We can’t keep using prescription medicines every time we have a problem. It’s not good for our bodies. For instance, when we use antibiotics too often, bacteria start to develop resistance against the drugs. Where possible, we should use Mother Nature’s medicines. One of these natural medicines is manuka honey.
Manuka honey is a type of honey that comes from New Zealand. It possesses a superior level of medicinal value in comparison with other types of honey. You see, manuka honey contains an abundant concentration of a compound known as methylglyoxal.
Methyglyoxal has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that make manuka honey a powerful medicine. You can use manuka honey to treat your wounds, sore throat, cough, eczema, acne, scarring, among other ailments.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of fake manuka honeys out in the market, lots of low-grade blends of manuka honey with other honey types or with sweeteners. In fact, the fake manuka honey could be more than the genuine manuka honey. How do you navigate this maze?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered on that end. We have done our research and the following article is a thorough compilation of the very best manuka honey in the market. We will also tell you what to look for when you are looking for genuine manuka honey.
First, take a look at the following comparison table. It summarizes everything (note: the UMF rating is the grading system used to determine the quality of manuka honey). You can use the links to check out how much each honey costs.
Best Manuka Honey Reviews
1. Steens Manuka Honey – Whole-Comb Extraction for Extra Nutrition
Steens manuka honey is highly nutritious as it consists of a raw, crushed, whole honey comb, with the wax taken out but comb pollen retained. Note, however, that Steens honey is quite pricy – but it’s quality.
-Retains bee bread
-Member of the UMF Honey Association
-Has a trace code
Extraction is one of the most common honey harvesting techniques. Beekeepers use the tools of their trade to remove individual combs undamaged from the hive. After expelling bees from the honeycomb, beekeepers put the combs in a spinning machine whose centrifugal force ejects the honey. The beekeepers then return the empty combs to the hive for the bees to clean, repair, and refill with honey.
Steens, however, practices a less conventional honey extraction technique that delivers more honey into the pot and with extra nutrition and health benefits. The technique developed as a result of testing different harvesting methods using custom-built equipment. They call it whole comb extraction, which they achieve using their proprietary Whole Comb TechnologyTM+.
They only perform minimal processing of their honey, with no need for secondary processing. They scrape the honeycomb from the bee frames. The contents of the honeycomb include crystallized honey, bee bread, pollen and wax – but they remove the wax, using centrifugal force and temperatures which would be natural in a beehive. Coarse filtering removes impurities in the honey, and then it’s ready to pack or eat.
Thanks to whole comb extraction, Steens honey contains bee bread, a wholesome super food that is extremely rich in nutrition. It consists of pollen mixed with nectar, honey, and bee secretions. It is the main food source for larvae and worker bees. Bee bread is packed with amino acids, limpids, vitamins, and more than 250 active substances. It provides numerous health benefits.
Steens is a member of New Zealand’s UMF Honey Association, a body that sets and monitors manuka honey quality standards. The honey is subject to independent verification by the UMF Honey Association.
Manuka honey is a New Zealand honey brimming with medicinal value. It is rich in methylglyoxal, a compound abounding in antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The purity of manuka honey is determined by its Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). The lowest rating for manuka honey to be considered medicinal is UMF 10+. This particular honey has an official rating of UMF 24+, which makes it an exceptionally potent medicine.
-Rich in medicinal value
-Traceable to source
-Independently tested and verified
-A bit pricy
2. Kiva Manuka Honey – Authentic Healing Honey from New Zealand
Kiva is one of the respected manuka honey brands in New Zealand. This particular jar of Kiva manuka honey is highly beneficial for your health – it has a UMF 20+ grading.
-UMF 20+ certified
Like all the best quality manuka honey, Kiva’s honey is from the remote forest, coastal, and hilly areas of New Zealand. Here the manuka flower abounds in the wild of the country, a flower whose nectar contains an incredibly high concentration of the medicinal compound methylglyoxal.
Methylglyoxal concentration in manuka honey is represented using the UMF rating. Since most people buy manuka honey for its medicinal properties, it is only fair that they have a convenient way to judge the therapeutic ability of the honey.
