The Ultimate Guide to Mānuka honey and it’s benefits

The Ultimate Guide to Mānuka honey and it’s benefits

Everything you need to know about this medicinal honey



This article contains information on the following:

  • What is Mānuka honey?
  • Where does Mānuka honey come from?
  • How does Mānuka honey differ from the honey on the grocery store shelf? 
  • Mānuka honey vs. regular honey  
  • Is Mānuka honey the same as raw honey?
  • The best Mānuka honey: ManukaGuard
  • What does medical grade Mānuka honey mean?
  • ManukaGuard all-natural and safe ingredients
  • Is Mānuka honey gluten-free?
  • The health benefits of Mānuka honey
  • Mānuka honey safety
  • Buying Mānuka honey
  • How to store Mānuka honey

What is Manuka honey?

The Māori, New Zealand’s indigenous people have a centuries long relationship with Mānuka honey, they call it Taonga or “treasure.” 

Mānuka is honey with superpowers! It is a rich source of nutrition containing amino acids, b-vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc.  Mānuka honey has two to three times more flavonoids and phenolic acids (antioxidants) in comparison to other types of honey. In addition, it contains a highly complex and diverse range of of varying oligosaccharides which act as prebiotics, it has also been studied for years for its antibacterial properties and active enzymes.

This amazing honey is made by European bees that pollinate the Mānuka flower, which is native to New Zealand and blooms just 2-6 weeks per year. Mānuka honey can only be produced in areas abundant with native Mānuka blossoms, which is why the hives are in some of the most remote, untouched parts of this country. To be recognized and certified as Mānuka honey by the New Zealand government, the honey is tested for five specific standards. All five attributes must be met to pass the Ministry for Primary Industry’s requirements to be labeled as either mono-floral Mānuka or multi-floral Mānuka for exportation. These tests also verify that the Mānuka honey has not been adulterated and the MGO content is stated on the product label.

Mānuka honey became more widely known for its health properties due to Dr. Peter Molan’s his pioneering research at the Honey Research Unit, University of Waikato, New Zealand. Dr. Molan discovered that Mānuka honey contains exceptional levels of varying active fractions which make it effective for treating a variety of health conditions. His peer-reviewed, published research completely revolutionized the Mānuka honey industry. It also inspired the launch of our medical-grade Mānuka honey wellness products brand, ManukaGuard in 2010.

Where does Mānuka honey come from?

Authentic Mānuka honey is sourced from New Zealand. In August 2018, the country’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) set new standards for what can be exported as Mānuka honey. With these vigorous regulations set in place, it became more difficult to export honey that does not meet the New Zealand government standards. These rules have benefited Mānuka honey consumers worldwide. Interested in learning more about this testing? Please visit  NZ Manuka Standards

How does Manuka honey differ from the honey on the grocery store shelf? 

In general, all honey is known to have antimicrobial properties due to hydrogen peroxide activity. However, this is where the similarities between Mānuka honey, and the honey in the squeezable plastic bear end.

Research has shown that Manuka honey contains many useful bioactive properties called active fractions, one of these fractions is naturally occurring Methylglyoxal (MGO), which makes it different than other honeys. 

What is MGO? MGO is the result of a biochemical reaction that converts dihydroxyacetone (DHA).  A high concentration of DHA is found in the nectar of Mānuka flowers, the bees harvest this nectar and deliver it to the hives. When the beehive heats up to 90°F, the DHA converts to methylglyoxal (MGO).  The higher the concentration of MGO, the stronger the active fractions in Mānuka honey.

Mānuka Honey vs. Grocery Store Honey 

Regular Honey

Manuka Honey

Both honeys contain medicinal and antimicrobial components including hydrogen peroxide, sugars and mild acidity


  • Most often consumed as a food or within other foods
  • Lighter in color 
  • Originates from clovers or plants from all across the world
  • Easily contaminated adulterated with corn or rice syrup
  • Loses its antibacterial properties when exposed to heat or light
  • Must be heated so it can be extracted from the beehive’s frames
  • Packed in clear bottles that expose it to light, causing it to lose more of its hydrogen peroxide and antimicrobial properties 



  • Most often consumed as a natural, drug-free alternative to conventional health products
  • Darker in color 
  • Originates from 100% monofloral Manuka in New Zealand
  • Unadulterated and highly regulated by the Ministry of Primary Industries in New Zealand
  • Contains five active fractions called non-peroxide activity 
  • Non-peroxide activity is NOT affected when exposed to heat or light 
  • Heat does not affect the honey; in fact, it aids in bioavailability and effectiveness. 


Is Mānuka honey the same as raw honey? 

The U.S. government does not officially define raw honey; however it is generally recognized as honey that exists as it did in the hive, without being filtered or pasteurized.  

At ManukaGuard we believe that raw honey exists only in the wild or in the bee farm honeycomb frames. Once it is taken out of the honeycomb by man, it is no longer raw honey, it is processed honey.  Any claim that the honey is raw has to do with marketing, rather than purity. 

