The Ultimate Guide to Manuka Honey

The Ultimate Guide to Manuka Honey

Renowned for its many naturally occurring benefits, Manuka honey is a popular health and well-being product due to its natural healing properties. Originating from the Manuka bushes native to New Zealand, Manuka honey contains many antibacterial and antioxidant properties that offer a simple way to support your health.

Whether you’re looking to add Manuka honey into your daily well-being regime, incorporate it into your skincare routine or use it to soothe a sore throat, there are endless benefits to this unique product. Keep reading as we discuss what Manuka honey is and how it can be advantageous to your health.

What is manuka honey?

Manuka honey, its name derived from the bush in which bees pollinate, is a dark honey native to New Zealand that contains many active compounds that give it natural antimicrobial properties that set it apart from regular honey. Manuka honey contains a naturally occurring chemical called methylglyoxal (MGO) that is found in the nectar of manuka planets. This is what gives it the extra antimicrobial benefits. 

Is manuka honey good for you?

Yes, manuka honey has naturally occurring anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and prebiotic properties that are beneficial for your health[6]. One of the most powerful antibacterial components of Manuka honey is methylglyoxal (MGO). This compound comes from the conversion of dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is another compound found in Manuka honey, of which a high concentration is found in the nectar of Manuka flowers[7]. The higher the concentration of MGO in Manuka honey the stronger the antibacterial effect will be. 

What are the benefits of manuka honey?

As a result of its naturally occurring, potent antibacterial properties, Manuka honey offers an array of internal and external benefits, including:

Improved oral hygiene

Studies have shown Manuka honey can attack harmful oral bacteria associated with plaque formation, gum inflammation, and tooth decay. Due to its high antibacterial activity, Manuka honey is very effective at inhibiting the growth of harmful oral bacteria, meaning it can help protect against the bacteria responsible for gingivitis and tooth decay[2].

Heal wounds

Due to its natural antibacterial and antioxidant properties, honey has been used to heal wounds since ancient times. Studies have shown that manuka honey can enhance wound healing by amplifying tissue regeneration[1], as well as maintain a moist wound environment and form a protective barrier to prevent microbial infections when applied topically.


Improve digestion

It is thought that Manuka honey may effectively attack C. diff which is a type of bacteria that can cause bowel inflammation. Studies have shown that regular consumption of Manuka honey may be an effective way to help relieve irritable bowel symptoms as it helps to control strains of C. diff and in turn, reduce inflammation of the bowel [3].

Soothe sore throats and coughs

Sore throats and coughs are typical symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) caused by bacteria or viruses. Due to its antibacterial properties, several studies suggest that manuka honey can be used as a safe, effective way to relieve these symptoms and may even be more effective than commonly used medications, by effectively reducing cough frequency and severity[4].

Help fight against acne

Due to its abundance of amino acids, low PH level and vitamins, Manuka honey can help to balance your skin’s PH level, slough away dead skin cells and decrease any inflammation caused by acne[5]. Whether you use it as a natural face mask, cleanser or spot treatment, Manuka honey’s antibacterial properties can help to heal acne and improve your skin’s overall appearance.

Which is the best Manuka honey?

The best Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand, contains a high MGO and UMF factor and is labelled as “active”. When purchasing Manuka honey, the MGO number will tell you how effective it will be at giving you its many benefits. To ensure the type of Manuka honey you purchase is from a reputable source, it should state that it is produced in New Zealand and includes an MGO of at least 250 and a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) of 15 or more[5].

The UMF is used by honey producers as a scale for rating the potency of Manuka honey. This rating reflects the concentration of the three key compounds found in genuine Manuka honey. For a Manuka honey product to be considered potent enough to reap benefits from, it should have a minimum rating of UMF™ 15+[7].

Manuka Health MGO 550+ Pure Manuka Honey £69.98 and Taku Manuka Honey MGO 263 UMF10+ £48.99 

There are many brands that offer potent, premium quality Manuka honey, however, finding one that is native to New Zealand will ensure you’re getting the very best product. Manuka Health originates in New Zealand and offers many high-quality honeys tested for purity and quality in every jar. Attaching great importance to sustainable beekeeping, they offer a range of potent honey such as this, MGO 550+ Pure Manuka Honey. With a rich, bittersweet taste, thick texture and high potency this Manuka honey can be added to tea, smoothies or taken straight from the jar for instant benefits.

Harvested 2000 feet above ground level over six weeks, Taku Manuka Honey is sourced from some of the most pristine regions of New Zealand. With an MGO of 263, this honey has a more subtle earthy taste due to its slightly lower potency. Used as a natural sweetener, this honey can be spread on toast, added to yoghurts or mixed with warm water to help soothe your throat. Made in New Zealand and containing only 100% Manuka honey, you can be assured that you’re getting the very best benefits with every spoonful.

Antipodes Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Light Day Cream £34 and Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask £29 

As a result of its natural healing properties, Manuka honey has become widely used in the skincare industry as a way to brighten and heal the skin. Although you can use pure Manuka honey to make a homemade skincare solution, there are many products that incorporate this honey with other beneficial plant-derived ingredients to create a nourishing, effective skincare product. 

This Antipodes Manuka Honey Day Cream Is a light, skin-brightening moisturiser made to restore your skin using natural, bioactive ingredients. Made with active 20+ UMF Manuka honey to address skin blemishes, bee venom and mamaku black fern for a gentle lifting effect, and revolutionary antioxidants from grape seeds and kiwi, these ingredients work to brighten and nourish the skin.

Antipodes also offers a luscious Aura Manuka Honey Mask with the main ingredients of water and wild-sourced New Zealand Manuka honey. Designed to help lock in moisture and revive your skin’s natural radiance, this mask soothes and hydrates whilst keeping your skin fresh and blemish-free. 

Add Manuka honey to your daily routine with Planet Organic

If you’re interested in adding Manuka honey into your daily routine, whether it be in food, drinks or as a body care solution, reap the benefits of this wonderful product and browse through our full Manuka honey collection to find the right product for you.