UMF 10+ is the recommended minimal rating for medicinal manuka honey. This jar of Kiva contains richly concentrated honey with a certified rating of UMF 20+. You can use the honey to treat wounds, scars, acne, eczema, sore throat, cough, and digestive problems. The compound methylglyoxal contains an abundance of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which make manuka honey a powerful medicine.
The other purpose of the UMF rating and certification is to help customers identify the authentic manuka honey. Not all manuka honey is pure – some brands mix it with other types of honey. Not all manuka honey actually comes from New Zealand, even when it says so on the label. The UMF Honey Association carries out independent testing and verification of honeys produced by brands that are its members.
It is the UMFHA that provides the UMF certification which authenticates manuka honey. You see, there are lots of substandard manuka honey blends out there which claim to be pure, but aren’t. Unable to acquire UMF certification, they label themselves as “active” or “bio-active”. UMF certification is, therefore, the only trustworthy seal of authority. It also proves that the honey comes from New Zealand.
-High medicinal value
-Traceable to source
-Independently tested and verified
3. Onuku Manuka Honey – Richest in Medicinal Value
Onuku manuka honey has the highest medicinal value of the honeys reviewed here. With a grading of UMF 25+, Onuku will prove greatly useful in treating wounds and various ailments.
-UMF 25+ certification
-Trackable with ApiTrack app
It’s important to remember that the lowest grading manuka honey should have to be considered therapeutic is UMF 10+. At UMF 25+, Onuku is way beyond that figure, indicating that it possesses a higher purity than other honeys. It also means that Onuku manuka honey contains a superior quantity of methylglyoxal than most manuka honeys.
Methylglyoxal is the signature compound that gives manuka honey its famous medicinal value. Manuka possesses an impressively abundant quantity of MG, in comparison to other food-grade sources such as coffee.
Onuku honey is certified by the only existing authority on matters manuka honey: the UMF Honey Association. This body has the mandate of monitoring and assessing the quality and purity of manuka honey provided in the market.
It is a quality assurance program that all genuine manuka honey producers join to ensure their honey gets tested, verified, and given the appropriate rating. A rating from the UMFHA is a seal of authenticity, the only one that counts. It protects consumers of manuka honey from being duped by the low-grade honeys in the market.
Onuku manuka honey is a New Zealand product. After all, New Zealand is the native home of the manuka flower. It is the nectar of this wild flower that contains a rich abundance of the compound methylglyoxal. Honey bees suck the nectar and in the process conduct methylglyoxal into the honey they make back at their hives. The manuka flower is found in the forests and beaches and hilly areas of New Zealand.
However, it should be remembered that not all manuka honey that says it comes from New Zealand actually comes from New Zealand. Consumers need some verification. You can use the ApiTrak app to track honey from the place and time of harvest onward. This will help you find out where the honey actually comes from. Onuku honey is from New Zealand, and you can confirm it yourself.
-Highest medicinal value
-Traceable to source
4. Comvita Manuka Honey – Halal and Kosher-Certified
Comvita manuka honey has all the necessary certifications for everyone to enjoy it. For one, it has UMF-certification. Secondly, it has halal-certification. Thirdly, it has kosher-certification. The only little problem we can see is that the jar is a bit small, considering the price.
-Traceable from hive to shelf
-UMFHA tested and certified
-Halal and kosher-certified.
Comvita is a New Zealand brand that has been in business since 1974, which suggests a wealth of experience in the business and a certain level of earned trust to have operated for so long a period. The company has during these 45 years perfected the art and science of beekeeping.
Comvita manuka honey is UMF-certified. The UMF grading examines three signature compounds typically found in manuka honey. They are methylglyoxal, leptosperin, and dihydroxyacetone (DHA). UMF is the only independently tested and certified rating you can trust.
The UMF rating requires for manuka honey to be genuine and monofloral, as well as to have been sourced and packed in New Zealand. This makes it far easier for you the manuka honey consumer to figure out which honeys you can trust and which to avoid.