ManukaGuard’s Mānuka honey is purified using a proprietary method that cleans and strengthens the active fractions in the honey. 100% of our honey adheres to the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries regulations. Our honey is free-from GMO’s, Glysophates, Gluten, and Antibiotics, it is also 100% traceable back to the hive. ManukaGuard proudly uses New Zealand government approved Analytica Labs as our 3rd party testing partner.  

To learn more, please visit the New Zealand government website: New Zealand government standards 

ManukaGuard, the best Mānuka honey 

At ManukaGuard, we are dedicated to exploring the science of Mānuka honey and harnessing its unique superpowers. Our medical-grade Mānuka honey-based line of wellness products is formulated using peer-reviewed, published research as guidance. Our mission is to offer everyone all-natural, effective, drug-free alternatives for self-care and wellness.  

With so many Mānuka honey brands in the marketplace, you may be wondering what makes ManukaGuard different from other products available online or in the stores. Here’s an overview of why ManukaGuard is the best Mānuka honey the choice for your family.


100% Medical-Grade Manuka Honey

MGO-Tested & Certified 

Backed by Scientific Research

Eco-Friendly, Sustainable & Safe

RIGHT Honey for the RIGHT health issue

We ensure that every ManukaGuard product is made with the purest, highest quality Mānuka honey from New Zealand. Our farms are mono-floral, meaning there’s no cross-pollination with other plants, then the honey processed using patent protected methods to bring it to a medical grade standard of purity.

Our Medical Grade & dietary supplement grades of Mānuka Honey are tested and certified for natural methylglyoxal (MGO). MGO is the naturally occurring compound that makes Mānuka honey a powerful natural healthcare agent, different than any other honey on the planet. 

Every ManukaGuard product is scientifically developed by a hand-picked team then tested with the guidance of numerous peer reviewed and published medical research on Mānuka honey and it’s best use to provide safe and effective health benefits. 

We care about our bees, beekeepers and our impact on the environment. As a result, have measures in place to ensure our products are created safely and responsibly. These measures include  FDA compliant Quality Management Systems (QMS). 

We do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to Mānuka honey. We’ve created unique Medical Grade and dietary supplement Mānuka honey products with each containing specific ingredients and MGO content. As a result, each product is targeted to provide a specific wellness benefit. 


What Does “Medical-Grade” Mānuka honey mean?

Dr. Molan discovered the healing powers of Mānuka honey as a medicinal ingredient after observing how the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand used the honey topically on their skin and consumed it to supplement their diet and digestion.  He reported that the difference among active fraction potency varied as much as 100-fold depending on the geography, seasonality, harvesting, processing, and storage conditions.   

As a result of his revolutionary research and reporting, ManukaGuard has implemented several proprietary measures to preserve the active fractions and other unique beneficial parts of our Mānuka honey. Our bees live and work in specially designed hives/frames to reduce the quantity of debris that the bees leave behind, this allows for cleaner, easier harvesting. When the honey is harvested or extracted from the honeycomb frames, it is refined to a proprietary standard in a clean room, it Is here that the honey is purified. The result is a Mānuka honey that is standardized for strength and cleansed for purity. This step leads to packaging, our honey is packaged using cGMP standards in an FDA-certified facility. It is now Medical Grade Mānuka honey, a healthcare ingredient used in FDA approved medical devices, health and wellness formulations, and nasal sprays.  

The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) heavily regulates the farming, processing and packaging of Manuka honey and has a very informative website, please visit to learn more: New Zealand Standards 

Is Mānuka honey gluten-free?

Yes, our products – and Mānuka honey – are gluten-free. There is no wheat grown in the wild Mānuka forests where the honey hives are located, wheat flowers do not have nectar to attract bees. Mānuka trees/bushes are fast-growing, robust plants ubiquitous in scrub, shrublands and forest margins throughout the North Island of New Zealand. They thrive in almost all land types from geothermal areas and wetlands to dunes and dry hill slopes, most flora do not share this ability for survival, hence the Mānuka tree controls its surroundings. 

Interested in learning more about Manuka forestry, please see this link. Manuka Information

Mānuka honey health benefits

Unlike conventional drugs that can contain ingredients synthesized in labs, Mānuka honey is a natural, plant-based ingredient that comes from Mānuka flower nectar. The active fractions in the honey provide a multitude of health benefits. Mānuka Honey may be used as a drug-free alternative for home health remedies, self-care, and daily wellness routines.

