The real health benefits of manuka honey

From soothing sore throats, to easing digestive discomfort, honey has long been treated as a marvelous natural health healer. But, out of the 300+ varieties on offer, many of which laden with artificial sweeteners, traditional raw honey has recently been overshadowed by its exotic and healthier cooler cousin - manuka

Go to the profile of Sophie Deacon
Nov 09, 2016
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Over the last few years manuka honey has hit our shelves as a luxurious all-round wonder treatment, prized heavily for its natural health benefits. Produced from manuka bushes found in some of the most serene and remote parts of New Zealand, honey is made from a specialist flower that blooms for just 2-6 weeks a year. But what really does distinguish these golden pots, aside from their particularly premium price tag, is their glowing nutritional profile.

The science

Not to be mistaken as another of this year’s food fads, manuka honey has been studied thoroughly by the scientific experts. Manuka honey contains the antibacterial chemical component methylglyoxal (MGO) - something that no other honey has to an effective level. Research has shown that when most honey comes into contact with blood or saliva its antibacterial activity level quickly deactivates. MGO means manuka’s antibacterial properties are far more stable and can retain their effective antibiotic quality.

The problem with manuka labeling

Lately there has been growing confusion over the authenticity and purity of manuka honey, as it was discovered that more ‘manuka’ labeled jars were being sold globally than physically produced. Even trusty health stores are guilty of falsely selling honey pots as ‘manuka’, which is hugely worrying (especially after digging so deeply into our pockets) and makes it difficult to know which company we can really trust…

UMF or MGO Rating

Thankfully, genuine, high-grade manuka honey should include either a MGO or UMF rating on the label, which ensures you are buying the real deal. UMF is the most commonly used grading system that uses natural markers found in manuka honey to assure purity and quality. The MGO is another rating to look out for, with this number being directly proportional to the honey’s antibacterial potency and therefore its quality.

The minimum UMF rating recognised is UMF5, yet look out for honey with a UMF rating of 10+ (MGO 263+) as this guarantees the good stuff will kick in!

Genuine manuka producers to look out for:

The True Honey Co. is a specialist manuka producer who offer health boosting manuka you can trust. Their luxury honey pots are available online and offer five different levels of MGO.

Their minimum 250g pot, MGO level 300+ costs £37.99.

Comvita is a natural health company from New Zealand and have pioneered the development and use of medical grade manuka honey since the 1970’s.

Their UMF 10+, 250g pot can be purchased from Planet Organic for £26.99.

Steens is a reliable manuka honey brand, with each of its jars stating its UMF grade to assure its purity and quality.

Their UMF 15+ 340g jars cost £34.99.

MGO raw manuka honey guarentees high levels of antibacterial activity in all its jars

Their MGO 450+, 250g pots cost £32.49.

Natural health boosting benefits of manuka honey:

  • Treats stomach and intestinal imbalances
  • Naturally calms active skin conditions such as acne and eczema
  • Heals burns, wounds and ulcers
  • Soothes sore throats and improves immunity
  • Natural energy booster
  • Natural medicine for allergies such as hay fever
  • Improves sleep

Skin boosting manuka honey:

Manuka honey is crammed full of nutritional goodness that does wonders to your skin. Ditch splurging on expensive store products go natural with this nourishing DIY facemask you can easily make at home.

You will need:

  • ¼ avocado
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon Manuka honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  • In a mixing dish mash the avocado to a smooth consistency. Add the coconut oil, cinnamon and manuka honey and mix thoroughly.
  • Apply the mixture generously to dry skin using circular upward movements.
  • Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes before wiping off using warm water.
Go to the profile of Sophie Deacon

Sophie Deacon

Psychologies contributing wellness associate, Psychologies

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Go to the profile of Ellen Tout
Ellen Tout 8 months ago

Really interesting, honest read.