Comvita gets its honey from the remote hills and forests of New Zealand. The UMF-certification proves this. However, this is not the only proof. If you want to truly verify the source of Comvita honey, you can do so, since it is traceable from hive to shell.
The compound methylglyoxal is what accounts for manuka honey‘s renown as a medicine in its own right. The level of concentration of MG is represented by the UMF rating system. UMF 10+ is the minimum rating of medicinal manuka honey. This jar of Comvita manuka honey has a UMF 20+ rating, which means it is highly medicinal.
Furthermore, the honey is natural. It is non-GMO. This is a great concern for many customers. Another great concern for some honey consumers is knowing whether the honey they are taking is approved by their faith. For these consumers, it is a pleasure to learn that Comvita manuka honey is kosher and halal-certified.
-Medicinal value is high
-Authenticity and quality verified
-Halal and kosher-certified
-Jar is a bit small
5. Manukora Manuka Honey – Produced in Safe and Regulation-Compliant Factory
Manukora manuka honey brims with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a great asset in healing wounds, coughs, sore throats, acne, and other conditions. We must note, however, that it is slightly heat-processed and that tends to reduce the vitality of honey.
-Traceability system which features QR codes
-Factory is HACCP, FDA, and EU-certified
-Licensed member of UMFHA
Manukora is a long-time manuka honey producer: since 1998. Manukora’s packaging plant is based in matamata, located at the foot of New Zealand’s Kaimai ranges. The name manukora stems from Manuka and Ora.
Manuka is the maori word for Leptospermum scoparium, the native New Zealand tea tree which has the famous manuka flower whose nectar contains a high concentration of the medicinal compound methylglyoxal. Ora means health, life vitality.
Vegans do not, as a rule, eat honey, but you don’t need to be a vegan to care about the welfare of bees. Some people feel that the honey industry is, in some cases, extremely capitalistic and exploitative of bees, that it treats bees as machines instead of living creatures. Manukora takes good care of its bees and locates all its bee colonies in highly remote areas to ensure their bees have access to a vast supply of nectar and pollen.
Manukora’s honey is UMF and MGO-rated. For instance, this particular jar of manukora honey has a rating of UMF 20+ and MGO 830+. That means that every kilogram of this honey contains 830 milligrams of methylglyoxal. Compare that to coffee which contains a concentration of about 23 to 47 mg/kg only, and you can see why the medicinal value of manuka honey is such a big deal.
Manukora manuka honey is produced in a HACCP-certified facility. HACCP stands for hazard analysis and critical control points, which means that the honey is produced in a safe environment. Furthermore, the factory in Matamata operates under a government-controlled Risk Management Programme (RMP). The factory is also FDA and EU-accredited.
Manukora products come with a QR code which enables you to trace and verify their authenticity as well as the antibacterial activity of the honey. This traceability system helps assure customers that they are buying authentic honey that comes direct from the source.
As a licensed member of the UMFHA, all manukora honey products go through a process of testing and verification, assuring consumers that the brand’s honey is of authentic quality.
-High medicinal value
-Traceable to source
-Tested and verified
-Produced in a safe and regulation-compliant factory
-Slightly heat-processed, not cold-pressed
6. Happy Valley Manuka Honey – Rigorous Testing and Verifying of Authenticity
Happy Valley manuka honey is a New Zealand honey, a member of the UMF Honey Association. It is an authentic honey whose quality and purity we can trust. Happy Valley manuka honey is golden brown in color and has a distinctive manuka flavor. However, you may not enjoy the taste since it is rather medicinal.
-Each batch individually tested in independent laboratory
-Golden brown color
The Happy Valley honey brand was founded in 1975. It is a family owned and operated business in New Zealand that strives to provide high quality products from its hives. They use both technology and time-honored traditional methods in their operations.
Happy Valley conducts a series of tests on their products: starting from the hive up to the extraction process and so on. UMF testing enables grading of the honey. For instance, this particular product has a grade of UMF 15+. This translates to MGO 510+ or 510 mg/kg methylglyoxal content.
Each batch goes through individual testing in an independent laboratory to verify its UMF rating. The UMF grading system is the only credible way of verifying the authenticity of manuka honey. Otherwise, it is easy for consumers to be swayed by low-grade honeys which use the labels “active” or “bioactive” to mask that they could not acquire a UMF rating.
