of the most trusted beekeepers in the area. There is nothing synthetic in the product. It is simply the best manuka honey your money can buy you commercially. Sure the honey is slightly treated to give it more of a smooth lush texture for easy application, but the basic active compounds are definitely still present.
All in all, this stuff works and is the most powerful commercial-grade manuka honey we know about. Although it is a bit pricy, we stand behind every dollar of it because the premium is justified by the quality of the ingredients and the certification of UMF.
4. Comvita Manuka Honey UMF 10+
If you are simply looking for the best manuka honey that is not so potent, Comvita is the perfect brand for you. While they also offer their manuka honey in UMF 15+ and UMF 20+, we think the UMF 10+ is where they really shine. A UMF rating of 10 means that this manuka honey is not too potent and does not contain too many active antimicrobial compounds like methylglyoxal, dihydroxyacetone, and leptosperin. However, just because it is not potent doesn’t mean it is not quality.
Some people may not prefer such a strong honey. If you just have a mild burn or cut or want to treat some mild signs of the common cold, this half-strength manuka honey is perfect for you. The more important takeaway from the Convita is that it is UMF certified, which means it is actually produced in New Zealand and stringently tested by the UMF association.
We wouldn’t dare recommend you any products that are not UMF certified, because who knows what kind of compounds are in those. It ensures you have antimicrobial activity, be sure to purchase UMF-certified manuka honey. Most people take Comvita Manuka Honey by ingesting it to relieve coughs and soothe the throat. They also just eat it for fun. You can also spread it on your skin to treat open cuts and wounds. For the same price at the 15+ or 20+ UMF, you get double the amount, which we think is a bargain.
Final words on Manuka honey products
The New Zealand Honey Co. Raw Manuka Honey UMF 15 is our top pick due to its high quality, purity, and potency. Manukora Manuka Honey UMF 20 comes in at a close second, offering similar benefits with a higher potency rating.
For those looking for an economical option without sacrificing quality, Comvita Manuka Honey UMF 10 is an excellent choice. All of these jars of honey offer numerous health benefits and have been certified by Kiva which ensures product safety and integrity.