Research suggests that some of the many health benefits that Mānuka honey offers are:

Microbiome support, the multitude of oligosaccharides act as prebiotics which feed our good gut bacteria. There are also many recent studies which indicate dietary polyphenols, through their metabolites contribute to the maintenance of gut health via the modulation of the gut microbial balance. Polyphenols act by enhancing the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibiting the growth of pathogens, thus exert prebiotic-like effects. Looking for digestive health support, shop  ManukaGuard Gut Health

Allergens abound! Mānuka honey can help you arm yourself against pollen season. Studies indicate that Mānuka honey can help soothe and calm your dry throat, cleanse, and moisturize your sinuses and nasal passages, and support immune health via its action in the microbiome. Looking for some help during pollen season, shop ManukaGuard Allergens Abound

 One of the most researched Mānuka honey benefits is its antibacterial properties. We recommend shopping ManukaGuard’s Cough and Throat line of products to soothe and calm dry, scratchy throats.

Studies suggest that Manuka honey may help balance the pH of the skin. This supports hydration and cleaning action. At ManukaGuard, we have formulated a line of Sinus Sprays to cleanse and moisturized your sinus and nasal passages. Once you try these formulas, you’ll never go back to sprays which are made only with saline.

There are numerous studies that reinforce the link between our gut bacteria and immune function, in fact between 70%-80% of the immune system is in your gut. Making Medical Grade honey and ManukaGuard’s immune support formulas a part of your wellness routine is a sweet way to support your good health. Shop here Immune Support 

The sugars in Mānuka honey are mostly glucose and fructose. Glucose is absorbed quickly, providing a more immediate energy boost, while fructose has a slower more sustained effect on blood sugar levels, thereby supporting energy needs over a longer time. The makeup of glucose and fructose make Mānuka honey an excellent go to as a pre-workout energy boost or anytime you might be feeling like you need a pick-me-up. ManukaGuard offers an excellent proprietary honey blend for anytime a little more energy is just the thing you are missing. Shop Energy here. 

ManukaGuard, ingredients that are safe and natural

In addition to Medical Grade Mānuka honey, some of our specialty formulated wellness products for cough, throat irritation, and heartburn contain all-natural, safe, and effective ingredients that you can trust. 

These include:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Elecampane root extract
  • Ginger root extract
  • Licorice root extract
  • Olive leaf extract
  • Chamomile root extract
  • Vegetable Glycerin 
  • Citric and ascorbic acids (vitamin c)
  • Pharmaceutical salt
  • Purified, filtered water 

Is Mānuka honey safe for everyone? 

For most people, Mānuka honey is safe and enjoyable to consume. However, we recommend that you check with your doctor if you have any hesitation regarding adding honey-based products to your diet or personal care routine. Children under 1 year of age should not consume honey. 

Is Mānuka honey safe for pets? 

Mānuka honey may be a safe and beneficial addition to your pet’s diet, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian before giving honey to your pet or using honey topically on your pet. 

Buying Manuka Honey  

When purchasing Mānuka honey, it’s important to be thorough in your research prior to selecting the brand that is right for you. With so many grading systems and distinctions, you may be wondering if there is really a difference between the various Mānuka Honey brands on the market. Yes, there are many differences in the many Mānuka honey brands on the market. To ensure that your Mānuka honey comes from a highly credible source please look for the attributes listed below.

  1. Is the Mānuka honey sourced from New Zealand? Real Mānuka honey comes from New Zealand.
  2. The UMF rating system has been replaced by the New Zealand Government with the MGO rating system, the honey must be labeled as such. New Zealand law requires the MGO be stated on the label.
  3. Pricing and MGO numbers normally correspond. However, be certain that you check the MGO rating merits the cost
  4. Be a label reader, real Manuka honey should only contain Mānuka honey unless the label states that it is a blend.
  5. Be certain that there is 3rd party testing on the product.

Why is Mānuka honey expensive?

Mānuka honey is more expensive than the regular honey you find in clear, plastic bottles at your local grocery store. There is a very narrow season, approximately 2-6 weeks per year when Mānuka flowers are in bloom, and the bees can harvest their nectar. As with all crops, weather conditions can have an impact on the number of flowers and the length of times the blooms stay on the branch. These things make Mānuka honey rare and drive the price point upward. 

Unlike other honey, authentic Mānuka honey from New Zealand is a medicinal product. It contains many healthful attributes and should be used as such; this honey has nothing in common with the squeezable bear! With its many superpowers, we feel the cost-benefit is worth it! 

How to Store Manuka Honey 

Manuka honey products can be stored in a kitchen cupboard, pantry, medicine cabinet or refrigerator if the temperature range is 10-20⁰C /50-68⁰F. Remember to close the lid tightly after each use. Mānuka honey can crystalize, this has no effect on its potency or usability.  

The Bottom Line

ManukaGuard is the world’s trusted leader in the science of Mānuka honey. Our goal is to help you understand the medicinal benefits of Mānuka honey so you can make informed decisions regarding which products are right for you and your family. 

The full line of ManukaGuard products is available on our website. If you have a question that has not been addressed within this comprehensive guide, please email us at and we’ll be sure to follow up with you as soon as possible.  

Special Note:

*The content above has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. 

"This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease"

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