Moreover, Happy Valley actually publishes its lab results. This helps cement the brand’s image as a transparent business and one that is highly confident in the authenticity and quality of their product.
This particular jar of Happy Valley contains a honey that has a characteristic golden brown color, a lovely sight. The honey’s taste is distinctive – some say it’s medicinal. There are notes of malt and caramel and it has a rich, crisp finish. The texture is thick and rich.
Moreover, if you have adopted the paleo diet, you should know that this jar of Happy Valley manuka honey is paleo-friendly, which means you can include it in your paleo diet. The paleo diet aims to resemble what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. Coupled with physically active lives, the hunter-gatherer diet is supposed to help reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Besides, the high concentration of methylglyoxal means that this honey can help treat, heal, or manage various ailments, which include acne, sore throat, cough, eczema, wounds, and so forth.
-Rich antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
-Authenticity tested and proven
-Suitable for paleo diet
7. Tahi Manuka Honey – Contains No Additives or Preservatives
Tahi manuka honey is raw honey. It is not taken through the pasteurization process and is only minimally filtered. As a result, the honey manages to retain most of its vitality in potent form.
-No sugar, water, or preservatives added
Most honeys sold in grocery stores are pasteurized – unless they are clearly labeled “raw”. Tahi manuka honey is raw. It is unpasteurized.
The pasteurization process uses heat to destroy microorganisms. Unfortunately, in the process, the heat also destroys the nuanced flavor of honey as well as killing some nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Unpasteurized Tahi honey, therefore, promises a higher nutritional value than most honeys in the market.
Moreover, it is only minimally filtered. Therefore, Tahi honey retains most of its natural goodness. For instance, it is rich in natural pollens and does not contain any added sugars, water, or preservatives.
Capitalistic focus on profits can make some honey producers blind to the fact that bees are not machines. Bees are living things and we should take good care of them and use them well without exploiting them. Tahi understands this fundamental truth of responsible beekeeping and does not expose the bees to orchard pesticides.
Instead, Tahi’s bees are free to roam freely in native bush where they can suck nectar from wild manuka flowers. Furthermore, Tahi does not feed sugar syrup or other chemicals to their bees as some beekeepers do – beekeepers who harvest most of the honey from the combs and leave sugar syrup as a substitute, overlooking that honey is bee’s natural food.
In keeping with this thread of concern for nature, Tahi also supports active conservation projects, which include the restoration of wetlands and planting of native trees.
-Rich in antibacterial properties
-Raw and highly nutritious
-Natural: no additives
8.J&P Turner 1885 Manuka Honey – Raw and Unfiltered Honey
Thanks to its slow extraction process, J&P Turner 1885 manuka honey has a soft texture and an extended shelf life. The honey is also raw and unfiltered, which means a lot of its natural goodness remains intact.
-Raw and unfiltered
1885 honey is collected and bottled over a three-day period. Thanks to this slow extraction process, the shelf life is longer and the honey has a nice softness to it.
Pasteurization is carried out mainly to prevent the risk of fermentation thanks to the presence of yeast typically found in nectar – but this only happens when the honey has a high moisture content.
The problem, however, is that the pasteurization process subjects honey to high temperatures that ruin its nuanced flavors and kill nutrients, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. Being raw honey, this bottle of 1885 manuka honey is, therefore, highly nutritious and rich in antioxidants which benefit the body.
1885 honey has a rating of UMF 15+. The UMF seal of authenticity guarantees that it is quality manuka honey you can trust, rich in health-giving properties.
Each batch of 1885 honey is independently tested and verified for the signature manuka honey markers: methyglyoxal, DHA, and leptosperin.
-Independently tested for quality
-Longer shelf life
-High nutrition value
9. Bee’s Inn Manuka Honey – Independent Testing and Verifying
Bee’s Inn manuka honey is tested and verified for authenticity and is UMF-certified. The honey has a high rating, which makes it ideal for use as a medicine to treat wounds sore throat, cough, and other conditions. However, the taste is a bit too medicinal for some people’s liking.
Bee’s Inn honey is graded at UMF 15+, with the minimum rating for medicinal manuka honey being UMF 10+. This means Bee’s Inn is more than adequate for providing you with relief from your wound, sore throat, or cough when you want to keep the healing process strictly natural.
It has certification from the UMF Honey Association, a quality assurance organization that maintains standards of purity and quality in New Zealand’s manuka honey industry. All reliable manuka honey producers in New Zealand are licensed members of the UMFHA.
Each batch of Bee’s Inn honey goes through independent verification and testing. As a licensed member of the UMFHA, Bee’s Inn adheres to the strict standards set by the organization to keep their honey’s purity and quality high.
Bee’s Inn beekeepers are New Zealanders, based in New Zealand’s North Island, an area just South of Hamilton. All trusted manuka honey producers operate in New Zealand. If you want to verify if Bee’s Inn is truly from New Zealand, their traceability system enables you to do so.
-High therapeutic value
-Independent testing and verifying
10. Wild Cape Manuka Honey – Practices Ethical Harvesting
Wild Cape manuka honey is a mild-flavored honey from the East Cape, North Island region of New Zealand. Wild Cape is a member of the UMF Honey Association and therefore an authentic, quality manuka honey brand.
-Leave wax comb intact for honeybees’ continued use
-Member of UMF Honey Association
-BPA-free jars, compliant with FDA and New Zealand food container standards
Wild Cape honey comes from East Cape, North Island. Unlike manuka honey from other New Zealand regions, honey from this area does not have a bitter and acrid taste. Instead, it has a mild flavor – at the same time, it does not at all lose its health-giving properties.
As a member of the UMFHA, Wild Cape’s honey must go through testing to determine its purity and quality. The rating given to this honey is UMF 15+. This grade is enough to make it a worthy choice when you are looking for a natural treatment option.
You may not be a vegan, but everyone should care about the welfare of living things. Honeybees are living creatures, not machines, and we should not exploit them. Wild Cape does not. Instead, it practices ethical harvesting. Wild Cape leaves the wax comb intact, so that the honeybees can make use of it again and again.
Wild Cape’s honey jars are safe to use, since they are BPA-free. The jars are made of PET and adhere to the strict standards concerning food containers set by the FDA and New Zealand.
-High medicinal value
-Independent testing and verifying
-Safe, regulation-compliant jars
Manuka Honey Buying Guide
When you are shopping for manuka honey, the following are the things you must remember to look for:
- UMF Rating
The UMF rating is the seal of authenticity for manuka honey. It measures three signature markers of manuka honey: leptosperin, DHA, and methylglyoxal. The UMF rating is awarded after testing by the UMF Honey Association
The UMF Honey Association is New Zealand’s quality assurance body for manuka honey. It protects consumers from low-grade honeys that label themselves “active” or “bio-active”.
You should only purchase manuka honey that indicates its UMF rating on the label. Furthermore, if you are buying manuka honey for its medicinal value, do not buy honey that has a rating lower than UMF 10+.
You can also look at the MGO rating. It indicates the concentration of methyglyoxal – the compound that contains the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that make manuka honey so highly sought after. The MGO rating and the UMF rating typically go together. MGO is measured in mg/kg.
- Traceability System
Manuka honey should be traceable to its source. This enables you as the consumer to verify that the honey indeed comes from where it claims to come from.
Good manuka honey comes from New Zealand. Check to see if the honey you are buying contains a trace code.
- Raw or Pasteurized
Pasteurization has its advantages. Pasteurization ensures that honey does not ferment. However, the heat also affects the honey’s nuances of flavor and reduces its vitality and nutritional value by killing antioxidants. It’s up to you to decide whether you want raw honey or pasteurized honey.
We hope this extensive article covered enough ground for you to feel that you understand what manuka honey is all about and what to look for when you are buying it.
Just remember that the two main things to watch out for are the UMF rating and traceability. Everything else is just extras and mostly dependent on personal choice.
Of the ten manuka honeys we have reviewed, which one do you consider your first choice?